Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Coconut Curry Chicken - New Favorite!, Visits and Fishing


I found a new favorite recipe on allrecipes.com last week and tried it for the first time this evening. 

Let me tell you - it is soooo good! And surprisingly so simple! 

Here's the recipe-you have to try it tomorrow!

Coconut Curry Chicken
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil.

3.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear.                                                                                                                                  4.  Pour coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.               



I had to find something quick to make because we have been fishing fools lately!  Small Fry is really on the fishing kick!

My brother came to town last weekend because he had a business meeting here (he lives in Atlanta). 
 My big brother, me and our Momma (with her life alert necklace-stylin'!)
My brother with the posing baby Boxer

 When he was here, he bought the boys an airsoft gun and fishing tackle, lures, and bait.  They were so excited.

We went to our favorite neighborhood, my dream neighborhood, which is a planned community with a huge man-made lake stocked with a ton of fish.  The first time we cast into the lake, a huge fish, hooked on and broke the 30 lb. line.  That means it was a huge fish!
 The lake even had a beach for me to sit on!
 The sand was a little hot in 104 degree heat!  Had to use my sandals as heat padding.
 The boys over by the rocks fishing their hearts away.
 After an hour and a half of 104 degree heat, this is what I think.
 But originally, this was my happy face.
 One of the big fish they caught.  It was sandy 'cause it flopped around after they unhooked it.  Then we threw it back in.
 Small Fry waiting on the big one!
Tater Tot with one of the big ones!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

His New Hero

Tater Tot suffers from Erb's Palsy, the same condition Adrian Clayborn, a professional football player suffers from.  This article made me cry.  I contacted the author to tell him thanks for writing such a great piece for my son to read.  He said he had many emails from parents of kids with Erb's Palsy and told me to have my son contact him anytime he wanted. 

This is why my son will be whatever he wants to be, nothing will stop him.

Adrian Clayborn and Erb's Palsy: An Opinion From a Fellow Sufferer


Fellow Buccaneer fans, my name is Kevin, but you know me better as "Landlubber" on Bucs Nation. In addition to being a lifelong Buc fan, I also share something with our 1st round draft pick, Adrian Clayborn. I was born with Erb's Palsy in my right shoulder/arm. After the Bucs drafted Clayborn, this site--among others--was alive with speculation about his condition, as well as how it would affect his transition to the NFL. While I cant speak to his future production with any accuracy, I can give a unique perspective on what it must have taken for him to ascend to the level at which he played in college. Even more so, what a feat it is for him to go from a birth injury that forces doctors to tell the sufferer that he/she will never be "normal" or play sports, to being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Star-divide
First, the boring jargon. Erb's Palsy is an injury to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that spans from the neck, through the shoulder, and on through the arm. These nerves allow for sensation and motor function in the corresponding limb. The injury is most commonly suffered during birth, with varying levels of consequences, the most severe of which being paralysis of the arm. In Clayborn's case, as well as mine, the result is the inability to extend the right arm fully, as well as a slight stunting of growth , both in length of the arm as well as muscle tone. A significant difference in strength in the affected arm can also occur, as it did with my injury. In lieu of risky surgery whose results are unproven, physical therapy is the only way to recover any range of motion or strength in the affected limb.
For a person whose job doesn't include intense physical altercations with 300+lb behemoths every few seconds, Erb's Palsy may not seem like a big issue. But Adrian Clayborn picked a profession in which this is his primary job description. His perseverance in athletics despite an injury that put him at a disadvantage every time he laced up his cleats is to be commended. In his post-draft interview with Suzy Kolber, Clayborn referenced, with a knowing smirk, those who told him he would never be able to play sports, but his calm demeanor did not fully reflect just how laudable an accomplishment this is. I feel an affinity with Clayborn, as I too played defensive end in high school and had to try to overcome an obstacle that, statistically speaking, none of my opponents had to deal with. I couldn't help but well up with pride in seeing Clayborn in the pewter and red, as I reflected on the difficulty of keeping up with my peers while having a built-in "handicap" that was supposed to be an insurmountable hindrance to my participation in athletics.
Playing high school football with Erb's Palsy was a day-to-day struggle to keep pace with my teammates at practice, and with my opponents on game day. Nobody--particularly a high school aged male--wants to fall behind or to admit that what is asked of him is beyond his ability. But with an injury such as Erb's Palsy, mind over matter doesn't always cut it. Competing with my peers with one good arm was no walk in the park, neither at practice nor on game day. Post-practice lifting sessions in the weight room became daily stresses for me as I tried to find new ways to keep my injury a secret, for fear of ridicule from my "able-bodied" teammates, as well as demotion from my starting spot by my coaches, who any football player will tell you don't take kindly to weakness, real or perceived. It was a daily challenge, but one I had to answer, if for no better reason than they said I couldn't.
Adrian Clayborn accepted the challenge as well. He pushed himself beyond what the doctors told him was possible and not only played, but excelled, at a level that most "able-bodied" players never reach. And with his selection in the first round of the NFL draft, he continues to defy the odds. Asked by Suzy Kolber what it meant to reach the pinnacle of his sport with what can be such a debilitating injury, he said, "It means keep pushing. People told me I'd never play football. I kept going. Whatever you dream, don't let anyone take it from you." The next chapter in Clayborn's story begins now. Nobody can say what the rest of his career holds. Just don't tell him he can't do it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Pride and Security Systems

