Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Me--Quack, Quack!

1.I did not put spring mix mixed with honey mustard dressing on my child's hot dog to make me feel better about feeding him a hot dog for dinner.

He enjoyed it. What's the difference between that and relish (except that the spring mix is better for you) anyway?

2. I did not have a recent weight gain which caused me to change clothes three times one day and still end up being a poster child for muffin top awareness.

3. I did not comment that my favorite book is a children's book called "I Love You All the Time" cementing the thought in my mind and those of others that Marie is missing and JacksMomMarie has taken over.

4. I did not say to my preschooler look, "Ducks. Quack quack" while waddling like a duck and flapping my arms only to hear another mother say quite loudly (I'm pretty sure for my benefit) to her daughter, "Honey, take some bread for these geese."

5. I did not relate to this post at all since I am not forbidden from burning candles in my home since the time I smoked up all the cabinets in our apartment after arguing that indoor candle burning was a safe way to add a nice fragrance to your home.

Hope you've enjoyed laughing with me!

Don't forget to check out the latest installment of Life is Therapy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Simple Cooking for the Dairy Intolerant Part 1

Back when we were completely avoiding dairy (except for possible cross contamination during processing), I was frequently asked "What can you eat? What do you eat?"

I would frequently browse the internet for various restaurants' and fast food chains' ingredients lists. I compared the ingredients to my handy dairy and hidden dairy cheat sheet and made a list of "safe foods" so I could always find something we could eat when we were out and about.  Of course, I also carried "safe" non-perishable foods in the car just in case.

But safe dairy free foods were not the only concern. The other hurdle was having something that Jack would eat. Food still has to be the right texture. He eats a wide variety of foods but the texture has to be right.

Now that we've been given the clearence to add some dairy back in, we've been able to expand a bit on things that we eat around here. Jack is now considered dairy intolerant.

Excessive amounts of dairy protein still lead to increased congestion for him and that can quickly spiral out of control. We still avoid actual milk, yogurt, cream, and ice cream.

Some days I work from home and some days I am gone all day for appointments but I am busy every day. While I like to cook, trying to be too fancy frustrates me. I like to try to keep it fairly healthy but I mostly figure if we are eating at home and it's not mostly boxed pre-packaged food we are doing pretty well.

I thought I'd share with you some simple easy meals that we have around here. Don't look for fancy pictures or fancy stuff. I'm a simple cook and this is gonna be simple stuff. :)

Tonight's dinner: Grandma's home grown peas/beans, baked potatoes, and leftover Publix fried chicken.

This was typed up as I prepared dinner tonight so this is how I did it.

For the home grown peas/beans, marry yourself a man whose mother loves you over and abundantly than you deserve, get her to garden, and always remember your favorite things and freeze them for you. (Or if you cannot do all that just go buy your favorite kind of frozen peas/beans.)

*All pictures for this post were taken with camera phone and while in the midst of cooking and trying not to get run over by fast tricycling preschooler. Please forgive the (lack of) quality.*

1. Rinse however many potatoes you need to feed your bunch while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Dry the potatoes and wrap in foil (I usually just kind of shake them dry before wrapping them).

3. Put them in the oven to one side of the middle rack.

4. Get the peas out of the freezer, place them in a pan of water with some salt, bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and let them cook.

5. At 30 minutes, check your potatoes. They're not done yet.

6. Crank up the oven to 450.

7. Place your leftover Publix fried chicken in an oven safe dish of some kind and place it on the middle rack next to the potatoes.

8. Set timer for 15 minutes.

9. When timer goes off, squeeze largest and smallest potatoes to check level of tenderness. Still not done. (Do not burn finger through cheap pot holder).

10. Turn chicken pieces over using tongs. Next time remember to perhaps oil your dish a little before putting in chicken.

11. Set timer for 10 minutes.

12. Check beans/peas. Yum just like I like them. Turn heat off but leave pan on stove "eye" so peas/beans don't get cold.

