Friday, November 11, 2011

Roasted Potatoes, Turkey Sausage and Peppers

Have you checked out Gina's Skinny Recipes? If not, you need to. Now. Seriously. What are you waiting for?!? There are tons of yummy recipes on her site. They taste great and they are good for you. How's about that?? I decided to make Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage and Peppers. I did not use chicken sausage and settled with turkey sausage. We don't have anything as fancy as chicken sausage where I live. :o)

I didn't actually read the entire post Gina put up. I chopped everything up and threw it on the pan all at once. Half way through, I drained the water off from the peppers. I also put it under the broiler for 5 minutes at the end so it would be more of a roasted taste and not steamed.

This was very good. Even though I used sweet Italian sausage, we ate the leftovers with eggs. HOLY SMOKES! My tummy was pretty happy.

  • 1.5 lb (about 3 large) potatoes, russet or new
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered, layers separated
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary (fresh or dry)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage, cut each link into 6-7 slices
Chop everything into one inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, rosemary and garlic powder. Spread evenly in pan and bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

**Remember- This is not how Gina did it. Hers probably worked out better. I was just much too lazy to actually read the entire post. Hey. It happens!

Friday, November 4, 2011


I'm not allowed to buy salsa. Ever. Well, I suppose if there were a dire emergency then an exception could be made, but Mr. 'man Clan wouldn't be thrilled. I decided to make some salsa a few months back, and he declared from that point on I would be making all of the salsa in our house. While this is very flattering, it is also a bit depressing. Making salsa would be far less time consuming if I didn't have a 1CUP FOOD CHOPPER!! :o) I bought the silly thing when one of the kiddos was younger so that I could make our own baby food. Now that I am a salsa making fool, I would sure love to add a Cuisinart or KitchenAid food processor to our little family. I know they are expensive but they have the best reviews. And let me tell you, I am all about researching the heck out of a product. No purchase in this home goes without review. NOTHING.

A few tips before we get started:
-While fresh tomatoes taste lovely, Mr. 'man Clan prefers the taste of the canned tomatoes.
-For the first few batches, I used fresh garlic. Hubby mentioned that the garlic was settling to the bottom and making the final half of the salsa SUPER garlicky. I have since started using garlic powder and Mr. 'man Clan said it's perfect.
-When handling jalapenos, be sure to wash your hands!!! Jalapeno juice gets into all sorts of orifices and it hurts. A lot. You can also wear rubber gloves if you happen to have some on hand. I could bring some home from work, but I'm not clever enough for that.
-This recipe in its current form makes a crap ton of salsa. It lasts our household 2 weeks. I do this because of the tiny food chopper problem I have.

On to the good stuff.

1 bunch of cilantro
2 large cans of whole tomatoes
1/8 c garlic powder (This is just a guess. I just dump and taste. Sorry!!)
1 medium onion
2 jalapenos (If you don't like a lot of heat, scrape the seeds and membranes out of the peppers. You can also reduce to just one pepper. The 'man Clan house likes it SPICY!)
juice from half a lime
salt to taste (I'm super picky about salt. Keep in mind the chips are usually pretty salty.)

Throw everything into your food processor and let it do its thang. Or if you are me and have a dwarf food processor put one thing in at a time and dump into a bowl. Repeatedly. Six. Million. Times.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

S'mores Cobbler

I have been spending a ton of time on Pinterest lately. I LOVE all of the amazing recipes I can find. I "pin" a TON of s'mores recipes. I'm addicted to chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers. Yum.O. One of the recipes I found was for a S'mores Cobbler. This was a super easy recipe to make and required just a few ingredients.

The Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 5oz chocolate pudding (cook&serve)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 whole graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 40 large marshmallows (A package of small ones would work just fine too.)
The Directions
  1. Combine milk and pudding mix and place into greased 13x9 baking dish
  2. Place graham crackers (broken in half) on top of pudding mixture with space in between each one
  3. Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular chocolate chips and more than a cup.)
  4. Spread DRY cake mix over top and place the butter by tablespoons on top of dry mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Mix slightly so there isn't large areas of dry ingredients. (I think this would be better if the cooking time is reduced to 20 minutes.)
  6. Add marshmallows and bake for 8-10 minutes and if needed 1-2 minutes undner a high broiler to brown. (I recommend just turning the broiler on to melt the marshmallows. After 25, the cake was pretty well done and I didn't want to overcook it.)
Crash didn't want to try any of the cobbler but Grace and Tater like it. Grace and I both agreed that it is very rich and a small portion is more than enough. Tater actually had seconds so he didn't feel the same. Lol.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Up, up and away!

