This past week my friend Amy and I decided to get butts in gear and try a 7-day free pass from 24hr fitness, we put both boys in Kids Care (scary more for me than for Ethan) and went to a step class. We had such a good time and felt so good afterward that we decided to try weights and machines on Wednesday, this time with Nicole and Peyton joining us. On Saturday afternoon, after working out for the third time that week I made a big commitment and joined the gym and Amy also joined earlier in the week. Ethan does really great in Kids Care and when Jeff and I asked him yesterday morning if he wanted to go to the gym he got really excited and said "gym to play". Thank you Amy for helping me to get motivated and for joining me in this as well as Jeff for joining me on the weekends to get us both healthier...there is no turning back now.


Today Ethan and I went to check out the local library. While we were there they were also having Toddler Storytime and Ethan did pretty well for his first time. The storybook lady read them 4 books, sang some songs and then they got to color a picture of an umbrella. Afterward we chose some books to check out and will be going again next week for storytime and to get new books.


Chili anyone??

This past week I asked a couple of friends if they had a good chili recipe, which they promptly sent me, however, with all of them somewhat similar, I decided to combine some and make up my own so here is the recipe if anyone is interested.

Ground Turkey & Bean Chili

2 tsp Olive oil
1/4 cup dehydrated Onion or fresh if you have it.
1 cup Celery
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 can Diced Green Chiles
1 pound uncooked Ground Turkey Breast
2 tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp dried Oregano
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
28 oz can or two 14 oz cans Crushed Tomatoes (blend up if you don't like tomato chunks)
1 pkg Herb-Ox Low-Sodium Instant Beef Broth & Seasoning
or 8 oz of canned beef broth
1- 8oz can tomato sauce
2-15 oz cans Kidney Beans - drained and rinsed
1- 15 oz can Corn
1 can Olives, diced
8 oz Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese, 1 oz per serving
Sour Cream, about 1 tbsp per serving

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and diced green chiles; saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add uncooked turkey and saute until browned and cooked through, breaking up meat as it cooks. Once turkey is browned through add chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, and beans and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes. Add corn and olives and warm through.

To serve, discard bay leaves and ladle chili into bowls, top with cheese and sour cream and enjoy! This makes about 8 - 1 cup servings

Side note: I prefer a little cruch with mine so I ate it with tortilla chips.


Another dry day to take advantage of...

The dry warm weather continued again yesterday so we headed off to check out a new park. This time we headed to Grant Park. Ethan had a great time riding the teeter totter and mommy and daddy got a good arm workout on the other end as it was way to short for either of us to ride on without major knee pain. We then had to check out the tire swing and finally got a smile from him. It would be fun to have a play structure and swings in our yard, but until then we are having lot of fun checking out new parks and are really excited about spring and summer coming to spend much more time outside.


Zoo day....and many tantrums to join in the fun.

Today it is near 60 degrees and so beautiful outside we had to take advantage and so we headed to the zoo this morning with Hunter and Amy. We were having a fun time until Ethan decided it was time to have a major tantrum in the lions den (He did the same thing last time we were in the lions den, apparently he just doesn't like the lions). One of the lions heard him screaming nonstop and as I was holding Ethan in the corner while he was throwing his tantrum, I looked up to see one of the lions standing right above me checking out the situation, Mama instincts I guess, it took several people by surprise but Ethan just continued to cry....I hate having everyone stare when he throws a fit in public like that. I know that I am not the only lucky one who experiences such a privilege but it sure feels like it when people stop and stare. Well, we got some good pictures anyway and Mommy was really glad when he fell asleep in his car seat on the way home.

The baby turtles were being weighed as we were walking by, Ethan really likes the turtles.

Unfortunately they were behind the glass being fed some carrots today so this was the best out of three pictures I was able to get of the two new male giraffes we have at the zoo, Akeem, the taller one in front and Bakari, the smaller one in the background.

Hunter and Ethan saying Hi to the Orangutans.

Ethan and Hunter both really liked watching the Sea Lion get his fish out of the container.


Yesterday Ethan, myself, Amy & Hunter met Nicole and Peyton at Papa's Pizza to celebrate Peyton's 3rd birthday. We had a good time with pizza, cupcakes and a birthday goody bag from Peyton filled with all kinds of fun stuff and to top it off then got to play in the play area filled with all kinds of play structures, slides and games. It was funny that all three of them had on brown shirts. Happy Birthday Peyton!!

Ethan and Peyton both loved riding the horse merry-go-round.

Hunter and Ethan driving the car and snowmobile.

Peyton shooting hoops with his mom...His mom was a basketball star at George Fox University so he has basketball in his blood and a good free throw.

Amy & Hunter practicing their hoops.

It has been so much fun having all three boys the same age and that they get along so well together as well as myself to have such great friends (not just mommy friends as I new both of them long before our three boys were in the picture) that have gone through some of the same things, to bounce things off of as well as go out on occasion and just be girls!

For V-day Jeff and Ethan ran the cable for and hooked up my new TV & DVD player in my kitchen. Ethan was a great little helper with his drill that G&G Hadley & Aunt Lori gave him for Christmas.

It has been raining, as usual, so we have had lots of time for indoor activities and Ethan has been enjoying the Play-doh set, memory game and flashcards that he got for Christmas.


A performer in the making!

This evening we had some entertainment from our little performer, he even brought us each out a guitar to play while he sang.

***Background info: He is standing & jumping on a crate from Daddy's office that he has covered with his blanket and put Copper's ball inside the crate, thus Copper is trying to figure out how to get his ball back.


This weekend Ethan and I went to work with Daddy. He was in need of some help to get his office organized and transitioned from the old job to the new job, he still has the same office and some of the same staff but works for a different company. We took the laptop to help keep Ethan entertained with movies and spent both Saturday and Sunday getting rid of lots and lots and lots of paper and rearranging the furniture. In fairness, he did warn me beforehand of what I would be walking into...I was afraid it would be a Hoarders episode. I didn't take a before picture because it may have scared some of you.

This was the end result of all our hard work.

Ethan was really helpful and found lots of toys to play with in Daddy's office, he especially liked the paper clips and an Easy button from Staples that says "that was easy," to which Ethan repeated every time he pushed it.

This afternoon while Daddy was going through his last stack of papers, Ethan and I went to feed the ducks just down the street from Daddy's office. He did get too close to one duck who tried to fly away and ended up hitting him with his wing, which scared him a little but he turned right back around and tried to get another one. I think I repeated "you can't touch them" at least 50 times, but what don't I repeat to a 2-year-old at least 50 times a day.


When you're tired, you're tired...

This makes me laugh...He has done this twice now with the exception today of him already being asleep on the couch for well over an hour before getting up and apparently walking over to the ottoman for an additional siesta.