Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January challenge week 4 +2 days

Well I have finished this month's challenge. Even though I only ran 29 of the 31 days due to that nasty g.i. Bug 1/9 and 1/10 I feel I made good on my goal. I ended up running a total of 74 miles this month which seems crazy when I look back at where I was at last year this time. Looking ahead I would like to try and keep getting in about 20 miles a week. Due to my schedule and husband's I will likely have to keep runs shorter and utilize the good old treadmill. I've started to look at training schedules for both the 1/2 marathons and Chicago. I think I'm ready to move out of the beginner training schedule and challenge myself with not only longer distance and more mileage but a more well rounded program including nutrition and cross training.

I've been reading a runner's book of daily inspirations. Here are this month's picks that I found inspirational.

"I don't make a decision every morning. I made a decision once, long ago, to run every day. When I wake up, the decision is already made". Walt Guzzardi

When inspirations lacking I get inspiration from running.
I run, by myself or with runners. But I run. author of the book-Kevin Nelson

"My method of encouraging people to run is by running myself". Peggy Blount

"Now when I'm asked why I run, the answer come quickly. I run because through running I find answers to many of the other questions of life." John Bingham

Santa Fe Five-Bean Soup

This recipe is from Sandra Lee Semi-homeade cooking cookbook.
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained
1 can (15oz) kidney beans, drained
1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, drained
1 can (15oz) red beans, drained
1 can (15oz) navy beans, drained
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
3/4 cup chunky salsa
Dried red pepper flakes (optional)
I added1 1/2 cups cooked rice and topped with shredded Mexican cheese as garnish.

1. Purée black beans in blender.
2. In large pot stir all remaining ingredients. Stir in pureed beans. Cover and simmer until hot.
3. If you want smoother texture entire soup can be pureed, which I did leaving few whole beans in pot.

Can store in fridge up to 3 days. Freeze up to 2 months.

The kids liked it especially served with ham roll ups. I liked it but felt it was more like humus or dip once i pureed almost whole soup. I added more broth when i reheated it. Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mommy's project52: networking

I think this is something every human does no matter what age or economic status. It happens at swimming lessons where I watch my son make conversation with the girl waiting on the wall with him to see what the next swim move they will learn. It happens while I'm at swim lessons watching my son along side other mothers and fathers and as a parents you smile and make small talk. We all are networking in different ways.

Sometimes I think the word can have a negative conotation- trying to get ahead, moving your career forward by meeting and greeting. I like to think of networking as getting to know other people and how to work in different environments. It is learning from a colleague at a conference how to make your clinic run more smoothly. It is learning from another mon or dad about a special story time that is occurring at your local library this coming weekend. For a child it is learning about social awareness- "Johnny said that there is a cool computer game about math that his mom found for the Ipad". Networking isn't hard to do but you have to choose to do it. You can choose to read a book and not make small talk at swimming lessons and there is nothing wrong with this too.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Art Institute of Chicago with kids...

My sister and i had the lofty idea that we could take all four kids to the Art Institute of Chicago, dinner in Chi-town, and slumber party all rolled into a little over 24 hours.  We took the train into Union Station and preceded to walk all the way to our Hampton Inn and Suites.  The big kids did great- little kids were little kids.  My daughter a few weeks before that weekend had walked around Chicago with no problem.  This morning walk was a little different.  She had no desire to walk like the big kids.  We had only brought one stroller (for the youngest), and so We turned the single stroller into a double stroller.  It looked like a double decker bus.  We made it to the hotel- which was great!  The suite was roomie and the kitchen was really a kitchen.  It was the Hampton Inn on Illinois street.  Hot cocoa, coffee and tea ready for you at any time.  Breakfast was plentiful.  The pool was a little cool, even for my son's liking, but we did enjoy all the amenities of the hotel.  After arriving, getting some hot cocoa we made our way to the Art Institute of Chicago.  I've never been to the museum with the kids and I was looking forward to it. 

The museum was fabulous.  We saw a lot of pieces from different periods of art.  I love the Impressionist wing- it is likely my favorite, but seeing American Gothic and Night Hawks was a treat.  My son really enjoyed the museum as did my niece.  I could travel anywhere with my son.  He really takes all of it in.  He even gave us some art history ("the farmer in American Gothic isn't really a farmer he's the painter's dentist and that is his sister not the dentist's wife") and hearing him get excited and name artists (Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet, etc) when he saw pieces hanging made my heart shine.