He did it! He did it! Hubby should be landing in Portland, Oregon as I type this up.
Crash and I dropped him off at the airport bright and early at 4:30. I managed to make my way to and from the airport without getting lost and thus a miracle!
Mr. 'man Clan said checking in and security were a breeze. It took a total of 10 minutes, in fact. He had to wait around for over an hour to board the plane but better to be too early than the alternative.
When he arrived in Denver for his layover, he texted me to let me know he made it and he really enjoyed it. It's official: he's a traveling man!
Now, we patiently wait for his return on Sunday. It's going to be a long week for Crash and me. Daddy will be gone and the big kids will be at their dad's for half the week. We will manage though.

PS: St. Louis Cardinals are World Series bound!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Well, Hello There

Long time no blog. I knew it had been a while but nearly 5 months? Whoa. Well, what have we been up to in The 'man Clan lair? Lots of course!

-Ball season has come and gone. Neither kid enjoyed their season that's a little disappointing. Hopefully, we will be able to find some new teams for them to join.

-I ran 2 more half marathons. I did worse with each one. Lol. As the temps went up, so did my times. I have the Rock n Roll half marathon coming up in a week. I've been training like a son of a fun to PR that race. I've been hampered by a quad strain but I'm still setting the bar high.

-Mr. 'man Clan has started running. He's not into training program or running regularly but that's how we all start. He's really enjoying his job. Looks as though he will be traveling soon. He's nervous and excited.

-Crash is nearly 4 years old. Eek. We have him in speech class. I can't tell you how much his speech has improved since May. It's amazing. Even his therapist was very pleased.

-Tater is anxiously awaiting deer season so he can go hunting with the boys.

-Grace has joined band. She plays baritone which the Mr and Tater have cleverly renamed nerditone and fartitone. Crash loves the baritone because the sound is very similar to farts. He laughed hysterically when she first started playing.

That's just a brief recap of what's going on in our world! I hope to keep you all a little more update. :o)

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge: Yellow

I thought I would go ahead and attempt to enter a photo into the IHF Photo Challenge. It's a very cool concept. They give you a them. You take a photograph of however you interpret that theme. The catch is this: it must include a face. I didn't know that you can get the themes ahead of time. I happened to have a photo for this week's challenge.
Crash was quite proud of this little bug he caught. He said it was his baby. His heart was broken when it flew away.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

go! St. Louis Half Marathon recap

HERE YOU GO ALYSSA!! :o) She keeps reminding me to that I had not posted a recap yet. In all fairness, since the race, I have had the internet maybe 7 days. It has been a huge pain to get up back up and running, but we are good to go now.

I laid out my gear the night before. I wanted to make sure I had everything needed. Garmin and phone charged. Cute purple shirt with cute matching head band. I also painted my nails a cute purple to match. It made me faster. Maybe.

I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked. Poor planning. I wasn't thinking. I was just in the moment I suppose. I met up with Della and her aunt Della. The only thing I was really worried about going into the start of the race was the temperature. I can handle the rain and the wind. My last few runs had been quite blustery. At start time, it was already 70+. This was the one factor I hadn't trained for and there really was no way for me to.

The Dellas and I started out pretty good. We were pacing around 10:15-10:30 for the first few miles. I don't remember when I broke away from them. I thought they were close behind, but when I looked around I couldn't find them. I was sad because I didn't want to run this alone, but I had to focus on what I was there to do: finish the race.

Mile 6.5 is where Mr. 'man Clan and Crash were set up. Yep. We brought the youngin' which the Mister said he will not be doing again any time soon. :o) It was such a relief to see familiar faces in a sea of strangers. Definitely lifted my spirits at that point. Around mile 7, I decided it was time to walk and chow on some sport beans. I didn't feel like I needed them, but I thought it may have been a good idea. I'm sure glad I did.

Mile 8 is where Jen and Alyssa were stationed. Again, really great to see some faces I knew. They were also handing out wet towels and let me tell you what. That was amazing. I dropped mine around 10.5 and nearly cried. That towel was such a saving grace for me. I also met up with Jenn at that time. She was running the second leg of the relay race. She's the one that made my kick butt head band. I big pink puffy heart it. Side note: I really would like to do a relay at some point.

Somewhere around mile 10 is when it all started to fall apart for me. I was walking more than I wanted. I was getting dehydrated. I had been drinking water, not enough, but I started to feel lightheaded. I also started to get cold sweats. I was definitely a little worried I was going to be one of the people on the side of the course getting an IV. Seriously. It happened to a lot of people that day. I decided to start chowing down on the sport beans. I wasn't really sure if they had what I needed ie: electrolytes. Turns out they did, and snarfing down more was a really good idea. I stopped at every water station and slammed 3 glasses and filled my bottle a bit. I don't remember much of the last 3 miles. I remember the hills and seeing the finish line. I remember thinking there is no way in Hell I'll be able to run across that line. But I did. I finished with a time of 2:21:16. I had a goal of finishing between 2:15-2:45 so I definitely am happy about that.

I thought after this race I would make up my mind about whether or not I'll do a full. I still haven't made that decision. I don't know if I'll do go! again either. I may. Perhaps. Only because I want to see if I can beat my old time.

