Friday, June 29, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge

I am embarrassed but I didn't take a single picture of our trip.  I was just so damn busy!

At any rate, here is a post about how our weekend went at Great Wolf Lodge.  It's an indoor water park located about 90 minutes from Portland.

I had an extensive packing list done beforehand in case I missed something essential, you know, like my swimsuit.  We were all packed by 10:00 Saturday morning and ready to head out the door.  After a quick pit stop at Fred Meyer for coffee, money and a car toy for Jack, we were on the road.

Jack must have been super tired because he fell asleep in the car on the way up as did Cal.  We hadn't told Jack where we were going other than "it's a surprise" so he really had no idea what was in store.  We made it to Longview where it was time to stop for lunch.  I had pre-packed Jack a lunch and I am glad I did because being that we stopped at McDonald's, there was nothing he could eat.  He is not a fan of fast food (thank God!).  Jack woke up as we pulled into the parking lot and noticed the play structure.  Game over!

We sat down to eat outside while Jack munched on his sandwich and fruit.  After hastily finishing half a sandwich, he announced "all done" and scrambled over to the structure.  Surprised the hell out of me but he climbed up the ladder like no one's business and played with the other kids.  Cal was a perfect angel and allowed Jason and I to eat.  I think Jack probably thought the play structure was the highlight of his day but boy was he in for a surprise!

After loading up and heading out, we drove another 40 minutes and made it to Great Wolf.  Jack still didn't know what was up but as we got to the front door, there were huge carved wooden wolves at the front.  He was mesmerized.  As we were checking in, I think he caught a glimpse of the pool in the background.  Our room was ready (surprisingly!) so we trekked up the elevator to the 7th floor and went into our room.

We had booked a suite so my sister and her boyfriend could join us for the weekend.  The rooms were very nice.  There was a main bedroom with a king sized bed and its own bathroom for Carrie and Grant.  Jason and the kiddos and I had the living area with two queen beds and our own bathroom.  In addition, there was a couch, tv and a table and chairs.  Jack chose "his bed" and we settled in for a few minutes before heading to the pool.

Out of the blue while we were waiting, Jack announced "Go swimming".  Of course, when he says it, it comes out as "Go peeming".  That kid is too smart for his own good.  I have no idea how he knew we were going swimming.  Our room overlooked the outside of the water park and you could see the water slides so Jason lifted Jack up so he could see.  Boy did he get excited!

Carrie and Grant arrived and after a quick change for all of us, we made the pilgrimage down to the pool.  I wish I had taken a picture of just how excited Jack got when he saw all the excitement.

The water park is very warm so it was comfortable walking around in your bathing attire.  Cal didn't even wear a top and he was plenty warm.

Jack splashed and played in the children's section for quite a long time.  He had such a blast going down the kiddie slides and getting wet.  He normally doesn't like getting his hair wet in the tub so seeing him getting drenched was funny.  He would act surprised and then just keep going.  At one point, he and Grant were playing under the big bucket (it periodically dumped 1000 gallons of water) and he got nailed.  He just shook it off and kept climbing the structures.

It was fun watching him play with the water spouts and try and stop the water from flowing.  He would run to each spout and play with it and then move on to another.  I will probably say this more than once but Jack is fearless.  He climbs, runs and plays on anything without fear or hesitation.  He so badly wanted to go on the "big water slide" but in order to do so, he had to go alone and I didn't think he would be able to handle a huge water slide without riding on my lap.

After a couple of hours at the park, we hoofed it back to our room to change for dinner.  We ate at one of the restaurants in the lodge and it was pretty good!  Cal slept the whole time (angel baby) and Jack was very good.  They give the kids a pair of wolf ears to wear and Jack thought those were pretty good.  After an active day, Jack wolfed down (pun intended) his macaroni and cheese and applesauce.  We have been hesitant to take him out to dinner lately because he's so busy and just doesn't want to sit still.  He surprised us and did a really great job.

Jack had one tantrum after dinner (he was wayyyyyy overtired) in the arcade.  He was running around and trying to play with all the machines and Jason was having a hard time getting him to listen.  Jason brought him back up to the room basically kicking and screaming.  I could hear him all the way down the hall.  We snuggled for a bit, watched a movie on the laptop and got into jammies.