13. When timer goes off, squeeze taters again. Nice and squishy except those two bigger ones? Everybody out of the oven. Those two biggies are gettin' zapped in the microwave.

14. Remove chicken from oven.

15. Fix kiddo's plate first since it will need to cool a bit. Add dairy free buttery spread
to potatoes if you like.

16. Fix your plate.


Yes, we do eat that much. We're big eaters around here. :)

This was actually the night before last and I did not have time to get the post together. Last night, I added a defrosted previously cooked roast to the leftover peas/beans and potatoes. Yummy! I put them all in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I prefer oven heating to microwave because I think it all just tastes better but if I was in more of a hurry they all could have been zapped.

Hope you enjoyed this view of our dinner.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me--I'm Not Posting this Late Monday Evening

1. I did not dress Jack and I in our team colors every Friday and Saturday during football season for the past couple of years because I believe it impacts the team.

2. I did not tell my four year old, "Eat this. It's like pie except it's cake."

3.I did not tell everyone that a certified bra specialist snapped her measuring tape around me to prove the tininess of my bra size.

4.I did not post a link to this video as part of my Life is Therapy series because it was so darn cute that I wanted to share.

5.I did not have a Sally Field moment when I was chosen to write a guest post at 5minutes for parenting, as loyal commentor of the week at 5minutes for mom, then had the Life is Therapy series mentioned at 5minutes for mom, and received an Honest Scrap award from Jennifer all in the same week! (Thanks everyone for the mentions and the awards! I am going to do a real post about that.)

Thanks everyone for laughing along. If you want to see some good "Mommy Confessions", head over to Say it Face to Face.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Word is Out--I'm an Alabama Blogger

That's right! I was born in Alabama and I live in Alabama and I blog. I. AM. AN. ALABAMA. BLOGGER!!!!!! Want to meet up with me and other bloggers too? November's Meet-up will be at Jason's Deli outside of Brookwood Mall at 11:30 on Friday, November 13th (You can remember Friday the 13th, right?). If 11:30 is too early, just come when you can - some people end up staying at lunch for about 2 hours.The hashtag for this meet-up and all future Alabama Bloggers meet-ups (to make it simple) is #AlaBlogMeet.Please help spread the word by re-tweeting and posting on your blogs! Also please RSVP at the Alabama Bloggers post so that tables can be reserved. I'm planning on being there for my lunch hour! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Not Me! I'm Not Shamelessly Pluggin' Life is Therapy

I did not enjoy last week's Not Me writing last week so much that I did not decide to do it again this week.

1. I did not shamelessly post a link to my Life is Therapy series everywhere I could possibly think of because I believe that everyone could benefit from it.

2.I did not allow my child with developmental delays to climb the neighbor's back fence and nearly drop into their yard because I was so excited to see him try and wanted to see how far he could go. ('cause you know Life is Therapy)

3. I did not allow my child to nearly climb over into my neighbor's backyard (using Life as Therapy)also because I wanted to get a good look at what they did to it since the old neighbors moved out.

4. I did not gain 3.5 pounds eating leftover Halloween candy. (It was not more like five pounds.) [Unwrapping ALL those wrappers could be therapy.]

5. I did not back right into an oncoming car because I was so focused on avoiding the tow truck parked at least a car length (maybe two) behind me. (An example of NOT Life is Therapy)

6. I did not publicly admit to possibly having a blogging problem. (Possibly a problem that might benefit others.)

7. I did not try to read Phillipians on my Palm Treo everytime I stopped at a stop light because our pastor encouraged us to read it everyday one week.

8. I did not put my camera on a step stool with a children's bible, my bible, a box of crackers and another book on top to get it to the right height for shooting a video for my new series Life is Therapy

only to remember after I finished that I had a perfectly good tripod sitting in the closet.

9. I did not feed my preschooler the following lunch--dry cereal (for grains), a Kashi fruit and grain bar (for the fruit, grains, and protein), and a bag of those freeze dried fruits for toddlers(more fruit)--one busy day when we were running around and I figured it was healthier than anything we might pick up.