I trained well for this race. I trained hard. I drug my body to a point I never thought I'd be. I was unprepared for the temperatures that day, but so was every other runner. I know now to drink more water and eat more sport beans (I don't drink gatorade). I would not have been able to cross that finish line without the help from my awesome friends and family. Thank you for believing in me every step of the way. Thank you for having faith in me even when I had none. I ran 13.1 miles. I did something I thought impossible just 6 months ago. On to the next: May 22. Yes. That's right. I signed up for 5 half marathons without running one. I'm glad I did though.

My name is Cecilia. I like running. I'm a runner. I ran my first half marathon. I'm looking forward to many more.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

go! St. Louis Expo

Friday I attended my first ever race expo. The expo was for go! St. Louis Marathon and family fitness weekend. The expo was held at Chaifetz Arena. I decided to attend the first day right after work hoping it wouldn't be too busy. I'm sure glad I did!

It wasn't a huge place by any means. I wasn't sure what to expect but I thought it seemed a little cramped. I would have hated to see what it looked like on Saturday. Eek!

I really didn't get a chance to look around at things because I had Crash with me. I did buy some Chomps and Shot Bloks in flavors I haven't really seen, so that's cool.

Crash insisted on sitting in the seats after we toured the tables. He is so silly. I would take a photo and he would tell me to take it again because it wanted to say cheeseburgers. He also wanted me to take a photo of his ouchie.

Please notice that my arm is starting to look a bit trimmer. Woot. I love the gym. I miss it so much. I can't wait to get back.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Night Out, Not a Night Owl

Alyssa threw a birthday party for her hubby this past Saturday evening. Mr. 'man Clan and I hadn't had a night out in quite some time, so we decided we would definitely attend. The party was at Ethyl's Smokehouse & Saloon. I had only been one other time for a couple of drinks. It was incredibly smokey the time we went. I don't mean smokey from the meat. I'm talking smokey from the cigarettes. I was a little nervous, but still excited to go.

We arrived around 7. I talked my younger brother into coming for a drink. I don't get to see him a lot so it was nice to sit and chat a bit with him. Mr. 'man Clan's friend lives a few miles away and decided to come up too! All in all, it was a great night. The bar didn't get too smokey until later, so that was a huge relief. I wish I would have taken more photos though. :o(

Alyssa and her hubby

My brother and me

We left the bar and headed over to Waffle House per the boys' requests. I wasn't too thrilled about going. I was sleepy and my tummy wasn't feeling so well. The nachos, potato skins and 3 beers did not settle well. Actually, my tummy had been upset all day. I usually love a trip to Waffle House. Mmmmmm. I love my smothered, covered hashbrowns. Delish.

The boys

Can you tell he was tired of me taking photos??

I failed to get a photo of Mr. 'man Clan and me together. I am very sad about this now. :o( Oh well, there will be other times, I'm sure.

We had a great time, Alyssa! Thank you again for the invite.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review--FINALLY!!

Thr3e by Ted Dekker

From Publisher's Weekly: Dekker delivers another page-turner with this psychological Christian thriller about Kevin Parson, a 28-year-old seminary student who suddenly becomes the target of an evil nemesis called Slater. Obsessed both with Kevin's downfall and the number 3, Slater initiates a game in which Kevin must answer riddles to avoid Slater's destructive, potentially murderous retribution. Slater particularly wants Kevin to publicly confess a secret sin, and Kevin is at a loss as to what that sin might be. Once Dekker establishes this premise, he masterfully takes readers on a ride full of plot twists and turns. Not only does he spin a compelling tale of cat and mouse, but he also creates a narrative world in which it's possible that no one is quite who he or she seems. Dekker gradually discloses his protagonist's nightmarish childhood and delivers an almost perfect blend of suspense, mystery and horror. Dekker's prose is strong, putting him in a league above many other evangelical Christian writers and showing improvement over his previous work. Aside from following certain Christian fiction guidelines such as making his gorgeous 20-something characters entirely virginal, Dekker eschews most of the conventions of evangelical fiction. His spiritual message is subtle and devoid of the theologically and politically conservative agenda present in other novels.

My thoughts: This is a twist on the battle between good and evil. There is actually a movie spun from this book. When I watched it, I thought it had potential but the acting was probably just awful. After reading the book, I realize that yes the acting was awful, but I really didn't like the way the first half of the book was written. I think it was a bit too random and too fast. Certain characters and situations could have been developed more to give you a better picture. It almost felt like the first half was just thrown together. The second half was much, much better. It flowed very nicely and I didn't feel short changed.

Recommend? If you have not seen the move Thr3e, I do recommend you read the book. I think it will be pretty enjoyable especially after the first half.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Howdy, ya'll!

Just checking in quickly this early Saturday morning. I'll throw a few tidbits out there.

-- I was crazy busy this week. The only reason I had a couple of posts was because I wrote them over the weekend. :o)

-- I have been so busy because ball season has started back up for the kiddos. I also have a half marathon I'm training for. Squeezing everything in has been a bit difficult, but I'm making it work.