Instead of having Jack sleep in one bed, we decided that I would sleep in bed with the boys and Jason would take the other bed.  This worked out really well and after about an hour, Jack went to sleep. I think he was still so excited because he kept chattering at me trying to stay awake.  We were watching the National Geographic Channel and I finally had to turn it off and shut off the light because he was narrating the whole thing and it was keeping Cal awake as well.

We slept, although I didn't sleep well due to two babies in bed with me, and in the morning Jack wanted to immediately go to the water park.  We had to eat breakfast though and again, he was so good.  It was a buffet breakfast and there was enough to choose from that even picky eater Jack had plenty to choose from.

We played in the water park and I was able to hand off Cal to my sister so Jason and I could go on a slide. Let me just say that I am such a weinie and DID NOT LIKE the water slide I went on.  You sat in an inner tube and because I was facing backwards, I got nauseous.  I have such a weak stomach and get sick on amusement park rides so this was no surprise.  I remember screaming to Jason "I am going to kill you when we get to the bottom!" but I was so dizzy that I didn't have any energy to kill him.

We played until lunch time and then Jack threw another temper tantrum (likely hunger related) because he didn't want to leave.  After a frazzled time of changing him, Jason emerged from the locker room slightly shell-shocked and deemed no more water parks until Jack was older.  I guess he had a hard time wrangling a crying, kicking, hungry, upset boy.  I got the easy baby to change, ha!

We hit the road and Jack finally calmed down.  After a pit stop at Dairy Queen where Jack ate his lunch like an angel, both boys fell asleep and didn't make a peep the entire way home.

I would say all in all it was a successful weekend!  Much fun was had by all.

Monday, June 25, 2012


It's a randomness type of day.

* The tickers on my blog are off.  Cal is much older than 1 month!

* I am still trying to post about our trip to Great Wolf Lodge.  I am slacking on the blog posts lately, sorry.

* I weighed in yesterday even though I didn't want to.  I was up a tiny bit from my last weigh in.  Which is okay considering I haven't tracked in like three weeks.  I am back on track with tracking (ha!) and hope to see a loss last week.

* Cal has thrush again.  I originally thought it was Hand Foot and Mouth because he had some blisters on his lower leg and when I checked in his mouth, he had white patches.  I ruled out thrush because it wasn't on his tongue.  But it is thrush according to his pediatrician and she knows best.  So now he has an awesome purple mouth due to the Gentian violet.

* I hurt my neck and have been having headaches a lot more lately so I have been seeing a chiropractor for a couple of visits.  Boy, she is good!  She fixes me up after just one visit and I am not scoffing at the 30 minute neck and shoulder massage either!

* I am in the process of reading Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber in preparation of getting Cal sleep "trained".  I hate calling it that but really it is the steps to get your child to learn how to fall asleep and go back to sleep.  Needless to say, I am tired, which is why we are going to start this when Cal is so young.

* Cal has been loving food lately!  He gets a grain serving and a fruit or veggie serving daily.  We just started giving him actual pieces of food too.  I gave him a hunk of banana and he went to town on it.  He had a hard time picking it up and getting it into his mouth but I helped.  After he gummed it to death I mashed it up and fed it to him.  HE LOVED IT!  He couldn't eat it fast enough.  I tried the same with avocado yesterday but he didn't love the avocado.  I plan on giving him a hunk of sweet potato soon too.  This boy definitely loves to eat.  He is still drinking about the same amount of milk too.  Growing boy!

* I can't remember if I posted about this or not, but our freezer door in the shed came open a few weeks ago.  This resulted in me having to throw out 500 ounces of thawed breastmilk.  I could have wept as I was throwing it away.  I am happy to say that I am almost back to 500 ounces.  I have about 50 ounces to go.  I actually would have more but I donated 100 ounces last week.

That's about it for now.  I swear I will get the GWL post out soon.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Silly Jack

With his huge language explosion lately, Jack is saying some of the funniest things.

Everyone is silly.  He says "Silly Mama" when I do something remotely funny to him.  Silly Daddy, Silly Jack, Silly Lisa.  The list goes on.

Last night Jack woke up when Jason went to check on him.  Somehow the kitten got in and when Jason left, Jack fussed again.  He said "Daddy, take Lisa out!".  He apparently didn't want the kitten in there while he was sleeping.