We are still going to football conditioning on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday mornings.  I think I must say every morning when I'm dragging out of bed that I hate Summer Pride.  It makes me feel like I'm endlessly driving and picking up way too early in the morning!

Tater Tot is loving it though.  He likes the running, but the weight training is the bomb, as he would say.  All of the boys keep trying to out lift each other on the power lifting.  I think Tater Tot started at lifting 50 pounds and now he is lifting 70 pounds.  He's pretty excited about it!  I can see that he's developing a lot of muscles.  He definitely has 6 pack abs!  He's so proud of his muscles, it's amazing how at almost 13 he's really concerned about being in shape and being fit.  I think that's a great thing since my side of the family definitely has the genes to be overweight.  Out of my immediate first cousins, I'm the only one practically that hasn't had gastric bypass surgery.  My Dad was a big man, he was always at least 300 pounds most of my later childhood.  So, it's important to me that my children realize that being fit is a great thing. 

I, on the other hand, struggle daily with my weight.  I just want to get into better shape and have been walking in the evenings.  But, my right knee has had a bad pain in the back left side and I'm scared to go to the doctor.  I'm terrified he'd tell me I need knee surgery.  No thanks!

Another big thing that happened is our new security system.  We've always had an alarm but this new one is like OnStar.  When the alarm goes off, someone comes over the alarm and asks if everything is ok.  I love that for the boys!

We also got my Mom an alarm and a Life Alert.  That's a huge deal to me since she has been falling so much in the past year.  This way, the alarm rep will come over her alarm system and ask her if she's okay and they will either call the fire department or me.  This is a big relief since I spend most of my time worrying about my Mom being on the floor somewhere with no help.

I hope this makes her feel better also.  It gives her a little more freedom, she can actually take the trash out and walk around her house.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Week In My Life - Tuesday

Today was cleaning day once again!  I quickly tried to knock out all of the dreaded cleaning tasks like toilets and showers, ewwwww.  I hate cleaning toilets, especially with all boys in the house-ha!

I did sneak in a little time to layout in the pool.  Although, I went out later on in the day and the boys had been roughhousing in the pool and somehow my raft was deflated.  Those cheap Walmart rafts are not safe around a 10 year old and 12 year old.  It's so hot here, like 110 degrees hot, so I can't lay out that long anyway or I'd burn like crazy!  Maybe the boys saved me from getting too fried!

