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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Orville Redenbacher's Lime + Salt Popcorn

I was grocery shopping at Giant yesterday and made my regular popcorn stop.  My kids love popcorn and my 3 year old loves to make it for everyone.  Who am I to argue with one less snack to make?  I am somewhat familiar with my available options and usually select the cheapest.  If two are priced the same I select the one that looks the best at the time.  Besides Jolly Time's Kettle Corn they all taste pretty much the same to me. 
But yesterday I saw something different- maybe the color describing what kind of popcorn it was?  I was looking specifically for a popcorn that would get me my 100 points towards gas and this box was one of them.  Lime + Salt.  New?  I like lime in my salty food so this was a no brainer.  Plus it says "No Artificial Ingredients".  Huh...I'll look into that some more later.  I'm a big fan of healthy foods and try lean more toward the "healthy" processed stuff.  Tossed it into my cart, along with a regular flavor just in case this experiment turned out to be awful. 
Fast forward to today, when I decided to give it a test.  The smell?  YUM.  The flavor?  It's actually very mild but I like it!  It's enough flavor that I don't need any "butter" which is pretty cool.  I won't knock anyone down to grab it but if it stays on the shelves I'll pick it up from time to time. 
How does it measure up to Orville's Movie Theater Butter?  Did you know they add color to buttered popcorn?  Ummm...why?  The Lime+Salt actually has 20 more calories per serving.  Fat is the same, Saturated Fat is better for L+S.  The other noticeable differences are more sodium in L+S and way more Potassium in the Movie Theater Butter. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jonas Loves Reading

If your kid isn't 3-ish, you don't care what a 3 year old is reading, or you'd rather see what a 10 year old is reading then you can check out Zachary Loves Reading or stay tuned for what my 6 year old daughter loves to read. 

We love books and maybe we have just a few too many in our storage-unfriendly house.  Yet we still go to the library and take out MORE books.  I'm still not sure a Kindle will ever take the place of a real book.  Kids (or maybe just my kids) don't seem to notice the difference between a computer, video game or electronic device of any sort.  I hate to think that they think I'm playing games when I'm really reading.  I want them to love reading and it seems that only a book could really do that. 

On a recent trip Jonas (3 1/2 years old) choose two books to check out.  He is so cute with his seriousness when it's time to chekout our books.  He insists that he hold his card himself and he will patiently and calmly stand in line.  If you know anything about Jo this statement above would make you crack up, or at the very least you would smother a laugh.
I didn't write down the titles or authors of these books.  1 wasn't the least bit memorable- a lesson we learn frequently, but don't get upset over since the library is FREE!  The other he absolutely LOVED.  After I read it to him a few times he read it back to me.  Then he read it to big sis Amara and little brother Henry.  Over and over.  Fortunately it was a good book and they didn't mind.   

It was called "I Feel a Foot!" 
  I Feel a Foot!
and is about some animal friends sleeping in the woods.  They wake up after Turtle hears a sound and go off to investigate.  They all are trying to figure out what it is they have found in the dark and all have their own ideas.  It's fun, colorful, creative and easy to read.  It's not long so kids won't get bored.  Important for jumpy, active children!  Jonas and I definitely recommend this book. 

Another one of Jo's abso. favorite books is called "Dinosaurs Love Underpants".Dinosaurs Love Underpants 

We have read this book into destruction- I seriously need to re-staple all the pages back together and tape some tears.  I'm not sure he'll ever tire of it.  When you first open the book there are a whole bunch of pairs of underpants and each time we read it we choose our favorite pair.  The story has a lot of rhyming words and is about how cavemen were tired of not having clothes so they made underwear.  The dinosaurs loved them so much that they took them and started fighting over them until they were all destroyed (how did you think dinosaurs became extinct???).  Totally fun for dino lovers but if you hope this book will help your potty-hating child then you might be disappointed.  It was why I got the book in the first place- "Hey Jo, these dinosaurs love underpants so much so don't you want to wear them all the time too?"  Nope- didn't happen.  But it's a great book and lots of fun to read again and again.  

