Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1st Date Post Archie

Oma was kind enough to watch baby this past weekend so we could get some real alone time for the first time since he's arrived. Our 2 year anniversary was last month but we were in no condition to go out so soon so we tried to make this date a little extra special.

For our date night we decided to go out to eat at The Mix. It was very tasty, we had pot-stickers, sushi and stir-fry. Although the stir-fry was good, when we go again we think we will just order more appetizers and more sushi. For being a small restaurant, they managed to have an elegant atmosphere. The service was excellent.

For dessert we headed a few doors down for a smoothie at Keva Juice. It's been a few years since either of us has been there so we were surprised to see the frozen yogurt machines. I stuck with a tasty Hawaiian smoothie, but we sampled the yogurt and it wasn't bad.

After dessert we crossed the street and took a leisurely walk on the NMSU campus. All in all the date was a good time and we even talked about other things than our little Archie!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quiche For Dinner

I'm starting to get the hang of making dinner while taking care of baby. Making a quiche in small steps throughout the day has worked out well for me. Here's how I did it today:

Archie has been pretty calm first thing in the morning lately so I stole a few minutes after breakfast to make and roll out the pie crust. It's not the prettiest pie crust, but I got it in the pie pan, wrapped, and in the fridge before he got too fussy.

During Archie's nap (yes, he actually took one today that lasted more than 8 minutes) I took a few minutes to cut up the ham, grate the cheese, toss them together with the flour and spices, cover and refrigerate.

Then, about an hour before Jacob got home, I threw the cold pie crust in the oven and then preheated it. I quickly added the eggs, milk an spinach to the previous mixture and poured the whole thing into the slightly cooked pie crust. About 40 minutes later, I was pulling this quiche out of the oven. Tonight, I served the quiche with pears. They made a cool light dessert for a warm spring day.

My Quiche Ingredient List:

5 slices turkey ham
1 cup grated Marbled Jack cheese
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flour
salt, black pepper, red pepper, and garlic to taste
1 cup spinach
5 eggs
1& 1/4 cup milk

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
cold water

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden 4/2011: The Three Sisters

I divided my garden into two zones. The first zone starts out with peas and then has corn, green beans, squash, cucumbers and watermelon all growing together. The green beans climb on the corn and support nitrogen fixing bacteria. (As do the peas) The corn is a nitrogen hog and needs that help. The other plants provide ground cover, slowing down the weeds and regulating ground temperature.

I may plant some marigolds when the peas die. Marigolds are supposed to deter pests.Here is the garden: The cardboard is a ground cover. I'm trying to limit the ability of the grass to invade my garden. This menace sends roots and runners up to three feet out. I say limit because it springs up from very deep roots as well. Yes, I could have bought more photogenic plastic ground cover (probably more effective too) and stake it down, but I like the cardboard better. I enjoying making do and scrounging around for things to use which it not its intended purpose. Since this is my hobby activity, I'll do it the way I enjoy . Also cardboard biodegrades and may improve the soil or something.

This brings us to the soil. It is very sandy. I grew up in irrigated country that we could water once a week for most of the summer. Here I have to water two days out of three in July and August. I decided to plant the plants about 60% of the recommended distance because I figure the frequent watering will reduce the effects of crowding, and crowding will reduce the needed water and help prevent weeds. We'll see.

This grouping of plants is very similar to what the aztecs called 'the three sisters'; Corn, squash & beans. Thus the title.


Back in February I decided to go on a diet.

At 232 lbs my BMI was over 30. The BMI is inaccurate - for different body shapes and athleticism. I looked at some other algorithms that took into account ankle and wrist size and activity level. They were all in agreement - unless I was a bodybuilder on steroids, the most I could healthily be was 205 lbs. Also, they seemed to indicate that waist size was a better rough measure of healthiness than weight. My waist was 39. Healthy for my height is 35 inches with 34 being better. (Apparently, if I was a swimmer I could expect to be at 33 inches. Who knew?)

 So my plan was to restrict calories to 2,200 a day with 2,400 for days that I lift weights. I could eat more on special occasions but short of being stuffed. The goal was to lose a pound and one fifth inch per week. If I was off the goal for that week I would fast the following Thursday (Restrict calories to 1,200 and dinner. No simple carbs allowed in this meal) I also planned a log of weekly measurements as well as a list of foods I often eat with their accompanying calories.

 To date I've lost 18 pounds and two and a half inches. I feel better and I can run three miles without getting shin splints. My running previously was limited to intervals (wind sprints) and elliptical. It's been kind of a roller coaster. I lost about seven pounds during the four day hospital stay. I subsisted mainly on pistachios, beef jerky and flamin hot cheetos as the hospital only served meals to patients and I only left twice. In retrospect, baby and mother probably would have been OK without me there continuously. : ) Since then, I've not met my goals on two or three occasions and have exceeded them twice. I didn't implement the fasting because I am will within my overall goal thanks to the hospital stay weight loss.

Counting calories is hard. I use caloriecount.about.com, and other sites. Some things were easy to find a calorie counts, others take a lot of looking around and calculations. I'm not too exact with my counts but stay fairly close. Some surprises were tortillas at 170 calories. Black bean burritos have 330 calories! Sometimes the hard part of this diet is figuring out how many calories the stuff I had already eaten was. I would want to eat something and think, 'I'll have to figure out how many calories I have left so I know how much I can eat. Ugh. Never mind, I think I'll just go off and do something else.' : ) Anyways, I've a little less than half of my diet to go so wish me health and perseverance.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

One Month Old

Hi! My name is Archie.

Look at me wave.

I often enjoy a knuckle-sandwich.

I have dark blue eyes that are a little lighter than when I was born.

I often stick out my tongue.
One of my favorite things to do is eat.

Mutti has caught me rolling my eyes at her when she gets too sappy.

Lately, I've thrown a fit when I'm tired.
That's only because I don't want to miss out on anything when I sleep.

I like to think that as consolation prizes for any extra fussiness,
I've thrown out a few extra smiles and some gentle coos.