The boys have been going fishing everyday and today they left a little earlier so they weren't fishing in the heat of the day.  They only get to fish in a group and have to go to a little pond near our house.  They love it and have even set out some jug lines in the pond so they can go check them the next morning.

I've been trying my hardest to stick around the house during the day and not drag the boys shopping, which is my first instinct when the weather gets so hot.  Hang out at the mall where it's cool!  But that results in me spending money I don't need to so that's not such a great idea.

I did get a phone call this afternoon from a non-profit agency in the next town.  I had applied for a job as their Programs Coordinator, part-time, and I have an interview tomorrow for the position.  I hope it goes well.  I'm interested in seeing what that position entails!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Week In My Life - Monday July 11th




Today is our 2 year wedding anniversary!  Two years ago I married my soulmate, the man who is definitely my rock and my greatest supporter!

We've now been together seven years, yet, I can still remember the moment I met him.  I knew from the second I was around him that he was special and I never wanted to leave his side. 

We've had some crazy moments in the last seven years and I don't know what I would do without him by my side.

To celebrate our anniversary, we just went to Lone Star steakhouse to eat dinner.  We were going to go to town and eat at Flemings but I told Mr. H we didn't need to go to anyplace super expensive.  Plus, the Bourbon glazed Salmon at Lone Star is to die for!  I was just as happy eating there!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Week In My Life - Sunday

I'm late doing this but I had it written down so here goes:

Today the boys came home from their fishing trip.  They brought five ziploc bags full of catfish.  I can't wait to fry some good ol' catfish with my Momma.  She's from Alabama so she knows how to fry some fish.  She also makes the best hushpuppies in the world.  When my brother was little, he thought they were the fish. They are that good!

Small Fry is definitely worn out and has a little bit of congestion.  I think it's the non-stop fun that's worn him out.  He had a blast though!

The dogs are definitely glad that Mr. H and Small Fry are home.  Allie, the new puppy, has been kind of lost since they were gone.  She doesn't know why it's just me here at the house. 

I've got a ton of laundry to do now that the fishing guys are home.  Guess I better get on it now!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Week In My Life - Day 4 (Saturday)

I'm riding solo today and my day started off on a really sleepy note. 

Since Mr. H is gone, I'm the one who had to get up with our 4 month old puppy when she needed to pee this morning.  She woke up at 5:30, then 6:00, then 6:45.  Get the pattern she was working on?  I called Mr. H and asked him why she was getting up so much this morning.  Well, he forgot to mention that when she gets up in the morning, he goes outside and sits with her while she does her business.

I wasn't sitting outside with her. 

See how spoiled this puppy is?

The poor puppy was upset all day, looking in the rooms for the boys and sitting looking out of the front and back windows for Mr. H.  I think she was really thrown off today without the guys around.

Today was deep cleaning day...especially since the boys weren't home.

I cleaned both boys bedrooms, organized their desks, cleaned out the closets and loaded bags full of clothes to donate.  I polished all of the woodwork in the kitchen, all the tables, swept and mopped all the tile, and even vacuumed and steam cleaned all of the carpets.  I was worn out when I finished so I went outside to lay out on the raft in the pool.

After I came in, my sister-in-law called and wanted to go eat and see the movie Bad Teacher.  I was so tired but really wanted to see that movie.  I'm so glad I went because it was hilarious!  Cameron Diaz is so funny and her eyes are gorgeous!  It was a great movie!

I came home and Mr. H called to tell me they were having a great time fishing.  Small Fry was in heaven fishing and shooting bb guns.  I'm so glad they are enjoying themselves!

I'm going to bed and hoping that I don't get an early morning wakeup call from a certain white Boxer puppy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Week In My Life - Day 3 (Friday)

Today was spent getting Small Fry ready and packed for his big fishing trip to Grand Lake with Mr. H.  We had bought him a new fishing pole the other day and had been hiding it until today.  He was so surprised!  Tater Tot got an IPhone the other day and I told Small Fry he would get a nice gift too.  He said all he wanted was a $20 fishing pole, which made me very happy. 