We then hit the cold pool and warm hot tub.  Followed by a yummy very kid/adult friendly meal- Rock Bottom Brewery.  It was a great meal and yummy drinks for all. Following the dinner instead of getting dessert at the restaurant Aunt Natty splurged and let the kids pick out candy from the corner 7/11.  I think the kids thought this was one of the highlights of their trip- getting to go back to hotel and eating candy in bed and watching NFL playoff game on TV.  Maybe that was why bedtime didn't go the best for the little ones.   The trip had its moments both good and bad, but coming back home and hearing the kids tell hubby all about what they did made me think the "good" outweighed the "bad".  I can't wait to go back to the Art Institute with the kids and maybe even a solo trip sometime. 


 The Lions in front of Art Institute are a favorite of mine.

 At the top of the stairs awaiting going in the Impressionist Hall

We love our Monet

"Mom it is the one you have"- well not exactly I have a print :).

These Thorne Rooms are amazing- the detail is unbelievable.


These windows have always reminded me of "Hidden Pictures" from my Highlights Magazine I received in the mail as a kid.




cousins are special, family is special!

When we got home I asked the kids what their favorite part of the museum was- daughter thought the pictures of the naked people were hilarious, son thought the "bridge Monet" painting was tied with the "dollhouse rooms" (that is what I called the Thorne rooms- no disrespect to Mrs. Thorne), and my favorite would probably be walking in and seeing all of the people standing in front of Sunday in The Park.

I get these crazy ideas that my kiddos will appreciate every little crazy idea their mom comes up with.  As I do many times in life I have high expectations for this type of outing/experience and when all my "expectations" don't happen I get sad/disappointed/poutty- I know now who is acting 3!  I take from the weekend some great memories and these learning moments:
1. Don't make four kids under 6 years of age walk from Union Station to Hotel couple of blocks on other side of Chicago River.
2. Don't expect 3 1/2 year old to enjoy what a 6 year old enjoys
3. I have to let the "mom I want to sleep with you" or "at least sleep next to you lying on the couches cushions" happen when trying to have a slumber party in a hotel-
4. Just have fun and not have expectations!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Family of Readers


A Family of Readers
The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature
author: Roger Sutton
author : Martha Parravano

So I found this book last week at the library, and read the first 150 pages within the first day I picked it up.  It is a great book all about reading with and to your children and later on in the book letting those big kids "go" and read on their own.  I really enjoyed this book.  I don't know why, but I normally like books about reading books, especially when it comes to children's literature.  The authors of this book are editors of the Horn Book Magazine, which if you have never picked up look for it at your local library.  It is a magazine dedicated to reviewing new children's literature.  As usual I have some  favorite lines from the book which I will share below.  This book can be read in many different ways: straight through like I did, or looking at different times periods in a children's life and read about that time period or if you are into genres you could look at the book by genres.  Again great read and made me very happy.

Given the chance, kids will read the same way adults do: for themselves.

How do we give children the skills and opportunity to read?... How do we allow children mastering and ownership of their reading?

Books are currency among readers creating community.

Go to the library together allowing your children to see you lost in pursuit of your own reading pleasure is one of the best ways to send them in pursuit of their own.

Reading biographies... does provide opportunities for youngsters to discover multiple points of view about some individuals and evaluate single points of view about others.

... why do kids read biographies? Why does anyone read them? I think its because we're all trying to learn how to live our lives.  --- Russell Freedman

Rather than address what is happening in the present, I'm inclined to prepare children for the many kinds of emotional experiences before they occur.--- Maeve Visser Knoth (in regard to the topic of reading about emotional experiences: divorce, dying, losing a friend/parent, etc)

There were tons of great books listed throughout the book and of course I have a new list of "must finds" the next time I go searching for some kid's books to read. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Countdown to Oscar's

So I can't believe that almost a year ago I started this blog.  I started it on Oscar's Night 2011.  I love the Oscar's.  I love movies.  I love disappearing into another life if only for a couple of hours.  I'm getting ready for 31 days of Oscar on TCM (Turner Classic Movie- cable channel). The whole month they show movies that have been nominated or won a beloved "gold guy".  Their schedule isn't quite out yet, but the promo is great.  Go here to view their trailer for 31 days of Oscar http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/464956/31-Days-Of-Oscar-2012-Movie-Promo-.html . I'm struggling to find the list for this year's schedule, but will keep you posted once I find it.  I thought since I've been struggling with treadmill runs I should look at seeing how many "Best Picture" winners I've actually seen.  So at the end of this post will be a list of all "Best Picture" winners and a Yes/No whether I've seen it or not.  Some of the movies I feel like I've seen parts of, but not the whole thing (i.e. The Deer Hunter- just to name one). 
 