He is also starting to realize his body functions.  If he burps, he is very nonchalant about it but will say "Burp".  If he farts, he stops and says "Jack tooted".  I know I shouldn't laugh but fart jokes will always be funny to me.  Even more when it's your own kiddo.

Another thing that he does is when he is trying to emphasize something or is intent on getting something.  If he thinks you aren't listening enough, he will get right up in your face, like an inch away, and ask for something.  Usually it's "Momma, Buzz tease (please)".  Toy Story is his favorite movie hence the Buzz.

However, the absolute most hilarious moment was when Jason was changing his diaper the other day.  His penis was do you say?  Half mast.  The diaper came off and Jack said "Penis, tada!".  Jason died laughing and had to come tell me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Normally I reach for an already prepared food when I am in the mood for a snack:  Greek yogurt, string cheese, baked chips, a Fiber One bar or fruit.

I have been on the hunt for some different kind of snacks that I can eat that don't take a lot of time to prepare.  I keep hearing about kale chips so I made some.

Oh my gosh you guys, have you ever had kale chips?  No?  Well run!  Go buy some kale and make them NOW!  They are amazing!

Super duper easy to make (win!) and taste yummy (double win!).  I don't want to say that these are going to replace your potato chip cravings but they come awfully close.

Here is how I prepared my chips:

1. Wash and dry your kale.
2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
3. Tear the kale into bite sized pieces and place on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Lightly spray the kale with the olive oil spray (key word:  LIGHTLY).
5. Sprinkle seasoning on the kale.  Any combination of spices you want will work here.  I used seasoned salt and it was divine.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until they start turning crispy.

It's amazing how a vegetable that is like a lettuce turns into a crispy yummy snack!

The kale all ready to be baked:

Mmmm, my bowl of kale chips:

These are super addicting.  I will admit though that the first one I tried I wasn't immediately sold.  It took the second and third bite to realize that these are GOOD!

The other snack I made was Roasted Chickpeas.  

I don't care for chickpeas in their virgin form.  If they are in soup, chili or another recipe, I am fine with them, so this snack was definitely going outside of my comfort zone.

I don't have a picture of how the chickpeas looked when they were done but mine turned out exactly like the picture shows in the recipe.

I do have some hints though:  Bake the chickpeas for the longer length in the recipe.  Mine weren't done even though my oven runs hot.  I needed to bake them longer.  Lesson learned.  Also, if you aren't a fan of Indian spices, you could use any combination of spices that you prefer.  Garlic and salt would be yummy, as would cayenne, cumin and chili powder for a Mexican flavor.  Also, I will definitely double this recipe for next time.  That way, I have a few servings on hand to snack on.  I will probably divide them up into individual ziploc bags as well.

I am so glad I branched out and tried new snacks.  Now that I have some new ones in my rotation, I won't be bored!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cal is 5 Months Old!

Happy 5 Months Calvin Wyatt (a couple of days late).  It's been so much fun having you in our lives.  You just might be the happiest baby ever.  The only time you cry is if you are in need of milk, a burp, or sleep.

You don't have a pediatrician appointment this month so I don't have any stats, but here are some things you are up to this month:

* You can officially roll both ways!  You have been arching and trying to roll from back to belly for quite some time but your arm always gets in the way.  We practiced last night and I let you try on your own.  Surprise!  You rolled several times and were quite proud of yourself.  So on your 4 month birthday, you rolled from belly to back.  And almost exactly a month later (5 month and 2 day birthday), you rolled from back to belly!

* You are grabbing and playing with toys with abandon.  You love putting things in your mouth so every time a toy is in reach, it goes straight in. It's fun watching you playing in your ExerSaucer.  There is a lion and you will sit and have conversations with him. It's cute.

* We tried the Jumperoo for the first time the other day.  It took you about a day to realize that you can jump in it. Since then, you have bounced and turned in the seat and are generally a fan.

* You are solidly wearing 6 month clothing.  I actually bought some onesie extenders the other day so we can get some more use out of your 3 month onesies.  You have cute the chubby thighs so 6 month pants are a little snug but they fit length wise.