10. I did not get excited that our house guest would not be arriving for a little more than another 24 hours because it meant I could clean later and blog now.

Seriously, please take a moment and check out my new series Life is Therapy . Perhaps you could link up and share a story of how you help your child to grow and develop in the course of normal day to day living.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chicken Salad

A friend posted on her blog quite a while back that she wanted some recipes for chicken salad. I promised to post my recipe and I'm finally getting around to it. It's not actually so much my recipe. I think my sister-in-law Lisa who makes a fab-o chicken salad that involves cream cheese kind of gave me the basics and I transformed it into my own dairy-free chicken salad.
I took pictures as I made Jack a chicken salad sandwich for school the other night. Keep in mind that Jack eats a wide variety of foods but they have to be the right texture so this chicken salad recipe is chopped up quite a bit more than I would chop it if serving it to a bunch of adults. You use the same recipe just chop less. In fact you can skip the food processor and just do your chopping with a knife to make it more "adult-pleasing". I'll post the whole recipe at the bottom but here it is with pictures.

1.Take about a handful of walnuts (or little more) or pecans (they give a slightly different but still good taste to it) and throw them in your food processor.

2. Chop them up.

3. Rinse one apple or about 1 1/2 handsful of red or green grapes. I just cut the sides of the apple off the core and then cut the apple the apple into small pieces with the peel on.

4. Add to the food processor.

5. Mix it up.

6. Cut up chicken breast leftover from making Kelly's simple easy recipe for dinner. [Note: I leave out the second lemon that is sliced. We thought it made the recipe too lemony and instead of lemon pepper on top of everything, I use greek seasoning] You can actually use any cooked chicken breast you have on had but this particular recipe turns out a delicious chicken salad.

7. Whir it up!

8. Next you need to add some mayo.

9. Just experiment until you get the creaminess you like. I did about three tablespoons this time.

10. Whir it up!

11. Serve over salad greens on bread of your choice.

12. I actually add the spring mix to the food processor and chop it in too for Jack's sandwichs. He likes it. I just forgot to get a picture of it.

I forget to take a picture of my chicken salad all plated up and pretty so I was searching online for a picture of pretty chicken salad and came across this picture which is what my chicken salad would look if not chopped up quite as much and you used grapes instead of apples.

Her recipe is nearly the same as mine but measured and with celery.

So here's my recipe without the pictures. I'm writing these directions as if you are serving to adults or children who chew well without a texture sensitivity.
One handful to handful and a half of Walnuts or Pecans
One Apple or one handful to handful and a half of Red or Green Grapes
One Cooked Chicken Breast
About three tablespoons Hellman's Mayonnaise (On most everything I'm flexible but I really think you need to use Hellman's. It has a good flavor.)
Spring Mix or other bagged salad

1. Chop up nuts into smaller bits.
2. Cut apple sides off the core and dice. OR Cut grapes into halves.
3. Cut up chicken breast.
4. Put all cut ingredients into bowl.
5. Mix in mayonnaise.
6. Chill.
7. Serve on bed of salad greens and/or bread of your choice.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Polaroid--Worst Customer Service EVER

I try really hard to find the positive in most things but this time I just really can't find it in me to be understanding. A few years ago my sweet husband purchased an awesome very durable portable DVD player with a great 10 inch screen. This thing is great! We've taken it everywhere! In nearly four years of use, we've had no problems until....the AC power adapter cord took all the abuse it could handle. It looks as if the cord got pinched or crimped in one place. The wires inside must have broken. Without the AC adapter the DVD player does not work. So I tried to get another power cord. Unfortunately Polaroid has made sure that you cannot get an adapter without the Polaroid brand on it to fit its DVD player. So I went to armed with my DVD user guide so I could locate my exact model of DVD player. Not listed anywhere on the site as if they have never before heard of the item. hmmmm....kay....what to do? Well, I called 1 800 POLAROID--the number listed on the site. Ummmm......disconnected....well, okay....frustrating.....I found the customer service number listed in my user guide and called it.