Now for the tough part: What "1" movie out of this list would I put as my all time Oscar Favorite?  This is extremely tough. 
 
And the winner is: gut reaction scrolling down the list below... Gone With the Wind
 
All time favorite seconds, thrids, etc: Out of Africa, Schindler's List, Sound of Music, Chariot's Fire, Amadeus
 
 
Year Film Yes/No 
1927/28 Wings No
1928/29 Broadway Melody No
1929/30 All Quiet on the Western Front No
1930/31 Cimarron No
1931/32 Grand Hotel No
1932/33 Cavalcade No
1934  It Happened One Night No
1935  Mutiny on the Bounty No
1936  The Great Zigfield No
1937  The Life of Emile Zola No
1938  You Can't Take it With You No
1939  Gone With the Wind Yes
1940  Rebecca Yes
1941   How Green is My Valley Yes
1942  Mrs Miniver No
1943  Casablanca Yes
1944  Going My Way Yes
1945  The Lost Weekend No
1946  The Best Year's of our Lives No
1947  Gentleman's Agreement No
1948  Hamlet No
1949  All The King's Men No
1950  All About Eve Yes
1951  An American in Paris Yes
1952  The Greatest Show on Earth Yes
1953  From Here to Eternity No
1954  On The Waterfront No
1955  Marty No
1956  Around the World in 80 Days No
1957  Bridge on the River Kwai Yes
1958  Gigi No
1959  Ben Hur Yes
1960  The Apartment No
1961  West Side Story Yes
1962   Lawrence of Arabia Yes
1963  Tom Jones No
1964  My Fair Lady Yes
1965   Sound of Music Yes
1966   A Man for All Seasons No
1967 I n the Heat of the Night Yes
1968  Oliver! Yes
1969  Midnight Cowboy No
1970   Patton No
1971  The French Connection No
1972  The Godfather Yes
1973  The Sting Yes
1974  The Godfather II Yes
1975  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest No
1976  Rocky Yes
1977  Annie Hall Yes
1978  The Deer Hunter No
1979  Kramer vs Kramer Yes
1980  Ordinary People Yes
1981  Chariot's of Fire Yes
1982  Ghandi Yes
1983  Terms of Endearment Yes
1984  Amadeus Yes
1985   Out of Africa Yes
1986  Platoon Yes
1987  The Last Emperor Yes
1988  Rain Man Yes
1989   Driving Miss Daisy Yes
1990  Dances with Wolves Yes
1991  Silence of Lambs Yes
1992  Unforgiven Yes
1993   Schindler's List Yes
1994  Forrest Gump Yes
1995  Braveheart Yes
1996  The English Patient Yes
1997  Titanic Yes
1998  Shakespeare in Love Yes
1999  American Beauty Yes
2000  Gladiator Yes
2001  A Beautiful Mind No
2002  Chicago Yes
2003  The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King No
2004  Million Dollar Baby No
2005  Crash Yes
2006  Departed Yes
2007  No Country for Old Men Yes
2008  Slumdog Millionaire No
200 9 The Hurt Locker No
2010  The King's Speech No

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January challenge week 3

18.5 miles my total for this week. I feel like I struggled this week to run for very long. The treadmill is getting monotonous for me but I still got some decent mileage in. My run outside today was refreshing the smartwool socks worked pretty well considering I hit some pretty big puddles and my feet didn't freeze despite being wet. This is the last week of the challenge and I'm not sure what my running plan will be after that. I haven't done any long runs lately and by that I mean longer than 5 miles- so long by Natalie standards. This time of year makes it hard to get these long runs in (weather, darkness and ice early am, and work schedules for me and hubby). I haven't run with my BRB in forever and miss her. I miss my Saturday am runs with the girls too. All things that I look forward to in the months to come. For now the lower, but more frequent miles will have to do.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mommy's project 52: making

I think the following is what best came to my mind when I saw this week's topic.

Making breakfast
Making lunch
Making dinner
Making a quilt
Making a bed
Making a mess
Making up
Making a "to do list"
Making a grocery list
Making a sand castle
Making a home
Making a boo boo better
Making amends
Making a tent
Making a birthday cake
Making a playlist
Making love
Making a masterpiece
Making a decision
Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Making a dream become reality
Making a life...