* Bath time is your absolute favorite.  You kick your little legs and squeal the whole time.  You don't even mind getting water in your face.  Since you love bath time so much, I am hoping that this weekend when we go to Great Wolf Lodge, you will have a good time in the pool.  It's warm so it should be like having a big bath tub!

* Your favorite person just might be your big brother Jack.  You smile at him regardless of what he is doing. You love sitting on the couch with him and watching Mickey.  You kick your legs at him and giggle when he talks to you.  It's so sweet to see the interaction between you two.

* Food is your FAVORITE.  We have been feeding you brown rice cereal and oatmeal for about a month.  Besides that, you are making your way through purees.  You have tried the following:  sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, carrots, bananas, pears, and prune juice (due to a little constipation issue).  Your fave ones are the carrots and bananas so far.  I love watching you eat.  You are like a little baby bird.

* I didn't see it in person but the word is that you are trying to scoot.  Nana had you on a blanket at her house the other day and you were working your knees and ended up off the blanket.  Jack was about 7.5 months old when he started crawling well.  I wonder if you are going to be ahead of him?

* Nighttime sleep is still an issue but you nap pretty well.  Typically you will take one long nap and two shorter naps during the week. Daddy does a good job at getting you to sleep.

We love you little buddy.  I can't wait to see how much you have grown next month at your appointment!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Happy Tuesday!

* I am very tired today.  More than normal.  I am not sure if it's the weather or the fact that Cal hasn't been sleeping all that great.

* Speaking of Cal and sleep, Jason and I made an agreement that if he isn't sleeping better by 6 months, we are going to start sleep training.  I was so against doing this with Jack but after we finally did it, I wish we had done it sooner.  We need to do something with Cal because him waking up every 2 hours at night still isn't healthy for him.  He needs better sleep.  I have a program in mind, I just need to read the book.  The dreaded Ferber method, dun dun dunnnnnn!  

* Want to hear something completely tragic?  I went out to our freezer in our shed the other day to put a bag of frozen breastmilk in.  Guess what?  The door had come open and all my frozen milk had thawed.  I had to throw out 500 ounces of frozen breastmilk.  Trust me when I say I wanted to cry.

* I ordered Cal a Baltic Amber teething necklace.  Bunk?  Maybe, but if it helps him, great.  He's been miserable and drooly.  A lady at my Weight Watchers meeting had her little boy there and he was wearing one.  After talking to her about it, I was convinced.  We shall see.

* I am back on the tracking wagon for Weight Watchers.  After my weigh-in I realized that I need to be more diligent and track and not allow myself any "cheats".  Meaning, I can't take a Saturday off and eat what I want without tracking because I overeat.  Duh, this is why I am fat!

* I am on call this week for work.  Which means I can't do anything this weekend because if I get paged, I need to respond and fix the issue.  I can leave the house but I would have to take my work laptop with me and what fun is that?

* I am getting excited for summer and all the farmer's markets we have in the area.  I took Jack to one last year and it was amazing!  Heirloom tomatoes, fresh blueberries, flowers and homemade breads.  I want to stock up on tomatoes since they are my favorite food and I can honestly make a whole meal out of them.

That's about it for now. I am working on a snack and a Week's Worth of Dinner post for the week.  I am going out of my comfort zone in terms of snacks so check that out when I post it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weight Loss Check In

Well this week was kind of a draw.  Not tracking over Memorial Day weekend caught up with me.  I didn't gain, but I didn't lose either.

I am exactly the same.

My goal for this week?  Track EVERYTHING.  If it goes in my mouth, it's getting tracked.  I will have a loss next Sunday for weigh-in.  Even if it's .2 pounds down.

A Week's Worth of Dinners

Weight loss style!

This post is longer because I am combining two weeks worth.

I want to preface this by saying that finding Weight Watchers friendly meals is very easy.  "Dieting" does not need to taste gross or be boring.  I think you will agree after reading this post that the food I am cooking does not look like diet food.

On Monday, I made a new (for us) recipe from one of my favorite new blogs:

Gina has the most yummy recipes on here and I have several of them pinned for future reference.

I made the Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole and it was mighty tasty!  The only change I would make would be to not bake it as long as I did.  My oven runs hot and so the casserole itself dried out a little.  Even so, it was still yummy.  Even Jason said "This is good!  This is one of your healthy recipes right?".

