Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sweet Tooth Sunday

This week on STS, an impossible to beat treat.

A favorite of mine, discovered during my last pregnancy. It had been many months since I'd indulged, but the heavenly bliss is back.

I'll admit, I've gone with one of the simplest treats of all, because I'm much more worn out than I should be from yesterday's race.

Who knew a sunburn would ramp up exhaustion? Blech. Live and learn.

So follow along closely, and hopefully you won't get lost.


Haagen-Dazs Peach Sorbet
(Or I suppose you could go with whatever your favorite flavor is. Pick your Poison.)

A spoon

Remove lid.
Insert Spoon.


As much.

as. you.

(by the way, it's really hard to take picture of yourself eating when using a big camera)

God Bless Haagen-Dazs.

Spot Rides Again - Triathlon #2

Spot? Who's Spot?

That would be me.

Those of you who took my FB quiz know that my nickname used to be spot. This is why. And thanks to my last battle with Strep, I am scarred with spots.
(I can't believe I actually am showing you all my thigh.)
It's everywhere. (the spotting, not my thigh) Lovely, isn't it?

Back to the point-I did not drown in the big red triangle! Yay for not drowning!
Honestly, after the churning mass of chaos that was the swim start and about halfway out to the big buoy I had a panic attack and was certain I was going to die. It's really motivating to keep swimming when you know you HAVE to keep swimming. I much prefer the pool swim-if nothing else you get a heck of a lot less water in your mouth! Longest 750 meters of my life. It is painfully obvious that swimming is my really weak leg. But I must sing the praises of a wetsuit-that sucker was so buoyant! It really made a huge difference for me.

Otherwise it went well, despite my chain slipping off my bike again. What is with that?! At least this happened at the top of a big hill instead of the bottom like last time.
I met all of the goals I had for this tri-not walking any of the run, not drowning, and even feel good about my time.

Oh-and it was one of the prettiest rides I've been on! It was really fun to ride through the winding roads up in the mountain towns, through pastures, past streams and was beautiful. The weather was perfect. It was such a great day!

I was hoping to be under 1:45, since my first tri was 1:44:48, but with a much longer swim and a longer bike, I didn't know how close I'd come. Thanks to the run being shortened (gotta love torrential rainfall washing out trails), I made my 1:45! I crossed the line at 1:45:04.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Granted, I got totally schooled by most of the people there, and of course by MaryAnne
(Hello?! Look at her-she is awesome!) who blew in at 1:35, but I'm very happy with my time! It almost makes me want to sign up for the other Jordanelle Tri in August to see how much I could improve on it. We'll see.

Aaron did awesome as well-not as well as he wanted I think, but considering all of the respiratory problems he's had in the past few months, he was amazing! Most importantly he had a good time, and I think I *might* be able to talk him into one in July now. Maybe.

Not nearly as many pics this time since Aaron was racing and not playing my personal photographer, but that's fine by me! I'm trying to be like Ashley and learn to take good personal pics at arm's length. I'm improving, don't you think?

I know there are some of you who have debated doing this-it's daunting before you do it but it is so fun! There is a mini-sprint tri on Aug 1st (250m swim, 5.5mi bike, 1.5mi run), it would be a really fun one to start with, so come and do it with us!

I'm very glad I let my husband drag me into this. I love it!
Plus, where else can you look like this and totally fit in? Absolutely no where.

Friday, June 26, 2009

72 Hrs

Wait, haven't I done this post before?

Yep, oddly similar, entirely different. Figure that one out.

Last time it was 72hrs before Triathlon. Hopefully 24hrs from right now I will be finishing Tri #2.

Last time it was a post about jitters and nerves that would continue for 3 more days. This time, no jitters. As long as I don't drown somewhere in this big red triangle here,
it's all good. The open water swim is a little daunting, but hubby has enough nerves going on for the both of us so I'm relieved of the duty of being nervous.

This time, you get a recap of the last 72hrs.


Three days ago: Crushed big toe, enough to lose half of my toe nail. So comfortable! Especially when running! With any luck it will just go numb by tonight. (and don't worry, a fresh coat of polish had made the rest of my toenails all sorts of happy)

Two days ago: Smashed my ankle, resulting in a lovely purpley-black hue. Yay me! Tenderness is wearing off-thank goodness!