-- My gym membership is probably the only thing that is going to save me from the half mary. I wouldn't be able to train with out it. Seriously.

-- We are fostering a dog. He's super cute and very well behaved. He'll get a post of his own.

-- Today is crazy busy. I'm going to run before the race. I'd like to get 6 miles in. After the race, I'll come home, shower, and get all prettied up to go back out. I *may* go to a tweet up. I haven't decided. I'll be going to Jen's for a little partay. Can't wait to sample the yummy food and see my ladies. Yay!!

--I am also going to try to sneak a trip to the mall in there. I think I can make it work.

--The kids are with my parents this weekend. It hasn't even been 12 hours and I miss them like crazy.

Ok. I need to jump off here and figure out where the heck I'm going. City driving scares me. Eek!!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've seen this on a few blogs I read. I thought it would be fun to play along.

A: Age -- 29
B: Bed Size -- Queen, but I really want a king size
C: Chore Your Hate -- Putting laundry away
D: Dogs -- Lady, she's a beagle mix of some sort
E: Essential Start Your Day Item -- COFFEE!!!
F: Favorite Color -- purple, duh
G: Gold or Silver -- gold, more specifically white gold, not a fan of yellow gold
H: Height -- 5' 9", shortest kid in my family too. Total crap
I: Instruments You Play -- none, in my head I inserted a dirty joke. :o)
J: Job Title -- mom, wife, friend, teacher, sister, cousin, aunt. Get the picture?
K: Kids -- Crash 3, Tater 8 and Grace 11
L: Live -- Missouri, more correctly pronounced Misery
M: Mother's Name -- Debbie
N: Nicknames -- Cec, Cece, C, C-Diddy, bitch, freckles, sassy
O: Overnight Hospital Stays -- uh, 4 I believe
P: Pet Peeve --people who refuse to be responsible for their actions
Q: Quote from a Movie -- Bond. James Bond. Sorry. Nothing really sticks out.
R: Right or Left-Handed -- Right
S: Siblings -- 2 younger bros, 1 older bro and 1 older sis. All of them are much more attractive than myself. I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool. >:(
T: Time You Wake Up -- 4:15. It's as miserable as it sounds.
U: Underwear -- I have some. Bikini cut briefs. No butt floss for me.
V: Vegetable You Dislike -- Lima beans and okra. Blah.
W: What Makes You Late -- Kids, traffic and husband in no particular order.
X: X-rays You've Had Done -- too many to count. I'm a klutz.
Y: Yummy Food You Make -- My fav is my lasagna
Z: Zoo Animal Favorite -- elephants

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Been a While

I haven't been on a scale in over a month. It's been a pretty liberating thing. I'm not tied down to a number. I have no clue how much weight I have lost, if any. I don't know the number of inches I have lost. Ya know what? I'm ok with it. What I do know is that I am down two pant sizes. I went from a bra size of 40 DDD to a 38 DDD. I'm out of most XL shirts and into just a L. My bust is pretty large hence the reason for not being able to get away from all XL. It's ok though.

The most important thing about not weighing in? I haven't binged or purged in nearly two months. This is the longest I have been "sober" in over a decade. It's an amazing feeling. I'm not healed. I'll never be fully recovered. I'm certain I'll always have these demons living in me, but they are under control.

I thought I would share some advice that has been working for me. I'm definitely not an expert of a professional. I'm just a girl who is trying to figure this damn thing out.

** Every bite really does count. If you are trying to lose weight, sadly, every bite counts, when it's the "bad stuff." Fruits, veggies, etc are pretty much ok. The "bad stuff" I'm referring to are usually processed foods or ones that are higher in fat. Did you know that one mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup has 44 calories?? Yep. You may be *just* eating 3 of them, but do the math.

** You CAN eat the bad stuff. It's called moderation. I truly believe in this. If you do not allow yourself a little something naughty, you will end up binging on it when you finally have it. I eat french fries, but just a few at a time. I allow myself A chicken nugget, but just one. In doing this, I've found something very interesting, the foods that I thought I couldn't live without, don't taste as good as I remembered. The pb cups were just eh, okay.

** Drink water. Lots of water. I know a lot of people who say they don't like water, but they need to start. Water is amazing. I feel 100 million times better when I am consuming enough water. Often times, our body tells us we are hungry when in fact we are thirsty. True. If I eat something and think I am still hungry after, I slam a glass of water. I soon find that I wasn't nearly as hungry as I thought I was.

** Watch what you eat. Seriously. Check it out. Look it up. Research what the nutritional content is. Did you know a sausage mcmuffin while cheap at $1 has 22 grams of fat? Gulp. That's nearly half the fat many people are supposed to eat in one day. May make you think twice. I know it has me. Personally, I count my calories. I do this so I know that I am getting enough. I'm not too worried about going over most days, but it is not good to be too far under.