Sol answered and immediately misunderstood every other syllable I uttered. I asked if he was having difficulty hearing me since he kept interuppting to misquote something I said.
Maybe we have a bad connection and I should call back?
No, I'll just push through it best I can.
[Weird because suddenly I actually had his attention and he could hear me.] I need a new AC adaptor for my DVD player.
What happened to the other one?
Well it's broken.
Then we go through the rigamarole of me giving him the model number and serial number of the DVD, he puts me on hold and he comes back
Does your AC adapter have a cord that plugs into it?
No it's one piece.
It's one piece? [He says like he can't believe it.]  Is there a box on it?
Yes there is a box.
Well then there must be a cord that connects the box to the DVD player.
Yes there is and it is all one piece. If you start at the DVD player connection the cord runs to the box and from there the cord runs out of the box to the prongs that you plug into the wall. None of it comes apart at least I don't think.
It doesn't? [incredulous]
So I start pulling to see if anything will come undone and quickly flip through my book to see if I'm supposed to take it apart.
Um, there's nothing in the book about it coming apart or putting it together. Wouldn't that be in the book?Hmm...hang on. [I'm put on hold for a bit] I think I found one that might work.
Think? Might work? Does that sound promising to you? Then I actually say, "would it help you if I read you the part number off my AC adapter?"
I read the part number. He sounds perplexed and says um okay hang on......comes back again and says okay well I've got one like that. that? And I say out loud, Is it the same part?
Oh yeah, it's that part. Oh, okay, great! I'd like to order it.
Well, okay but first you have to agree to our terms of sales...."All sales are final. If the part does not fix your tv, we are not held responsible. Accessories carry a thirty day warranty. There is no warranty on parts." Huh? Wait a minute. If you send me the wrong part, the sale is still final?
Ma'am [in tone of exasperation] I'm not going to send you the wrong part.
So you are 100% positive that the part you are sending me is the right replacement.
Ma'am you told me the part number and I got one of those.
Well, okay.
Okay ma'am I am going to transfer you to order processing.
Then order processing takes over, takes all my information, and does not ask me what shipping option I'd like and then says okay here's your transaction number do you have any questions?
Oh yes how long will it take for the part to arrive?
Oh 10-12 business days Ma'am.
Huh? Oh well can I pay extra and have it shipped a little faster?
No ma'am.
So I get off the phone and decide there's got to be something faster. I googled the specific part number and guess what? I can get in 2-3 business days from another company. Great. I'll just cancel the Polaroid order. It's been less than 10 mintues since I ordered. First I spoke to Michelle who reminded that I agreed to their non-return policy.
Um yes but I have not received the part and would like to cancel the order within 10 minutes of placing it.
Sorry ma'am. We don't cancel orders.
Wait a minute. You did not bother to tell me that I would have to wait three weeks to get my part until after I placed my order and even then only when I asked.
Too bad.
No  I don't think so. You can't have someone agree to something prior to telling them all the terms which includes how long it takes to ship.
Ma'am we don't know for sure it will be three weeks. It could be less. It could be longer. It just depends on how many orders we get that day.
What?!!? Look it's been less than 10 minutes, please just cancel my order.
Uh, you're gonna have to hold.....Ma'am we won't cancel your order. We don't do that.
[My head is about to explode.] May I speak to a supervsior?
You can but he won't cancel it either.
Well I would still like to try.
Ma'am he's not going to cancel your order.
Um, okay but go ahead and get him.
Well, okay, you're gonna have to hold.
Next up is Hans.
Ma'am I am a supervisor and we do not cancel orders. You agreed to our policy.
Yes, but that was before anyone told me that it would be three weeks before I got my order.
Ma'am, noone said three weeks.
No, she said 10-12 business days and the holidays are coming and in real time that turns out to be about three weeks.
Ma'am you might have your product faster.
Well, I have found another place that I can order it from and they will actually tell me when I can expect to receive it and it's more like 2-3 days.
Ma'am it takes 24 hours to process your credit card alone and we can't do anything with your order until we receive the funds from your credit card.
Great! Since it had been less than 10 minutes between my order placing and my calling back you have not processed my credit card so there's been no sale so please just cancel the order.
You just said that you will not process my order for at least 24 hours. Since it's been much less than that, you should be able to easily cancel the order.
Look, you told me that you don't process the credit card for 24 hours, right?
Well it has not been 24 hours. Please cancel the order.
Fine, I'll cancel the order but you're going to be back.
Why do you say that?
You'll see.
Do you know something about the part I'm buying?
Well, you'll find out. I've cancelled your order. Goodbye.
Wait a minute. Can you tell me why you would say that?
Oh you will see.
Um, that's kind of rude.
I'm not being rude. I cancelled your order. Goodbye.
I asked to speak to his supervisor about his parting comments but he claimed that he did not have one. Dave told me to just leave it alone so I hung up.
I'm telling everybody I know. Polaroid products are good but their customer, not well trained....overworked...bad policies...just lots of problems there.