This did take quite a bit of time to assemble and prep but I tried to have the ingredients ready to go ahead of time.  I pre-shredded the cheese, chopped up the shallot, measured out the chicken stock and milk and filled the pasta pot with water.  That way, all I had to do was dump and cook.

The serving size was large and I felt satisfied with my portion.  I made sure and paired this with a salad, a glass of milk and an additional veggie so I was full after dinner.

Tuesday night I made one of my favorite light macaroni and cheese recipes.  Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese.  Yum!  I like that it has the addition of tomatoes in it.  I splurged and ate a hot dog because to me, macaroni and cheese isn't the same without a hot dog.  I might be five years old.

Jack and Jason both approve of this meal so I will be making it again.  It used to be one that I would make often while on Weight Watchers before.  It has a relatively low Points Plus value for a good serving size.  It is also super quick to make which is a huge plus for me.

On Wednesday night, I made another of our favorites:  Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs. This is a famous recipe from Cooking Light and you will NOT be disappointed.  Not only is it very easy to throw together, but it's amazingly delicious.

The first time I made this, I thought it was strange that the chicken only cooked for 12 minutes, and under the broiler at that!  Trust me, your thighs will be cooked through in only 12 minutes.

If you are not a fan of chicken thighs, I imagine this recipe would work with chicken breasts.  You would have to oven bake them however rather than cook them under the broiler.

Thursday night was a repeat recipe:  Chicken Taco Chili.  It was just as good this time as the last.  And I got smart and froze half of it so we could eat it again another time (probably next week).  And not to brag, but look at this meal:

That's a lot of food right?  Well, it was only 12 Points Plus total.  5 for the chili, 4 for the corn muffin, 3 for the milk.  The salad and peaches are Free.  I was mighty full after this.  Oh, and do you like my kid in the background eating?  And the random crackers on the coffee table?  Not sure why those were there.

On Tuesday night after Memorial Day, I made Salsa Chicken.  I love this recipe because you can throw the chicken breasts in the crockpot still frozen and end up with perfectly cooked chicken later.  I took the time to shred the chicken this time rather than keep the breasts whole. I am glad I did because I liked the recipe better this way.

We serve this over rice but I suppose you could eat it over noodles or even use it as a filling for a burrito.  I add a little extra salsa on the top for some extra kick.

Wednesday was Linguini Shrimp Fra Diavolo.  New recipe for us and it was good!  Random grocery thought:  The shrimp we got was only $1!  Due to the grocery store doing a closeout on frozen shrimp, I picked up two pounds for a buck.  So this meal was definitely budget friendly.  Otherwise, that much shrimp generally costs $12.

We like spicy food in our family (even Jack likes spicy) so I added a bit extra of the red pepper flakes.  This was extremely flavorful and had the perfect amount of zip.  We have quite a bit of leftovers which is great.  I love leftovers because let's face it, I am lazy and don't like to have to make lunch.  I can just reheat something from the night before.

Look at the size of those shrimp!  I splurged and had a tiny piece of bread with my dinner.  I am of the mind that bread is required with pasta which makes no sense because they are both carbs.

Thursday night was a recipe that wasn't light or Weight Watchers inspired.  I had all the ingredients and wanted to use them up so I made Lasagna Biscuit Cups.  Look at how cute these little guys are!

I kind of messed up though.  I bought Grands biscuits which are much larger than standard biscuits.  As a result, I wasn't able to layer the ingredients.  I only made one layer but these were still yummy!  I ate one and stayed within my Points values.  Next time, I will make sure to use the standard biscuits.  I love how these can bake in a muffin tin.  If Jack had enjoyed them, I would freeze the rest of them for quick dinners but alas, he didn't care for them.  Darn picky toddler!

I am excited about our menu for the next couple of weeks.  I already have the grocery list written out and will be making the following meals:

Lighter Baked Macaroni and Cheese (with hot dogs for the boys)
Stuffed Pepper Soup
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Petite Turkey Meatloaves
Baked Chicken with sides
Enchilada Casserole
Chicken Taco Chili (from the freezer)
Spaghetti with Turkey Italian Sausages

Look for a snack post coming up.  I have made a couple of fun and yummy snacks lately.