** Yes, there is such a thing as not enough calories. If you think you are rocking by only eating 1000 calories a day, you may not be. This can actually cause your metabolism to slow down. Slow metabolism means slower to no weight loss.

** Remember why you are eating. You are not eating just because it tastes good. You are eating to fuel your body. I follow an amazing woman on Twitter who is the author of 263 and Counting. She is a huge inspiration. She tweeted something one day that makes so much sense: Put in junk food, get junk energy. Eat good foods, get good energy. Eureka!! She's right. I feel so much better now that I am eating foods that are good for me instead of just crap.

** It's not a diet. Don't call it a diet. I don't like that D word. I cringe when people comment that I am still dieting. I'm not dieting. This is a lifestyle change. These are choices I have made that I plan on continuing for the rest of my life.

** Exercise. Do it. You will have every excuse in the book to NOT do it. I challenge you. When you come up with a reason to not do it, show yourself you CAN do it. Get your butt out there and do it. You can find a way. Think I'm wrong? I thought for the longest time I couldn't because I had Crash hindering. The fix? I started going to the track to run. The kiddos could play while I did my thing. When the older 2 went to their dad's, I'd push in in the stroller. Where there's a will, there's a way.

** Accidents happen. You are going to slip up. It will happen. We are human and I haven't met a single one of us that is perfect. Try not to get hung up on it. It was ONE bad choice. If you flub on lunch, you don't have to continue that to dinner. Dinner is the time to right the ship. You have the option to start over the next time you eat.

** NO EXCUSES and ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. If you take nothing else from this post, take these two tips. Lose the excuses. Once you do, you will do so many amazing things. You will go so much farther than you ever thought possible. I promise you this. It takes a while but you will reach a point where you WANT to exercise. You will automatically make the right food choices.

** Find a friend. I'll leave you with this final thought. Find support. Don't be afraid to get help. There are people just like YOU who want to do the same thing. There are people who WANT to help YOU. They are out there, don't be afraid to find them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stalker or Groupie? Day 2

The drive to Lawrence didn't take as long as I thought it would. Helped that I napped a bit on the way. :o) We took Mr. 'man Clan's cute car which is a stick shift. I cannot drive a stick so I did not have to drive at all the entire weekend!! It was heaven.

We arrived in Lawrence around 11. We decided to head over to Esquina for lunch. It was just average. Definitely better than Taco Hell, but probably not something I will seek out again. As we were finishing up dinner, Mr. got a call from his bff. Their fantasy baseball draft was going to be starting shortly. Lucky for him, we were close to Starbucks. We went over and hung out there for a bit. As we were leaving, we see the guitarist from the band sitting at Starbucks. What?! We stopped and introduced ourselves. Mr. 'man Clan chatted about music crap. It was pretty damn cool.

We left Starbucks with no clue what to do next. We didn't have a hotel picked out at this point. I was flipping out because I had foolishly used nearly all of my calories and wanted to run. On a whim, Mr decided to go into the fancy pants hotel next to Starbucks to see if they had a fitness center. It's called The Eldridge. They in fact have a fitness area. The rooms start out at $149. Say wha? The lovely girl at the desk said she could get us into a suite immediately if we'd like at the bargain price of $179. Gasp. We said screw it and stayed there. We got into a room 3 hours before check in AND they had a toilet that could flush. When you travel once every 5 years, it's not so bad spending that kind of dough. I've never in my life stayed at such a fancy pants place. It was awesome.

Seriously, the suite was as nearly as big as our house. The best part?? It was across the street from the venue. And Starbucks.

One important tip I learned from traveling this weekend. Staying close is awesome. We walked every where. We were able to see and do so much more. We found a great place to eat and an awesome coffee shop.

The tickets for this show were all general admission. We decided to be daring and stand on the floor closer to the stage. So glad we did!! It was awesome!!

Meeting Laura Jansen after her set. Can't wait for her album to release.

Brandon Walters, the guitarist we ran into not once, but twice.

Cary on the piano. He plays the guitar and piano. Double swoon.

Favorite shot from the whole trip. Three amazingly talented performers.

Laura came out a couple of times for performances. She never stops smiling.

The Lawrence show was by far the best. You could tell the groups had more fun at this show than the one the night before. The crowd was so much better. We were hoping for a repeat encore like he did in STL, but no luck. For the encore, they came on floor in the crowd and performed a song acoustic. It was flipping awesome.

We were really sad to head home. It was really nice to spend some time with Mr. 'man Clan. I hope we don't have to wait another 5 years to do it.

Oh, something to note: We spent more on coffee than alcohol. :o)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stalker or Groupie? Day 1

This past weekend, Mr. 'man Clan and I went on our second long weekend. Not second, as in 2011. Second as in the nearly 6 years we've been together. Our first trip was Nashville to see Rodney Carrington (his fave). It was a great time.