Yesterday: Mosquito bites. Really, these are just annoying, and when I get them I swell up like someone is inflating a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon under my skin, but I can ignore that. Except when I wake up to find that there is one on my eyelid and a glance in the mirror reveals this:
Ok, thankfully that's not me, and it's a slight exaggeration. But doesn't he have nice teeth for a fighter? The good news is that I can see, and the swelling usually only lasts about 12-24hrs, so it should be gone before too long.

I haven't been hit by a bus or anything today, I'll keep my fingers crossed that my luck and enough coordination to survive 24hrs continues. We'll call today's issue the fact that part of the run course and "a key bridge" were washed out due to flooding and they've had to "make a minor adjustment" to the run course. Ah, good times!

So as long as the garbage I feel coming on can be attributed to allergies, I am rarin' to go tomorrow! Bring it on!

(Don't you wish you had my luck?)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A drawer holds so much more than just "stuff"

I was going to title this post "What's in My Drawers?", but I just knew that someone would take that and twist it. Maybe more than one someone.

Moving on!

One of my current undertakings is to clean out the closet in the office. It's really become the catch-all. Kid's things, craft things, electronic and photography things, fabric, name it and odds are you'll find it, or something close to it.

Hmmm.....big cleaning needed for a catch-all hot spot in my house....kind of a running theme.

I have this set of stacking drawer that holds a lot of these little odds and ends. I decided it was finally time to get it organized yesterday. I knew that it had a bunch of baby things in it, along with various craft and sewing things, and knew that they needed to be cleaned out and put in their appropriate places.

Out of four "craft" drawers, only two actually had craft things in them.

One drawer was filled with little baby boy hats, bibs, washcloths and towels, socks and even two cute little pairs of shoes. These are the remnants that missed that initial packing away of baby boy things when Lincoln outgrew that first tub of clothes. Hard to believe that my little tank was too small for many of these things just two short years ago.

It always seems to go that way, doesn't it?

That fourth drawer was where I had placed other kid things, some paper work from dr appointments and such. I was amazed at just how much was in that one little drawer, and the throwback to days gone by that I experienced as I emptied it out.

First, I was surprised at just how many baby grooming items were in there.

Obviously we've had plenty over the years, I guess with this many kids you end up with leftovers. Those little saline tubes were from the last time a baby was hospitalized. Uh, that was over 4yrs ago. It's been too long since I've gone through these things.

This was from that same hospitalization. Not sure why we have this. It was probably kept in anticipation of further oxygen treatment at home that thankfully wasn't needed. It makes my heart hurt to see oxygen masks this tiny.

This is a stack of papers from well child check-ups. From back in the day where everything was handwritten (gosh are my kids that old??), to the new ones that are printed out with their growth mapped right on the curve.

Newborn screening sheets from hospital discharges, a few of the bracelets and bassinet tags from when babies were born.

My health records from my last pregnancy. I like to look back and see how things progressed (and just how much weight did I gain?). This was also a tear jerker for me.

See the corner there?
I still really miss my doctor. He passed away when I was 32wks pregnant last year. He was someone I adored and admired, and was a very good friend to Aaron and I. I remember it being hard to see his signature crossed out from my chart and replaced with my new doctor's signature. It still brings a lump to my throat to see that.

On a happier note, keepsake books from each of my pregnancies to track all my info, appointments and progress. Yep, I have had that many babies.

In the back of a couple of those books are ultrasound pics. I love ultrasound pics. There's something magical about seeing those perfectly formed little hands and feet when a baby is only a matter of inches long and ounces heavy.

This represents one of the most stressful purchases I've ever made. For some reason during my 2nd pregnancy I had a little meltdown near the end of the first trimester and was sure something bad was going to happen (as opposed to my second meltdown during that pregnancy after we had our first u/s and learned of other issues). I NEEDED to hear that little heartbeat so I was thrilled to come across this little contraption. This of course was before the days of doppler rental (which I love by the way!!!). This represents the worst $20 ever spent. This sucker won't even pick up a heartbeat when I'm 9 months pregnant. My attempt to relieve stress only created more. Why do I still have it? Your guess is as good as mine.