We also read "Where the Wild Things Are" a few times but I wasn't that impressed.  Where the Wild Things Are

I thought it would be a totally awesome book but maybe I'm just missing something?  Jonas enjoyed it quite a bit though. 
On the subject of Maurice Sendak, I came across a book once in a grocery store called "Last Night I Dreamed a Circus"
Last Night I Dreamed a Circus

which I bought without even opening (which I've never done).  Just reading the title inspired me to purchase the book for my daughter, who used to wake up and tell me about some insane dreams that she would have.  The stories were fascinating!  I wasn't disappointed and this book absolutely reminded me of her dreams.  This book comes Maurice Sendak- recommended.

What's on your 3 year old childs must-read list?  What were your favorite books as a child? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Vent, Rant, a Little Bit of Whine

It's almost the end of the summer...and what awesome adventures have we gone on?  None.  Why?  Well I can't get ANYTHING done.  Nothing.  EVER.  Half way into any chore I get sidetracked by kid A fighting kid B or kid C taking kid A's toys.  Then I give up and we don't get to go have fun.  And this happens every. single. day. 
Ugh.  I'm in such a rut and today started off worse than normal.  Usually I wake up earlier than everyone because I need time to wake up or I'm a monster, and it's the only time I'm awake alone.  And I can maybe get 1 of my 7 loads of needed laundry done.  But today I fell back to sleep because my alarm went off in the middle of a dream (don't you hate that?).  When I woke up I was completely bombarded by my older two.  My oldest is 10 and has ADHD and he won't ever be quiet.  It's "quack quack screeeeeeeeech mommy mommy mommy mommmy guess what guess what I can [blah blah blah] AHHHHH quack reeee eeeeeeeeee!"  How anyone could handle that the instant they wake up is beyond me, and I'm a terrible example of a patient and tolerant person.  My 6 year old daughter LOVES to tattle and loves to scream at the top of her lungs if her older brother makes her mad.  All the parenting books in the world haven't solved that one yet.  It's only 9:30 and I'm already ready to throw in the towel and give up for the day.  1 isn't even awake yet!  
To top it off, it's raining.  Which normally isn't so bad- we play in the rain often.  But there's some pouring involved.  I can't coordinate rainy-day activities because I can't even find a place to coordinate them.  Nowhere is safe from the mess of kids.  With the age ranges of 1-10 we have play spaces in every nook and cranny (of which there aren't many- my house is a rectangle with no closets to hide clutter on the first floor- the living spaces) so there are toys and things everywhere.
My house is a mess (and when people say their house is a mess and there's like 2 things on their counters, maybe a blanket askew, a throw pillow fell on the floor and they might need to run the vacuum over the carpet once I hate them- I want to say "come see my house and tell me that your house is a "wreck").  My house is a real, live, serious mess and I can't even clean it because I'm playing ref to my team constantly.  I can only sit here and wonder when I'll ever be able to clean it.  And organized...well that might never happen.  And boy oh boy would I just love it if my kids would clean up after themselves once, without me having to hunt them down and force them to do it.  So I'm constantly at war with my kids and house and always losing the fight. 

I know some of this is my fault.  I know there are things I could do and steps I could take to prevent these things from happening as often as they do.  It doesn't help I have some sort of issue with being tired all the time.  And not "mom tired".  I am purely exhausted throughout the day, regardless of what I eat or what I'm doing.  At around 6 I hit a wall and almost completely crash.  It takes everything in my power to keep myself going for the next 4-5 hours.  Being this tired does nothing for my stress levels and ability to handle craziness AND being the head of house.  Where's hubby?  He's at work from about 8:30-9pm so I'm going it alone most of the time.  If you read my blog regularly you know that he is on a quest to lose some weight.  He stays after work to workout at the office building's gym.  One day he's going to have to quit and start somewhere that we can all go so that I can get these kids out of the house and give myself some peace.

I just need to vent.  To hear that others might be going through something similar (stories please).  Some SOLUTIONS!                  

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I got to spend a lot of time with my grandpa and grandma when I was growing up.  We lost my grandfather many years ago and the other day I was talking about a book that reminded me of him.  The book is called "Could Be Worse" (look it up- it's a great book).  My perspective might not be what he really was, or how he really was but I was a young girl who got to hang out with my grandparents regularly and in my mind it was special every time.  I'm glad I only remember the good parts, or maybe there never were bad parts.  I wonder if my mom's story about my time with them when I was little would be different.  This is about memories and grandparents- the ones we have and are grateful for, and the ones we wish were never lost.   