One of my favorite singer/songwriters is Joshua Radin. I get that he's not everyone's cup of tea, but I big pink puffy heart him. A lot. I've met him twice, most recently the week before my birthday. Best. Present. Ever. I saw in his FB feed that he would be performing in Columbia, MO and then the next day in Lawrence, KS. Hello? Can we say road trip?! Mr. 'man Clan was good with it so I purchased the tickets. The trip was an anniversary present to the both of us. He likes Joshua Radin too, so he wasn't going to be suffering. I was super excited to hear that Cary Brothers would be performing with him also. I've had a music crush on him since I heard a song I heard in the movie Garden State. Swoon.

I don't believe I will ever go to another show in Columbia again. The crowd was a bunch of young, drunk kids. They were extremely rude and would not stop talking. :o( Oh. Word of advice. Don't stay at the Regency Downtown. It's not as fancy as its name implies. It was a huge dump.

Mr. and Mrs. 'man Clan before the Como show.

Laura Jansen was the first act. Great talent.

Cary Brothers was next up. We about flipped when we realized he was performing with Joshua's band. Coolness.

I met Cary after his set. He signed my vinyl. He thought I was cool for buying the vinyl. He's right. :o)

Josh and the band getting ready.

My music husband.

The next morning, we checked out pretty early. We wanted to try this place for breakfast that I had found plus we wanted to find a toilet that worked. Yeah, the toilet in our room stopped flushing and it wasn't the chain. :o( They didn't give us any sort of comp for that. Jerks.

Breakfast was at Cafe Berlin. We got there a tiny bit early. Good thing. A line was starting to form and they weren't even open! I think Mr. 'man Clan forgave me for the hotel debacle after this fantastic breakfast. The food was awesome. It was a bit pricey but we didn't eat dinner so we justified it. Plus, it was very filling. Mr. 'man Clan had the John Schyler. Description from the site: The John Schyler a sandwich with an over-hard egg, jalapeño, bacon, red onion, tomato & chipotle mayo on choice of bread. served w/potatoes

Mr. 'man Clan's breakfast

I was having a hard time deciding between the Mediterranean and Florentine. I went with the Florentine minus the hollandaise sauce. I think the sauce is pretty bad for you, plus I've never had it. The Mediterranean description from their site:Mediterranean Breakfast 2 free-range eggs scrambled with scallions and parsley. Served with hummus, fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olives & homemade pita bread. The Florentine description from their site: Eggs Florentine 2 poached free-range eggs over a bed of sautéed greens with garlic and red onion on a toasted English muffin covered with Hollandaise and served with roasted potatoes.

My plate. Oh it was amazing.

The check is delivered in an old book. This was a pretty groovy idea. Mr. 'man Clan left a little note on one of the pages.

Breakfast was finished, and we hit the road to Kansas. Day 2 coming shortly!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PAT Evaluation: Complete

Crash's PAT evaluation is finished. It took forever. 2 hours from start to finish including time to review the results. It was very thorough and the women were sweet. They were all grandmother types, very sweet and endearing.

Crash failed two portions in the hearing testing. This sounds bad however there were a couple of things at play: he has a cold and he lost interest quickly. Both of these the woman told us could have caused him to fail. She did have to right a referral to have his hearing evaluated by a specialist. I'm not too concerned at this point. Let me explain why. The first test measures the pressure inside the ear. Crash's left ear failed and right ear passed. She said this could have happened because of the cold he has and the fact that he is still technically getting over the double ear infection. Ok. Understandable. The next test was to see at what decibels he can hear at. In theory, because of the other results, he would fail his left ear and pass his right year, correct? Not Crash! He passed his left year and failed the right. That makes sense. Oh, wait. No it doesn't. The woman felt he most likely failed because he was losing interest. He wasn't focusing at all and started chatting about things that had nothing to do with the cues. She still had to write a referral since he did in fact fail both. Darn kid. Such a pain.

My thoughts on the hearing portion: Had he failed his left ear both times, I would be more concerned. I will definitely take him for a hearing check as soon as the new insurance kicks in. I'm not alarmed enough to go spend $200+ out of pocket. Mr. 'manclan and I discussed it and felt that was a reasonable decision.

Now we move on to the "interesting" portion of the testing. This was pretty lengthy and I won't go into all of the tests that were performed. Crash is the absolute youngest that can take the test. They test from ages 3-6. It is ok that he didn't get somethings correct and we were given ideas on how to strengthen some areas.

We learned that Crash's behavior is A-OK. They had absolutely no concerns. Score!! This is huge for me. He passed the behavior with flying colors in fact. He stayed focuses, according to them and comprehended what was being told to him. So, he's not ADD. He's just a pain in the butt and doesn't like to listen to his parents occasionally. :o) I never really thought he had an issues, but I suppose you never know until they are actually tested.