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

4 more to go

Just finished The Mercy Rule by Perri Klass. The book was suppose to look at a pediatrician and her work and home life. It did this, but read to me more like a combination of short stories. I at times enjoyed the stories and at others was disinterested or felt she had left information out. I would say this is my least favorite of my "marathon book" picks thus far. I'm now moving onto the big guns (meaning next 3 books are all pretty long and the fourth I picked is a new book and one library doesn't have it in yet so I'm hoping to finish reading the 3 big ones first and then it will be on the shelves). So first up The Lord's of Discipline by Pat Conroy.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mommy's project 52: playing

So I had this grand idea that I was going to wait until this weekend to do my mommy's project post on a fun/play Chicago filled weekend for the cousins but as I should know by now I need to lower my expectations.

I found play to be most genuine actually when back at the grandparent's house after our chicago trip They both were doing such simple things- Kate is cutting apart last year's valentines cards that grandma had stashed away for moments just like this. She was sharing this moment with me while I did my run on the treadmill. Mason found daddy's old matchbox cars and lined them up and played "cars" while Giants vs. Packers were on. Seeing them play so simply was beautiful.

The weekend was good, with a few moments of non-fun, but we still had fun and listening to Mason talk about art and light up seeing picasso's bedroom print, American gothic by grant wood, and Sunday in the park by seraut was like play for me. I love the Art Institute of Chicago and my "reunion" with the museum was good play for me. It reinvigorated my love and interest in art. I look forward to returning someday soon and doing the audio guide tour. Here are some pics of kids at play.
If you haven't been to Art institute ever or recently go back or go and share it with someone you love, maybe even your kids :).
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January challenge week 2

Well this week didn't quite go how I thought it would. I started getting sick Monday am at 12:30 a.m. And didn't finish until 9 a.m.and then didn't get upright until 7pm Monday. I had the worse headache of my life. Felt like my head was in a vice grip. I didn't run Monday- other than running to bathroom. Tuesday I felt like someone had hit my back with a baseball bat and spent day at home recuperating. No running Tuesday either. Wednesday I got back " on the horse" and started back up with my running. My mileage wasn't that spectacular this week but I "got it done". Some days I just went for the goal of 1 mile/day. I still felt pretty out of it most of the week and today was the first day I felt really back to normal: gi wise, cold wise and running.


I also did a little running shopping today at a running store in Geneva, IL Here is a pic of one of my new items. Yep I got sucked into the running compression socks fad. I went for the cheaper/ non racing more recovery sock brand. You can use them when running too. They felt good running in on treadmill but not quite as tight as I thought they'd be. I look super sexy in them- NOT. I also bought a new running bra- Fiona by moving comfort ( no I won't be sharing pic of that one) and a Brooks running jacket. Also due to lower running temps my cotton socks aren't cutting it so I'm trying some smartwool running socks. Yep it was a good day at running store.

My challenge obviously didn't make it due to illness but as long as I follow through the rest of the month I feel like I will meet my goal. I hope to up the mileage this coming week but as long as I get my 1mi/day in then I'll be happy. Within the first week I already beat my embarrasing 15 miles total from January 2011. Hope you all are keeping up with your 2012 goals, but if not get "back on the horse" and meet your goals.


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Sunday, January 8, 2012

January challenge week 1

I ran all seven days for a total of 19 miles with the longest being 49 minutes and the shortest 10 minutes and the fastest pace was 8:39 min mile. I ran on the treadmill 3 times and outside the other 4 days. A good start to my month of running. I'm dreading tomorrow because after an afternoon of fun with kids and matt I now feel the effects of my head cold. I'm off to shower and go to bed. Tomorrow is a busy work day with the national championship on tomorrow night to boot. Looks like tomorrow's goal will be to get that 1 mile in. So far no over use body complaints. Hamstrings were uber tight today but I think that's related to my 90 min yoga session with the yoga Nazi (I'll save that explanation for another post). On to week 2.

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Mommy's project 52: dreasing

No big surprise I pick out what I'm going to wear the night before and sometimes I line up my work week outfits for all three days. Even when not working I still have tomorrow's outfit picked out the night before. I do this for the kids too. However, my daughter is starting to come up with her fashion style and doesn't always agree with what I have picked out for her to wear.