Grandpa and Grandma Knaub:  My mom's dad was the silent type.  Ask him a question and by the time he answered you were pretty sure that he either never heard you or had decided not to answer.  This was just how he was, or how I remember him.  I would spend the night many Friday nights.  I don't recall a lot of discussion for our Friday night schedule, it was just how it was.  At 8pm my grandma or I would turn on the tv and put on the channel that showed TGIF.  We loved watching Full House, Step By Step, Family Matters and whatever other shows entertained us from 8-10pm.  Then it was "bed time".  This ritual included story time.  My grandma would sometimes tell me this story about a legend- a talking fox in Japan.  I don't recall the story but remember it was a little scary (but I also really enjoyed it).  We (and sometimes just I) would read Grimm's Fairy Tales.  I loved those stories.  If I remember correctly, this was when it was Grandpa's time to shine.  Grandma would go to bed and he would silently get out the table, the checkers board and pieces and set up our checkers game.  We would play and chat.  I don't remember who won and it didn't matter. 
In the morning I would wake to the smell of cinnamon pancakes.  They were perfect every time.  My grandma used a simple recipe- I think it's just flour, milk and egg, like a crepe.  Then she buttered it and sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar.  I've made it for my kids and some of them like it.  It's still one of my favorite things to eat.  That and my mom's creamed eggs are two of my favorite comfort breakfast foods. 
I also remember some other things from my time there.  I used to love, love, love sitting down in the basement on a stool playing on the typewriter, listening to the "how dry I am" dog and pretending that the bar was my office.  I loved pushing the very old stroller around the "scary" part of the basement, though it was never so scary when my grandpa was in the workshop that was in the same room.  The giant pine tree in the backyard was my secret hideout.  I bet I was real sneaky with my bright pink outfits hiding in that sparse growth.  The house behind theirs, beyond the bushes and down the little hill (which looked big when I was little) was certainly occupied by a witch.  To my family- you probably know and love many of the things I'm talking about!  If not, ask someone about them.  My grandfather died from a heart attack years ago.  Hopefully my grandma will be around for many years to come.  My mom had me when she was 29, I think.  Once I asked my grandma how old she was and she said, "26".  I'm happy to keep it that way :)

Grandpa and Grandma Klineyoung: Because of some circumstances beyond our control I wasn't able to spend as much time with my dad's parents.  Though I loved them both I was closer to my grandfather, perhaps because I didn't grow up with my dad and he was a good figure to look up to.  Even as an adult I felt like a kid whenever I saw him.  Not like I felt I was being treated like a kid, but like I wanted him to play ball with me or something.  I was glad I got a few years of visits and time with them after I had kids.  I remember when they had crabs for dinner (or lunch).  I was TERRIFIED.  I was maybe 6 and was sure these grotesque things were going to eat me.  I still won't eat crabs.  I remember spending time with my cousins.  I don't recall much of the house but as an adult I am in love with the style of house in which they lived, so it must have had an impact on me.  We lost them both recently, only a few years ago and I am reminded that time here is short; time with the people you love, doing the things you love, is limited.

My kids are lucky.  They have their Obasan (my mom- grandma in Japanese...and I hope I spelled that correctly because I'm not spell-checking), Grandma and Grandpa Weaver (Jason's dad and step-mom), Nana (Jason's mom), Grandpa Ron (my dad- he calls himself Papa Ron, they call him grandpa), Japanese Grandma (my mom's mom) and also their great-grandparents Abuelo and Abuela (Jason's step-mom's parents) and Mom Mom and Pop Pop (Jason's grandparents).  They have a unique and special relationship with all of them and I hope that continues for years to come.  I hope they can grow up with fond memories with all of them.  As it is, I'm sure they will!                    

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Zachary Loves Reading

My kids and I love to read.  Here are a few of 10 year old Zachary's favorite books and current reading material.  These are actually fun to read with the whole family and reading with your kids is a great way to spend a lazy day.  When reading is fun kids will want to do it and these books fit the bill of encouraging reading. 

Zachary has been enjoying The Magic Tree House series for 2 or 3 years now. 

He has over 20 of them (but isn't even close to completing the collection of over 60 books)!  The Magic Tree House series is by Mary Pope Osbourne and is about two children, Jack and Annie, who go on adventures back in time after discovering a magic tree house full of books.  These two are great role models for kids, with their brains and kindness.  There are some factual events (history lessons!) and mythical exploration as well.  New to me, there is also a kind of spin-off series by the author titled The Merlin Missions, beginning with Christmas in Camelot), so that older kids can continue their journey with Jack and Annie while still being challenged in reading. 