Crash didn't do awful in language. What?! In short, he has the words in his vocabulary. He just has trouble pronouncing them during general conversation. The problem solving portion was a bit wacky. She asked questions to which he needed to give an answer and it needed to be the correct answer. Question 1: What do you do when you are thirsty? Answer: Drink the water. Question 2: What do you do when you to go into a room that is dark. Answer: (This apparently required a story.) Ohhhh. It's scary. There are monsters in the room and I turn the lights on. Question 3: What do you do when you break something that belongs to someone else? Answer: (He holds up his tiny fist.) You fight! WHAT?!?! Oh dear. Answer number 2 was enough and then he does this?! Lol. What is wrong with my kid??

In my opinion, this is where he became disinterested. He was asked if he was a boy or a girl. "I'm Danny." Same answer each time. "My sister is A. He's a girl." Completely random. "Mommy is a girl." Very good, she says. What about daddy? Is he a boy? "No! He's just dad!" He even grunts and throws his hands up for added emphasis. At this point, I have hidden my face in my hands because of the embarrassment.

When he finally finished with Ms. Brenda, he walked over to the next test. Ms. Brenda looked at Mr. 'manclan and me and smiled. "Wow, he certainly has quite an imagination." Yes. Yes he does.

The next portion revealed what I suspected. He is having trouble with his speech. :o( They have referred us the early childhood center for another evaluation. From there, it will be determined what sort of help, if any he needs. He may need to meet with a speech therapist or he may be eligible for preschool for something more intense. This is all free. Well, not free. This is our tax money at work. Glad to see it put to good use though.

Overall, I'm glad I was able to convince Mr. 'manclan to have Crash tested. It confirmed my belief that he is having trouble with speech. Now, we can figure out a plan of action. We can fix the problem before it worsens or causes trouble in other areas of his life. I keep telling myself I'm not a bad mom. I'm not a bad mom. If I repeat it enough, I may believe it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

D Day

Today is D day. Or E day. As in evaluation day. I've had some concerns about Crash's speech for quite some time. I've never admitted because then I'd feel like a failure. So, here I am, telling the blogosphere that my son's speech (to me) doesn't seem to be where it should be. I've scheduled an evaluation with Parents As Teachers.

Crash is able to speak. He uses a lot of words, but many of them are jumbled. I feel like I have let him down in a way. Some how, I have caused him to not be able to speak as clearly as he should be. I am not saying that Crash is slow or deficient. He's a very bright child. I haven't come across many three year olds with an imagination quite like his, well besides Tater. I'm just concerned with his speech. I have seen many cases where problems in speech have caused problems later in learning and behavior issues.

Should there be something wrong, I want to fix it as soon as possible. We shall see what the evaluation says. Wish us luck.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Revisit My 101 in 1001

I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the list I made last year. In case you aren't familiar with it the idea was to make a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days. I liked the idea because it gives me plenty of time to knock things off. I hate being crunched for time. It's also the main reason why so many times I fail at New Year's Resolutions.

My 101 in 1001
Start Date: January 6, 2010
End Date: October 3, 2012

All About Me
1. Lose 30-50 pounds-IN PROGRESS
2. Purchase an iPhone-COMPLETE
3. Visit the lady doc. I know TMI. Nothing going on, just haven't been in for routine service. :o)
4. Stop picking skin on feet-COMPLETE
5. Buy all of Joshua Radin's albums-COMPLETE
6. Buy an MP3 player-COMPLETE
7. Buy new mascara-COMPLETE
8. Buy one "nice" nail polish (Any recs?)-COMPLETE
9. Buy 2 perfumes (Again, any recs?)
10. Take better care of skin-IN PROGRESS
11. Get another tattoo
12. Read 50 books (0/50)-IN PROGRESS, not sure how many. Need to check.
13. Get new glasses-COMPLETE
14. Buy 6 new bras (0/6)-COMPLETE
15. Read the Bible
16. Find a church-COMPLETE
17. Attend church at least once a month (15/32)-IN PROGRESS, this won't be a problem at all.
18. Change all accounts to my married name-STILL HAVE ONE TO GO :O)
19. Be more organized
20. Stay up until midnight on NYE at least once in 1001 days-COMPLETE

21. Strip table in garage-COMPLETE
22. Paint table in garage
23. Paint picture frames-COMPLETE
24. Learn how to sew
25. Crochet a blanket-IN PROGRESS
26. Make a camera strap cover-HAD MOM MAKE, COMPLETE
27. Attend at least 2 photography classes (1/2)
28. Take more photos
29. Organize photos better
30. Buy an external hard drive
31. Make a quilt of each of the kids (0/3)
32. Paint 5 paintings (0/5)
33. Make coasters-COMPLETE
34. Start a veggie garden-COMPLETE
35. Start an herb garden-COMPLETE
36. Start a flower garden
37. Dry my own herbs-COMPLETE
38. Can my pasta sauce
39. Can my salsa
40. Make sugar scrubs