***Update: I received a confirmation email today for a part that was not even the one I wanted to order. It has the nifty link to their terms and conditions website where it says "Once an order is submitted it can only be cancelled before it is processed and shipped. Please call Customer Support at the number listed below." Again it had only been 10 minutes since I placed my order when I called back and the manager acknowledged that it would not have been processed for another 24 hours. Goofy people don't know their own policies. Interesting though that the email did not come from Polaroid but Digital Support Desk. Subsidiary of Polaroid? Or maybe someone who Polaroid contracts to do non-support?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nope! Not me!

This post was not inspired by laughing at all the things that Myra did not do.

#1 I am NOT freaking out right now because all of my business appointments disappeared from my calendar on my Palm Treo. I am not trying to Wireless Sync as we speak to try to get all my info back.

#2 I am NOT trying to distract myself from the phone/computer problem I am having by browsing the internet and then composing my own nonsense post.

#3 I did NOT just let out a "Woo hoo" because I realize that it worked and I have my information back.

#4 I did NOT forget to feed my kiddo before trying to take him trick or treating. What kind of moron would do that?

#5 I am NOT now continuing to write this post instead of frantically returning to work and make up for the time I spent "futzing" with the phone/computer.

#6 I did NOT accidentally publicly tweet out my home and cellular phone numbers a few days ago. Everybody knows to send a direct message on twitter, you put a space between d and the twitter name!

#7 I did NOT let my kid stay in the nasty water in his swimming pool long after the other kids' parents made them get out. That pool was gross. Who would do such a thing?

#8 I did NOT spend a whole lot of time banging on a pot in my dishwasher this weekend just to make my kid laugh.

#9 I do NOT do blog posts and blog posts and blog posts and blog posts and blog posts about my son's basketball. How kooky would that be?

#10 I did NOT set my kid up to eat out of the bib pocket that was designed to catch his crumbs.

What about you? What do you NOT do?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adding Veggies

I recently wrote a post about healthy eating for kids on my other blog. I did not have any pictures to post for my smoothie recipe. Well, it's not really my recipe. It's Alisa's recipe that I adapt as needed depending on ingredients any given day. I really wish I had gotten my camera out earlier this particular day because I had one of those classic tv comedy moments--blender explosion! You know the scene where the stuff in the blender comes popping out everywhere including in the hair of everbody in the kitchen? Yep, that was me. Anyway, I got everything cleaned up and started over. Oh, what caused the explosion? Well, I had my frozen banana in a plastic bag and left the blender whirring as I was dropping the frozen banana into the blender. The banana stuck to the bag and I accidentally dropped banana and bag in the blender...cue the laugh track.
Okay so back to the non-comedy....
1st I blended some water, 1/2 frozen banana, and several strawberries....


Pretty, isn't it? Next is the secret ingredient that you do not taste...

Too bad you can see it...

Never fear, frozen blueberries to the rescue...

Much prettier, no?

And here's a shot of the happy kiddo getting some very nutritious fruits and veggies without any added sugar or preservatives or artificial colors or other junk.