The original child leash. I really am not a fan of cartoony characters all over stuff. Especially Looney Toons. No offense to anyone who likes them, I just don't. So to have that all over this thing was traumatic for me. And let's be honest, I was one of those uppity first time moms who balked at those horrible parents who put their kid on a leash like an animal. I would never do anything so horrible to my children! Uh, yah. Live and learn. Anyone who I judged all those years ago, I apologize. Turns out I have freakishly active kids who love to explore. This thing saved my sanity for the year or so that I used it. But thank heavens for the newer version that looks like a cute monkey backpack. So much nicer.

A blue elephant hand puppet for the bath. This came with in a gift pack with a blue elephant baby towel. It also came with a stuffed blue elephant. The elephant became Bob. Bob and Dallin were inseparable until a little over a year ago. In bed, in the car, at the store, even camping.

Anywhere Dallin went, Bob went. The trunk would be grasped in his hand while he sucked his thumb, his finger hooked on his nose.
I hated Bob some days (like when it was bedtime and we couldn't find him), but mostly I loved Bob. I love that we have pictures of Dallin and Bob.

These are notes from a little scavenger hunt we sent the kids on to reveal the gender of baby number 6. At the end there was a little wrapped up outfit. It was green. you had to look closely to see that it was for a boy. When Malia figured it out, she threw it down. She was NOT happy! ha! Best home video footage ever!

And last but not least, a comic I cut years ago. I knew one day this would apply to me so I wanted this reminder in case I ever forgot what I needed to not forget.

I think I'll go play catch with my kids now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making a Happy Home Monday, er, um, Tuesday

All right, so it doesn't quite have the same ring to it to say "Making a Happy Home Tuesday", but hey, better late than never right?

Since yesterday consisted of 11 children most of the day (topping out at 13, bottoming out at 9 shortly before my lovely Hubby came home), getting anything too life-changing done just wasn't happening. But I did get the living room, dining room and kitchen clean and upstairs vacuumed plus 3 loads of laundry done, so it wasn't a total bomb.

On to today!

Two poor windows have been sitting naked for entirely too long.

The office, which used to be the girls bedroom has been naked since the girls took their very pink decor downstairs.


No longer naked! A lovely deep brown silk harlequin fabric, that you can't really see. Oh well.
(sorry, crappy point and shoot pics again-still haven't charged the battery for the real camera)

One day I'll actually finish this room. It may not be for another five years, but at least we're heading that direction.

The other is in my big boys' room downstairs. The older two lost their valance in an unfortunate accident where the curtain rod became a weapon of some sort and was subsequently snapped in half.

Big shocker I know.

But since the super-cheap Walmart blinds have also been stripped of their home (due to some other act of weaponry), their window was doubly bad!

(wow-that is a bad pic. This is actually a blue plaid fabric.)
So at least now the valance is back, though the blinds I fear will not be back. Oh well. $7 for a year and a half isn't so bad. And I'd be ticked if I'd have bought the nice wood blinds like we have upstairs and they'd been broken, so even if I have to replace cheap blinds every year, it will STILL be less expensive than buying nice ones! ha.

Next week, I'm aiming for Monday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sweet Tooth Sunday

This is so becoming one of my favorite things of the week.

'Cause anyone who knows me knows that baking is like therapy, and sugar just makes it twice as effective. STS makes me one happy girl.

This week, prepare to be amazed.
Ok, maybe not amazed.
Well, yah, amazed!

I kind of stumbled upon Panna Cotta a couple of weeks ago. Saw the term somewhere. Otherwise, I'd never heard of it. Of course my interest was piqued. So I started googling recipes and feeling it out to see which direction I wanted to take it. I made a traditional Panna Cotta, and while it was good, I didn't think it was *that* good. I knew I needed to play with the recipe some to please these taste buds.

Today, I give you the made over version. The Catey version. The "it's yummy and it's even better because it makes me think of summer and would still be unbelievably yummy in the dead of winter (and maybe even more so since thinking of summer in the winter is good)" version.

Whew. That's a lot of hype.