For Others
41. Pay for the person behind me at a drive-thru
42. Leave at least a 50% tip for awesome service-COMPLETED A COUPLE TIMES
43. Give ten "just because" gifts (3/10)
44. Collect all of my loose change for 1001 days-IN PROGRESS
45. Donate said change to a charity
46. Buy something from Etsy-COMPLETE, MORE THAN ONCE :O)
47. Donate a cart worth of food to a pantry
48. Surprise the parents at work with something thoughtful

For the House
49. Clean and organize the pantry-COMPLETE
50. Clean and organize the hall closet-COMPLETE
51. Plan a budget
52. Stick to the budget
53. Pay off Chase
54. Pay of Bank of America
55. Build shelf in the laundry room-BOUGHT A SHELF INSTEAD, COMPLETE
56. Put carpet down
57. Paint boys' bedroom
58. Paint Grace's bedroom
59. Paint master bedroom
60. Paint basement bathroom
61. Paint upper bathroom
62. Paint kitchen
63. Paint family room
64. Paint light fixtures
65. Vacuum van once a month (4/32)-NEED WORK ON THIS
66. Wash van once a month (0/32)-NEED WORK ON THIS TOO
67. Clean and organize spice cabinet-COMPLETE
68. Purchase a flat panel t.v.-COMPLETE
69. Hang photos of kids-COMPLETE

For the Fam
70. Go on a family vacation for the first time
71. Go on at least two long weekends with the hubby (0/2)- GOING IN 3 WEEKS!
72. Have family night once a month (0/32)
73. Have a date night at least twelve times (0/12)
74. Have professional family photos taken
75. Rent a nice car for a day
76. Start a journal for my hubby
77. Have a mani/pedi day with Aubrey at least six time (2/6)
79. Make a candle lit dinner for the hubs
80. Take the fam fishing
81. Go to a blues bar
82. Go on a picnic-COMPLETE
83. Go to the park at least 50 times (25/50)
84. Fly a kite with the kids
85. Star gaze with the kids-COMPLETE
86. Walk Lady at least 8 times a month (0/256)

87. Visit the City Museum
88. Visit the Arch
89. Visit caves
90. Visit the Science Center
91. Visit Elephant Rock
92. See an ocean in person
93. Go somewhere for NYE-COMPLETE
94. Visit Chicago
95. Visit a winery
96. Attend at least one MLB game (0/1)
97. Attend at least one NFL game (0/1)
98. Attend at least one NHL game (1/1)-COMPLETE
99. Visit Brimfield, IL or any of the surrounding areas-COMPLETE

100. Donate $5.00 for any task not completed
101. Start planning a vow renewal getaway

I'm not even half way done with my list. Boo. I fail. :o( I guess I'm not doing too terribly awful. I do have to revise some because we are planning on moving, so no need to put carpet down and paint. Also, my dog is not very good at going for walks. She freaks out. Big time. I'll try it a few more times, but I may have to change that one too. As soon as I come up with replacements, I will post them for ya!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow Days? Snore Days!

For those of you that don't know, I live in the Midwest. Last week, we were supposed to have the "winter storm of the century." Monday wasn't a huge ordeal. We had mostly rain with a little bit of freezing rain towards the later hours. The kids did not have school Monday because the winter weather was supposed to be starting around 9.

Tuesday is my day off. School was called off again. Ugh. We still had rain at this point with the areas that had ice on them melting because of the rain. Grace stayed at the neighbor's house and the boys were already going bonkers. We decided to make play dough. I jumped on the interwebs and found this recipe. I tweaked it a little by adding Kool Aid to give it a fun scent and added a drizzle of vegetable oil to help with the consistency.

Crash stirring the dough.

Tater wanted a turn too.

Shot of the blue before I added the oil.

This was a FANTASTIC idea. The boys had a blast playing with it. Tater made a comment about how it was a lot like the real thing. I let the boys use the rolling pin, some cookie cutters and butter knives to play with it. This kept them occupied for nearly an hour.

Grace came home shortly after and ruined all our fun. :o) Kidding. She joined in also. They soon became bored, so we decided to make some cookies. Mind you, I wasn't very well prepared for snowpocalypse so I had to make do with what we had. We opted for peanut butter cookies that only call for peanut butter, sugar and and egg. Not the best ever but the kids had fun.

We let Crash smoosh the cookies with the fork. He tried to roll the balls but he kept making patties.

Wednesday rolls around and school is called off. Again. The center I work at made the choice to close because of the weather. And there was only one child who came the day before. So, I'm off work for the second day in a row and the kids are off school for the third day in a row. Oh. boy. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, the kids decided to make boxes for their parties. Grace isn't sure they are doing a party in her class, so she told Tater she'll make one for him to take in case someone in his class does not have one. Awwwwwww.

Crash painting. He didn't need a box but felt left out.

Grace working hard.

Tater and his guitar box. Yes. I custom made his box. He LOVES it.

All the kids working hard.

The kiddos ended up being off school the entire week. A came and picked Grace and Tater up on Wednesday evening. I think overall, they had a pretty good time on their snow days. They are definitely ready to go back to school, though.