Dressing every day is not a huge part of my day. On days I go to gym or run before work I've been known to shower, dress and leave house/gym in 15 min/10 if really pushing it. I only seem to "dress" my face when I have blemishes (aka zits) or during winter. I love my summer face which requires no dressing.

Yes I can get dressed fast but I do feel better in some of my outfits than others. The nice- more business-like outfit gives me a better/ more confident feel at work. Don't know why I don't dress up every work day, but that just wouldn't be me.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fiesta chicken pronto

8 boneless ( I used 4 for our fam of 4) skinless chicken breasts
16 oz can black beans
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken
2tbsp taco seasoning
1/4 cup salsa ( I used salsa verde and salsa)

Arrange chicken in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Good served over rice or shredded and used for tacos. As you can see we went taco route. Totally easy. My only complaint is would have liked it a little more spicy but perfect for our kids. Also could make this ahead and then use as enchilada filling before popping into oven. Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book 5: The Bonesetter's Daughter

Great 5th book out of my marathon book challenge.  I took a break from John Adams and dove into this book the week of Christmas/New Year.  It was a good break and I really enjoyed this story.  Amy Tan writes so well.  She has the ability to write about 3-4 different stories and ties them all nicely together.  One story of Chinese mother and her American daughter and the struggle/ups and downs they endure.  Second story is about the Chinese mother's struggle with her memory loss/dementia/Alzheimer's.  Third story is about Chinese mother reliving her childhood and discovering her own mother's story.  Fourth is the American daughter's story of finding herself, her mother and her love. 

I recommend this book to anyone.  Amy Tan knows how to weave an entertaining tale.  Now back to John Adams.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January Challenge

I know, I know it sounds so cliche to say at the beginning of January, but here is my January running challenge.  I've stolen this right off the pages of Tall Mom on The Run blog http://www.tallmomontherun.com/.  She did this challenge in December to get back her running mojo.  I've not lost my mojo, but as I previously informed you guys I didn't do a great job with mileage last January (15 total- UGH!).  I also want to attempt the 1,000+++ miles in 2012 so if I'm going to get that done I need to run more each month.  Actually need to do about 80/month give or take a few depending on training months.  So today is day three and despite a head cold I'm going to get on the good old treadmill in about 30 minutes and run for at least 1 mile- I'm hoping to do 2, but energy kind of low today.  I'll keep you posted at least weekly on how the challenge is going.  If anyone else is interested in joining me on this daily running adventure let me know or if you have any of your own 2012 goals or even January goals you want to share I'd love to hear them- moral support to let me know I'm not totally crazy.  Looking at this month of running is a little overwhelming, but so is 1,000+ miles in 2012.  However, as I have learned this past year reaching your goals is easier if you take it one day at a time.

P.S. Sorry for some many posts in a row, just wanted to get these out on my last day of vacation before returning to work.  I hope to have our Xmas vacation recap posted soon too. Maybe the energy is a little low today not only due to cold, but because the season/holidays are officially over.  Back to the real world.   I'm missing the Christmas music already. 

2011 Reading review

Wow-looking back at the list of posts on reading made me realize I have read a lot this past year.  Looking back also made me realize all the type-o's and pictures of books that didn't go through on the posts.  So here is a brief list of all the books I posted on this past 2011.  Hopefully no type o's this time.  I'll give a Yes or No after books to let you know whether I liked it or not.  Also * by those that need more said about them.

First off- here is a list of the books I've read for book club 2011 (some I posted on and some I didn't):
1. January 2011- Little Bee by Crhis Cleave- Yes
2. February 2011- Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx- No
3. March 2011- Why my third Husband will be a dog by Lisa Scottorline- No
4. April 2011- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese- Yes * one of my fav 2011 book club reads
5. May 2011- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote- yes
6. June 2011- Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca  Skloot- Yes
7. July 2011- Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand- No
8. August 2011- Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- No
9. September 2011- Year in Provence by Peter Mayle- Yes
10. October 2011- The Year we Left Home by Jean Thompson- No
11. December 2011- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris- Yes

