Thursday, August 29, 2013

A morning at the museum

The weekend before Jake got sick, we spent some time at the Children's Museum with our school buddies. It was a great morning that wiped me out since Jake visits every center in about 2.8 seconds.

With his "wife," Haley...

Officer Johnson...

Fireman Jake...

Race Car Driver JJ...

Brooklyn was a great sport chasing her brother around with me. And loved the "obstacle bridge."

Maybe a future newscaster?

Lord, sleepovers already?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Watch out, Disney!

Sorry for my absence. I got kinda excited when I busted out of "home sick/teacher workday" jail and sort of abandoned my blog.

And then my TV series got cancelled....

And anyways, I digress.

Before we were invaded with sickness last week, Brooklyn and I saw my God-daughter, Allie, perform as the Wicked Queen in Snow White with the local children's theater company.

She was AMAZING!

Thrilled to be made to take a pic with her old mom...

Really, seriously, not being bias here, but this girl has TALENT.

So proud of Allie, and glad that at least one of my "children" loves being on stage. :-)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Check your local listings...

The Working Mom Stays Home Episode: "The Escapes"
Season 1, Episode 2

Episode Synopsis: If you loved episode 1 ("...& Forgets to go to Zumba"), you'll love this one. Mama manages to escape the home for two separate occasions- a meeting for work (and was super thrilled to wear pants that buttoned) and a 4 mile run (and most definitely needed that 45 minutes). Other than those two mini escapes, episode 2 captures another sick day in the Johnson house. Highlights include: finishing half empty water bottles (mama), scrapbooking (B), launching rockets off the couch (J, thanks to a dose of Tylenol), baking another Pinterest recipe of cinnamon sugar bread, drawing self-portraits, a visit to the best doctor ever to rule out strep throat, multi-colored pancakes (You think Mama would have learned with food dye the day before and the mess it leaves on a counter. Rookie mistake.), and some "help" with work emails. Oh, the hilarity.

Original Air Date: Aug 20, 2013

The Makings of a Reality TV Show Right Here...

Dear TLC,

I know your primetime line up is pretty solid right know, with Honey Boo Boo and Sex, Lies, & Zumba. But I propose to you a new reality show for next season:

The Working Mom Stays At Home (& Forgets to Go to Zumba)

So, this week was a crazy week anyway...Chad went back to work for teacher workdays last Thursday, my parents are back to work, and Brooklyn has no school. Which means, I needed to adjust my schedule, take her in to the office with me, work from home, catch up in the evenings, etc. Nothing unmanageable. Just a bit of juggling. And only until Thursday when she starts back.

But then our sweet boy came down with a fever Sunday and stayed home from school yesterday. Which left me home with both kids- one who was less than 80% and needed snuggles (but not all the time), pillows (but only a certain number and shape), entertainment (but not too much entertainment), and food (but only at times when no one else was eating), and a girl who, to put it bluntly, was just pissed that her little brother got sick and

So, I had to snap into action.

And go ahead and call the work day a wash and put in for sick leave.

I had no one to call on but Pinterest and myself. And a closet full of toys and activities that the kids hadn't seen since the last major holiday.

We did handwriting activities with dry erase boards.

While wearing a pirate costume.

We made apple slices with cinnamon in the oven. (Because when else but a sick day would you be home for 2 hours to let them bake at 275 degrees?)

And we made homemade finger paints...

And, while they did that, I cleaned out the cabinet under the sink.

There was stamping and sticker-ing.

And magic eraser-ing.

And then grocery list making when I ran out of magic eraser.

We cleaned out the laundry "room" (me), ordered Chinese take out (Brooklyn), dyed hair (me), ate lunch naked in the bed (Jake), and played in the whirlpool tub.

And then it was 11:30am, and I was running out of steam.

So, I pulled out the iPad for Jake and then I was able to answer a few work emails.

And laid in bed with the kids and organized my Pinterest boards.

Cause, you know, it had been a while.

And then Brooklyn was bored again, so I went to said boards and found a recipe for a peanut butter chocolate smoothie that was the answer to my Cookout prayer.


Jake started to rally, so I invited my parents over for dinner...cause somewhere in the day I made a meatloaf, too.

While we waited for the reserves to show up, we played "baby" in the playroom.

And I guess got dressed sometime around then, too.

Sadly, Jake started feeling bad again around dinner time and took a turn.

So, we are home again today.

Another day of cursing and blessing Pinterest in the same breath.

And snuggling one and entertaining another....though not at the same time. And not who you would think.

And reminding myself that all is well and all will be well.

And assuring Brooklyn that I will make this up to her and we will have a "FUN" teacher workday another day soon.

But first, I need to go enter another day of sick leave in the system at work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eat this, Not that (The Jaclyn Edition)

I get lots of questions about my weight loss...mostly, "What do you do?" When I respond, "Diet and Exercise" a lot of times I get a good "Oh." I think sometimes people really do think that there is a miracle solution that is quick and easy.

But unfortunately, until I find that quick and easy miracle, it's Diet and Exercise for me. All day. Every day.

I've done a good deal of journaling about my exercise.

Now, it's time to talk food.

It's a never-ending battle journey with food for me. And I am prepared to deal with this for the rest of my life.

And because I know this, I try fun and exciting ways to still have "treats" in my life.

I feel guilty when people see me out in public and I'm eating ColdStone ice cream or a juicy burger.