I give you.......Coconut Panna Cotta.
with a little twist too.
I'm a bit obsessed with coconut at this moment in life. Can you tell?

Your cast: Coconut milk, Cream, Powdered Sugar, Coconut extract, Gelatin.

Yep, this one is on the rich side!

And if you go for the twist: Pomegranate juice, boiling water, gelatin, sugar.

Let's hit the basics first.

Dissolve gelatin in 1/3 c Coconut milk, set aside. (yes, it thickens up, so don't panic if it looks like a bowl of sludge)

Pour cream and powdered sugar into saucepan.

Cook it until it's hot. This is the only tricky part here, 'cause how hot is "hot"? Don't boil it, just get it right about to simmering point, then remove from heat.

Add the gelatin/milk mixture and the coconut extract immediately, stir until all gelatin bits are dissolved and it is a smooth mixture.

Now pour it into whatever.

This time I chose these glasses, *BUT* traditionally this is done in a custard cup used as a mold. Just grease the custard cup with almond oil or melted butter before you pour in the mixture. Then after it's set, soak the bottom in hot water for a few seconds, flip it over and it slips out. (you can google panna cotta and see all the pics of what that looks like)

Now-stick those suckers in the fridge and let it set. Usually a good set time is at least 4hrs.

Try to find something to do to occupy yourself while you are waiting. In theory you could tackle that ironing that has piled up for way too long.

(I chose shoot pool and read a book instead of ironing. Maybe I'll do ironing tomorrow.)

Once that time is up, Voila!

(remember, presentation is everything, right?)

If you are going for the twist, here is one thing you can do during that wait time.
(after about an hour or two-depending on the temperature of your fridge-so that the panna cotta is set on top)
Sorry, no pics, I was a little preoccupied with anticipation of yumminess.

Boil some water, dissolve gelatin in 2oz boiling water. Once dissolved, add pomegranate juice and sugar and mix thoroughly (until all sugar is dissolved as well). That's it. Can you believe it? Sometimes the most amazing things are so simple.

(I'm so bummed that my camera battery was dying. The Pomegranate is such a gorgeous ruby red color!)
The pomegranate gelatin is on the tart side on it's own, but with the very rich coconut, it is an amazing combination!

Coconut Panna Cotta

1/3 c cocnut milk
1 pkg unflavored gelatin
2 1/2 c heavy or whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
3 tsp coconut extract

Dissolve gelatin in coconut milk, set aside. Pour cream into saucepan, add powdered sugar. Cook over low-med heat until simmering point. Remove from heat, stir in coconut extract and gelatin mixture until no bits of gelatin remain. Pour into serving glasses or into greased custard cups (if inverting for serving). Place in fridge to cool and set, at least 4 hours.

Pomegranate Gelatin

2 oz boiling water
1 pkg gelatin
8 oz pomegranate juice
1 Tbsp sugar

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in pomegranate juice and sugar until all sugar is dissolved. Pour over panna cotta (make sure it is set first!), place back in fridge to finish set.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Meet My Thighs

Or rather, the reason I have the thighs I have.

The first time I got called "Thunder Thighs" was in 8th grade. I'm just tryin' to live up to the hype.

What? You really thought I was going to show you my thighs?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Questions you don't want to know the answer to

Why is my giant silver bowl full of dog food?

Why is there almost as much dirt on the plant as there is in the pot?

Why did I have 6 extra contact lens cases in my bathroom drawer?

This has nothing to do with anything, it's just really cute puppies.


Why is there a baseball bat and the top half of a tee in my bathroom?

Why does my child think this is fulfilling the assignment "clean up the table"?

Why does the same child think that this is "load the dishwaher"?

Why is there a comb in my sink?

Are the comb, the neon plastic straw and the popsicle stick forming some powerful trifecta to represent random objects in places they don't belong?

Why do I love liquid nails so much?
(which by the way dear husband of mine, their website says: "Dependable All-Purpose Adhesives For Every Project" Thankyouverymuch)

How stinkin' cute are they?

I'll answer that one.

Cute enough to make grown men ooo and ahh and use baby talk (and try to stuff a puppy in their shirt pocket).