This morning, we laid out all of his clothes, fishing gear and Ipods, etc., then got them all neatly packed so Mr. H could come home at noon and put his clothes in the suitcase.

I drove Tater Tot to go meet his Dad since he was going there for the weekend while Small Fry goes fishing.   Tater Tot doesn't like fishing so he didn't want to go with them, which was fine with me since it meant he wouldn't complain about being bored the whole weekend while at the lake.  He's 12 so he will voice his opinion when he's bored.

After packing and driving Tater to meet his Dad, I went outside with Small Fry and swam in the pool for a while.  It was so hot outside and the pool felt great.  We've had the hottest summer so far, in the 100's already!

After everyone left, I went to pick up my Mom and take her grocery shopping in the next town.  My Mom has a hard time walking so I like to take her to smaller grocery stores rather than Super Walmart, which can be very busy and crowded.  Before shopping, we stopped at Captain D's and had some yummy fish.  We love that place and hardly ever go there because it's pretty bad for you.  It's a treat for us!

I'm what you call the "Sandwich Generation", which means I have small children and a parent to take care of everyday.  My Dad died six years ago and ever since then, my Mom's health just hasn't been the same.   She falls a lot and her walking is very unstable so I have to be on hand to take her shopping and run errands with her or for her.  I don't mind, all she has is me and she took care of me for so long.

Tonight after shopping, I've just sat in the recliner, surfing the web and watching HGTV!  Perfect ending to a good day!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Week In My Life - Day 2 (Thursday)

My sinuses were still killing me this morning when I got up at 6:20.  I had to wake Tater Tot up for Summer Pride, his football conditioning program.  When I let the dogs out on the way to T's room, it was pouring outside.  Rainy and thundering...hmmm...I instantly wanted to go back to bed, so guess what I did?!  I went into T's room, told him he didn't have to go to Summer Pride and I went back to bed!!! '

I know that just made me look so lazy but I felt horrible this morning and really needed to sleep.  Mr. H got up and went to work and I'm not even sure I heard him leave.  That's how bad I felt.

It was only Tater Tot and I this morning in the house because Small Fry called his Dad last night late and told him to come get him to spend the night since he would be gone this weekend fishing with Mr. H.  It's nice that my ex and I can be flexible and not fight about things like visitation.  I'm glad the boys feel like they can just pick up the phone and ask their Dad to come get them for a night if they feel the need.

Back to this morning........Are you ready for this????? I woke up at 10:30 and let Tater Tot sleep 'till 11:30.  Hey, just keeping it real.  It's ok to be lazy sometimes!

We got ready, ran to the vet to get our puppy Allie's heartworm medicine and then made a stop by the bank.  While at the bank, we called Small Fry and Tater Tot's Dad to see where he wanted to meet to exchange the boys.  This is the first time the boys have ever separated and not gone together to their Dads house.  *I want to make it clear that they have the same father-I could only handle one ex-husband-ha!*   This coming weekend is their Dad's weekend, but my youngest is going on a fishing trip with Mr. H (His step-dad), the oldest didn't want to go fishing so just chose to go ahead and go with his Dad today.   I usually always encourage Small Fry to like other things besides just the things his older brother likes, so this fishing craze is a good thing.  It's the one thing that Small Fry has liked on his own.  Usually he does everything like his brother, and I mean everything.  I want him to develop his individuality now that he's 10 years old.

We drove to the next town to meet my ex and I said good-bye to Tater Tot while I picked up Small Fry to bring him home.  We were next to the shopping center with my favorite store, Hobby Lobby, so we had to stop in and see what kinds of new stuff they had.  While there, we saw one of Mr. H's Masonic buddies with his granddaughter and we visited for a while.

This afternoon, Small Fry has been out riding his bike with his two buddies that live right by us.  They were out for a couple of hours, then came in and asked if Small Fry could go to one of their Grandma's houses to swim.  I told him he could and after he left, I sat watching TV BY MYSELF.  That NEVER happens!!!!