But many don't know the "back story" when they see me out eating those things. There was most likely lots of juggling of calories (light lunch, basically eating like a rabbit with fruits and veggies), lots of sweating at training or Zumba, and yes, I will probably be going over calories for the day.

But that's ok. Because I'm human. And it's OK.

It's O.    K.

So, here are some "tricks" to help you cut some calories, but still maintain some sort of normalcy. I am in no way a dietician, a trainer, or an expert on any of this.

But I am a full time working mother of two who has to do what she can the best she can. I don't have time to make pasta out of a spaghetti squash, and I really think my kids will tell the difference between potatoes and cauliflower. So, I have to work with what I've got for right now. And maybe in the future we will try new things. [And my trainer is out of town this week. Otherwise, I bet he would kill me for what I am gonna tell y'all.]

So, let's get started.

What Southerner doesn't love this?

Love me some chicken and biscuits. And dirty rice. And seasoned fries.

But a two piece meal at Bojangles with seasoned fries and a biscuit is about 1006 calories.

But, here's an alternative for you.

Remember my crock pot? Though it does hibernate in the summer, I do pull it out every now and then and cook up some chicken legs in the summer time.

Pinterest has some great recipes and here is an easy one.
Beer Crockpot Chicken - Can be made from frozen chicken breasts or bone-in pieces...RAVES as the best crockpot chicken ever!!

By making our own chicken legs at home, two-three chicken legs in the slow cooker is about 225 calories. Then, we swing by Bojangles on the way home from church and pick up individual sides of dirty rice (165 calories) and green beans (35 calories). [Sorry, no biscuit, but I usually get one for the kids and take a small bite before handing it over.]

Now, that new meal is around 400 calories (425 with your biscuit bite). Saving you over 600 calories.

See? It's fun, right?

Next up.

Coming home from the beach, there is a Hardees on every corner and if you end up like us, you miss the last busy restaurant stop and end up ONLY seeing Hardees to stop for lunch and a potty break.

The best advice I can offer you here?

Order the turkey burger (460 calories) and a side salad (120 calories no dressing). This meal is only 580 calories as opposed to a Bourbon burger, fries, and a coke which is 1600 calories. And just don't taste your husband's real burger and the turkey burger isn't all that bad.

Ok....moving right along to the question of "How can I eat what I REALLY want to eat?"

I love Moe's. And I really don't want a naked burrito. I want the real deal. A real burrito.

So, I get one.
But, did you know that by simply ordering the Joey Jr. with chicken, lettuce, and rice and no sour cream or guacamole (460 calories) instead of the full-sized Joey (about 700 calories for the same ingredients), you save about 240 calories? [Don't add the cheese either (you can't really taste it anyway) and you can save another 70 calories.]

And try to portion out your chips. But I know that's hard.

I LOVE chips.

But, I'm not eating these chips...

My absolute favorite snack are these chips...
And this salsa...
16 chips and 2 tablespoons of salsa is 180 calories. And it's delish.

Ok...on to my nemesis. My kryptonite.

Cookout Milkshakes.

We just have to stay away. Far far away.

But this week, we pulled out my Magic Bullet and made fruit smoothies.

Definitely a MUCH better choice.

Especially when you look up an Oreo milkshake and see that a 20 ounce milkshake is about 1200 calories. Because each Oreo they put in it is 53 calories. EACH Oreo.

So, fruit it is!

Finally, it's all about the drinks for me.

For me, my general rule is "I want to chew my calories when it comes to meals, so when it comes to beverages, no calories."

So, when I started this weight loss journey....seriously started....I gave up all calorie-filled drinks.

No soda.
No juice.
No alcohol.

Pretty much ever.

I don't do well with drinking milk, but I do make sure I eat a yogurt every day to get my calcium.

And it's a lot...A LOT...of water.

Hopefully this helps you out in helping you make smarter choices when it comes to meals.

Truly the best thing you can do is pack your lunches for work and cook dinner at home. Avoid the "inner aisles" at the grocery store, stick to the outer aisles, and really work that produce section well. [A smart man once told me that the sooner something goes bad, the better it is for you.]

Keep track of your calories if you can. With my current weight and my goals, I have to stay around 1200 calories for the day. I love My Fitness Pal and it's a great tool to keep with me at all times and keep me in check throughout the day.

I'll share some of my tips and tricks with MFP soon. But if you have a smart phone and can download the app today, do it now. Don't wait. I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2011 Family Album...though you already know what's in it.

I'll say it again and again...thank goodness for this Blog! Without it, dates and details would be forever lost!

Last night, I finished our 2011 Family Album on Shutterfly. Thanks to a 30% off coupon and for 3 years of buying Pampers and getting enough Gifts to Grow points, a $175 95 page hardback book only cost me $54 with free shipping (Code: Ship30).

I hated making the switch to a digital scrapbook, but I have to tell you I loved the 2010 one I made, and though this one took me 11 months, I feel certain I would still be sitting chest-deep in late 2010 pictures had I stayed with pen and (scrap) paper.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Way Back When-esday: Toes in the sand

Last week was full of so many deja vu moments as we watched Baby Claire experience the beach for the first time.

I was reminded of a beach trip about 8 years ago when my first baby placed her toes in the sand at almost 5 months old...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 5, 2013

Did you know the beach is also a great place for some snuggling?

In addition to all the great OUTSIDE memories, we made a lot of indoor ones too this past week at the beach. We are quite the snuggly crew.


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