He is also reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. 

There are currently 5 books in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Roderick Rules, The Last Straw, Dog Days, The Ugly Truth, plus the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book which is a fun journal for kids.  A 6th book in the series will be coming out in the fall of 2011: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever.  
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is about middle-schooler Greg Heffley's.  His mother buys and forces him to keep a diary- we get to enjoy his daily (and realistic pre-teen) life, from mean big brother Roderick to his annoying little brother Manny, bullies and other growing up challenges. 

I'll be sharing the other kids' favorites soon.  What are your kids reading? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Technorati Made Me Do It- Don't Bother Reading

I'm just testing and confirming and signing up for way too many things.  8895V4MSUTXE

The Weavers on a Diet! Week...4

Jason is on- I think- his 4th week of diet and exercise.  Still no pictures- sorry.  He's been working out 4-5 times a week at his "cheap" work gym.  $30/month is NOT cheap.  But I'm hoping once he gets into the habit he'll downgrade to a more reasonably priced gym.  Like Planet Fitness with their $10 montly membership or we could upgrade to a family membership at the JCC or something like that.  He's also dieting but still on an Atkin's-style thing.  So I am trying to buy some fish and using his diet as my excuse to buy quinoa, whole grain pasta, brown rice and more veggies that he can't object to eating since he's trying to lose weight.  Win for me! 
I got to try okra for the first time in my jambalaya and no one even noticed this new (and significant- I put in a lot) addition.  They also didn't notice the brown rice replacing the white rice.  Except for Zachary, but he has sensory processing issues so I wasn't surprised.  He's the prince to the Princess and the Pea.    

At the start of Jason's weight loss plan he was at a shocking and scary 289 (he's 5'10).  He was wearing an XXL shirt and those were starting to get tight on him.  He had some nasty man boobies going on.  Pant size- who knows! 
The first week he was let down when he didn't lose anything.  I reminded him that it usually doesn't show up right away and that we would notice it in his clothes before the scale. 
The 2nd week he reported a weight of 279 for a total loss of 10 lbs.  I noticed some chest shrinkage. 
At the end of last week (week 3) he had lost an additional 2lbs for a total weight of 277.  This is the first time I noticed a difference.  He put on a shirt that just a few months ago ceased to fit him.  Size XL!  AND it was loose!  Okay, not loose like it looked like he was swimming but it actually fit him comfortably.  Amazing.  His stomach is still loaded with visceral fat.  That sounds so gross.  He just looks like he has a beer gut with no beer in the fridge as an excuse.  I really need photos.     

So breakdown:
Starting weight: 289
Week 1: 0lb loss= 289
Week 2: 10lb loss= 279
Week 3: 2lb loss= 277
Week 4: coming soon.

Stay tuned!  I promise some embarassing photos.  Since they aren't of me. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

In His Shoes

Quite literally.  My oldest turned 10 on July 10th (pictures to come; if you know me, you know they'll be late as usual).  Golden birthday, yay!  I wasn't allowed to buy him too many presents and I was bummed, but it was probably for the best- kid can't keep his room cleaned to save his life.  He blames it on his siblings but I told him we could make the attic a bedroom just for him...
Anyway, the other night we were hanging out with family and I was sitting beside him.  I looked down at our feet side-by-side, mine bare and his in shoes.  I noticed that they were practically the same size so I asked him to take off his shoe so I could try it on.  

Then I remembered something.  My son's feet STINK.  Something awful.  Anyone know good solutions?  It is seriously rank.  Stinks up his whole room.  (he'd give me his mommy stop look if he knew I was publishing this for the world.)  It's amazing because as far as 10 year old kids go, he smells good.  Even when he hasn't showered for a few days during a stinkin' hot summer he doesn't smell bad, but GAWD those feet!  I'm not really sure how to treat it. 

So he gives me his shoes (I feign dying) and guess what?  They fit!  I can wear my child's shoes.  I wondered years ago when the day would come.  His feet are actually pretty small for a 10 year old, I think.  He's in a 3.5.  I can wear a boy's 3.5.  Before kids I could have fit into his shoes sooner.  I used to wear a 7.5 or 8 but now I'm in anywhere from an 8-9 depending on the brand and type of shoe.