Here are other books I posted on this past year:
1. I Remeber Nothing by Nora Ephron- Yes
2. Family Baggage by Monica Mc Inerney- Yes
3. Poser My Life in 23 Poses by Claire Dedere- Yes * One of my favorites from 2011
4.Run Like  a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea- Yes * must have/read for mother runners everywhere
5. 3 Tales of My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Garnett- Yes * One of my favorite reads with Mason 2011
6. Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin- Yes * feel like I need to read this one over and over to have the changes to "happiness" sink in
7. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss- Yes
8. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova- Yes
9. Tostoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch- Yes * made me dream of reading a "book a day"
10. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck- No * East of Eden is much better
11. 15 Minutes Outside- by Rebecca Cohen- Yes
12. Take the Time: mindfulness for Kids by Maud Roegiers- Yes * On my "to buy" list
13. 128 hours by Laura Vanderkam- Yes * another one I could review a few more times to help make my life more efficient
14. The Tale of Hilltop Farm by Susan Wittig Albert- yes
15. Day of Reading - so many books the kids and I read this day- refer to this post on Friday July 22nd 2011 to see the whole list

It has been a great year of reading.  My list for 2012 is already pretty long, but I hope to continue reading more and more and enjoying my reading hours throughout 2012. 

Mommy's Project 52: working

Well I'm almost a week late with this post, but better late than never.  The holidays and vacation relaxation were upon me and I definitely wasn't thinking about the topic of this weeks (last week's :0) Mommy's Project...Duh,duh,duh,duh: working. Working is something I generally like to do.  I like that I work part time and have the best of both worlds: being mom and being professional.  However, this part time work thing is sometimes hard to juggle.  My mom is famous for saying don't do something "half ass", and unfortunately working is sometimes a "half ass" job for me or at least I feel that way. When you work part time I feel you miss out on part of the working environment.  My knowledge base at work sometimes feel less than other colleagues/coworkers.  I wonder if this is because I'm only there part time or my noggin just isn't up to their noggin's abilities.

Working  hard is something I've had to do my whole life when it comes to really wanting to be good at something.  I don't have one of those insane abilities to just pick something up.  I always have to work at it.  When I finished getting my master's in nursing and passing my pediatric nurse practitioner boards I was happy to see the work had paid off.  I had found a job in pediatric cardiology that allowed me my dream life of both being a professional and using my MSN and being able to stay at home with my kids part time and work my second job (or is it my first job) as a mom.  I don't think I would make a good full time working mom or a full time stay-at-home mom.  Working is something I need. 

With the ringing in of the New Year I have wanted to look at goals for this upcoming year both professional, personal, and family.  My professional goals include being more efficient when at work.  I want to be able to get more done in a day at work so I can actually leave work at work.  I may not take actual/physical work home with me, but I have a running list of "to do's" clicking in my brain as I run to pick the kids up from daycare/school.  If I were more efficient at work then maybe the "to do's" could be left at work.

I also feel like there are always things I could be better at and know more about when it comes to the kids I care for.  Instead of wanting to know more I want to put that into my work day as another task/goal to accomplish- this would entail reading all those articles I cut out about topics related  to my patients, not just putting them in a pile.  This would involve continuing to be active in organizations/groups that focus on care of kids and health care of the children I take care of.  This work is needed and important to improving my overall work life.  By focusing and being more efficient I hope to  be a better working mom and nurse practitioner.  Doing both jobs half ass is never fun or fulfilling.  I also hope to weed out parts of work that don't give me any fulfillment: people who suck the energy right out of you, jobs/tasks that are tedious (I need to be even more efficient to get these things done so I can work on things I really want to be working on).  Work is an area that could be improved this coming year and I hope to make some strides to improving my feeling of working in a "half-ass" way.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Guacomole

I've kind of fallen off the wagon when it comes to posting on any new recipes(or oldie but goodies) so 1 thing I'd like to do this blogging year is share more recipes/food finds. This will help me get back into trying some new recipes and purging my recipe box of recipes that really don't need to be there. So to start off this year here is the guacomole recipe we made for NYE.

Simple Guac (brother in-laws recipe)
2-3 garlic cloves peeled and cut up
Hot fresh chilis to taste ( we used 2 serranos)
3 ripe avocados (preferably Hass black-skinned)
Couple tablespoons fresh Mexican herbs (cilantro, pipisa or papalo- we used cilantro)
1 small white onion (fresh knob onion- green tops still on) finely chopped- we used 2-3
2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Place finely chopped garlicand chiles in bowl.
Run knife down avocados until reach pit and continue cutting around pit until you reach the pint you started.
Remove pit and scoop flesh into bowl.
Mash coarsely with spoon or potato masher.
Add herbs and onions to taste season with salt (we did 1 tsp) and lime juice. Serve.

The guac was great! Thanks for the great recipe Mike. The guac was spicy but I really enjoyed it. Hope you do too.

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