So guess what else I did when the kids left?  I went outside and swam, layed out on the raft and then dried off by laying out on the chaise lounge.  Heaven, pure heaven!  I actually had time to lay out without being splashed! 

I'm now back inside, watching Food Network and HGTV, my two faves!

I might even fix myself something bad for dinner, like Ramen Noodles.  I know, crazy, huh?!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Week In My Life-Day 1

I'm completely copying Kelly at Kellys Korner Blog and documenting a week of my life, detailing even the most mundane tasks and moments of our days this summer.

The boys and I both woke up at 9:30 this morning.  We just came home from vacation at my best friends house and I was exhausted.  My sinuses have been really bugging me so I had to take nighttime sinus medicine to make sure I slept ok last night.  You have to love having insomnia, it's my greatest fear in life that it will strike me during the night and I'll be up alllll night long. Ugh.

After waking up, I made my coffee and sat down to actually enjoy it.  Tater Tot didn't have his conditioning for school football in the early morning due to the July 4th holiday so I was so happy that I got to sleep in and not get up at 6am.  9:30 felt sooo late!

I folded a load of laundry and moved the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  Well, in all honesty, after I re-washed the clothes in the washer left over from last night, I moved them on to the dryer.  I then went around to every room collecting all of the dirty clothes and emptying the bags the boys took on vacation.  I rewashed the linens on all the beds because Mr. H's sister stayed at our house with her daughter dog sitting.

I searched through a few blogs looking for new recipes to write into my recipe notebook.  Yes, I'm a nerd and actually keep a recipe notebook where I handwrite any recipes I see on blogs and websites.  I've found some great recipes that way.  Other Moms are always the best way to find foods and meals that kids and a picky husband will actually eat.

After looking through blogs, I got the crockpot out to make Apricot Chicken for dinner.  It's the easiest recipe, I just put 4 frozen chicken breasts, a bag of dried apricots and 2 cans of chicken broth with Lipton Dried Onion Soup Mix in the crockpot on High.   I let that cook all day, then serve it with white rice.

While I was getting the crockpot meal ready, Small Fry called his buddy in the neighborhood and they made plans to go fishing at the new city park.  They built a really great lake in the center of town and stocked it with fish.  It's right near the new splash pad park so the boys go run through the splash pad when they get too hot fishing.  It's perfect for them.  I went up to the lake with the boys and their friends for a while and enjoyed doing some fun people watching.  I love our new park in town.  It's so beautiful!

When we got done fishing, we ran by Sonic to get a drink and then went home to clean.  I cleaned the master bedroom, the master bathroom and put up the clean clothes.  The boys cleaned their rooms, then emptied the dishwasher for me. 

After our cleaning was done, we went swimming in the backyard.  I tried to lay on the raft while the boys took turns doing cannonballs, jackknifes and any other dive/jump they could do to get me really wet.  Small Fry even tried to lay on the raft with me but we kept turning over! 

We swam for a couple of hours, then the boys left to go ride bikes with their buddies. 

Small Fry is going on a fishing trip with Mr. H and his Masonic officers at a lake about 2 hours away this weekend.  After riding bikes, he spent the evening getting his fishing poles ready for the trip.  He's so excited for this guys fishing trip.  He's been on such a kick with fishing.  It's all he thinks about night and day! 

Around 6, Tater Tot brought a friend back home with him and they went swimming until dinner was ready.  Just as I was getting ready to put the rice on the stove, my Mom called and said she bought a Prime Rib at the bar-b-que place and was bringing it over for dinner.  I gladly put the crockpot dinner I'd planned in Tupperware for tomorrows dinner.  My Mom brought baked potatoes over and I fixed a salad to go with our yummy steak.  After dinner, I did the dishes and then we all went to Frostbites to get a snowcone.  It was the perfect ending to a busy summer day. 

Have I mentioned that I love being home with my kids this summer?  I'm not dying from Mom Guilt like I usually do when I work.