Ham Surprise

Today for lunch I fixed myself a ham surprise sandwich. The ingredients are bread, mayo, ham, muenster cheese, spinach, and canned peaches. The surprise is the canned peaches. I made this for Murray last week and he loved it, so I made one for myself today. But the real question is, if I put the peaches there myself, is it still a ham surprise sandwich?

Family Fitness!

This has been the first week of the Amore Family Fitness Initiative to Promote Better Health and Sleeping here in our home. My theory is that if we go to bed every evening at 11:00 and get up by 8:00 every day, and if we eat balanced meals, and if we get 1/2 hour of exercise every day, then Murray will sleep better. We'll see if I'm right. And if I am, I will patent my sleep prescription, write a book, and sell my health plan to millions.

(You probably won't notice, but it's after 11:00 p.m. and we're still up. Unfortunately I implemented the AFFITPBHAS during a week when I am super busy with work and deadlines. And I am blogging to procrastinate my work and deadlines.)

Murray and I get prizes if we each lose 15 lbs. For Murray, it's a Mac Mini, which he hopes will change our TV viewing experience forever. For me, it's a set of yellow chairs that I want desperately and will improve the quality of my life. And heck. If I lose 15 lbs and get 1/2 hour of exercise every day, I reduce my risk of developing type II diabetes by 58 percent!

Anyhoo. Tonight our 1/2 hour of exercise was swimming at our pool. Murray thought that "swimming for exercise" meant floating around in the water. Boy was he surprised when I forced him into doing the back stroke! But I was met with a little resistence, and I'm not talking about the water. So to make our water exercise more fun, Murray and I developed some pool olympics. Here are some games that may not be making it as official sports any time soon:

1) Racing across the pool by walking across the bottom of the pool. No hands allowed. No kicking allowed. You must walk across the bottom of the pool.---WINNER: MURRAY

2) Worming across the pool. Hands and ankles must stay together as you worm your way across the pool.---WINNER: CICADA

3) Bunny jumping across the pool. Hands must be tucked under the knees and you must hop across the pool.---WINNER: MURRAY

4) Kicking across the pool. Hands must be to your sides. You must face upwards. You can get across the pool only by kicking.---WINNER: CICADA

5) Paddling across the pool. Feet must be held still. You can get across the pool by using your arms only.---WINNER: MURRAY

6) Peeing in the pool.---WINNER: THE KIDS WHO WERE THERE AT 10:00 AT NIGHT ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. (What's up with that?)

There were some other water sports that I can't quite remember. Some involved hefting the other person. Oh---there was this great ab workout where you had to wrap your legs around the other person, keep your head above the water, and keep your hands out of the water.

So in the end, we both got a great workout. And I got to wear my new swim suit from Lime Ricki and Murray said I looked hot. And then we got back home and I helped myself to a second serving of spinach artichoke quiche.

By the way, Gulliver stayed in his swing in the corner of the pool area (far away from the pool edge) and seemed quite indifferent to his parents making fools of themselves. He's such a good boy.

Murray has been chopped.

Recently Murray and I saw Chopped at Murray's parents' house. Ever since, we haven't been able to get enough. It's our new favorite show.

Here's a description from the site: Passion and expertise rule the kitchen on the fast-paced new series, Chopped. Hosted by Ted Allen (Food Detectives), the series challenges four up-and-coming chefs to turn a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal. After each course, a contestant gets "chopped" until the last man or woman left standing claims victory. Each week, a rotating panel of culinary elite judges including Alex Guarnaschelli, Aaron Sanchez, and Geoffrey Zakarian will decide whose dishes shine the brightest and award the winner $10,000.

What we love most about the show are the surprise ingredients that the contestants must use. Like Mac n Cheese, or even gummy bears. It's really interesting to see the chefs at work, trying to make something good out of awful or mismatched ingredients. The chefs have to present and explain their courses to the judges. Murray particularly appreciates the artistic arrangements of the food on the plates.

Well, tonight I asked Murray to make us a snack. I asked Murray, whose culinary expertise extends to pb&j. He asked if we had ice cream and I told him we didn't. I expected a yogurt and a cheese stick. Or, well, a pb&j. (When we started dating, he invited me over to his house for a romantic dinner and made me Bertolli's.)

I was not expecting this.

Murray came into the room with our snack on a tray. He was also trying to ignite a lighter and set our food on fire.


And he tried and tried and tried to set our food on fire, but to no avail.

So then he had to present his creation to me, the judge.

These are creamy vanilla yogurt parfaits with a smattering of a circular arrangement of blueberry preserves. (His words, not mine.)

He described the dish: "Let me tell you what I've done. On the bottom is a delicate layer of blueberry preserves. This is topped with creamy, low-fat vanilla yogurt. On top of the yogurt is a layer of toasted granola in a slight Batman insignia shape, drizzled with the juice remaining in the cranberries in the fridge, topped with another smattering of blueberry preserves for symmetry, garnished with parsley. Then the dessert was meant to be lightly glazed with rum (but turned out to be rather saturated) which was supposed to light on fire but didn't."

The boozey dessert proved inedible, but at least we gave it a good try. I am afraid that Murray has been chopped.

Says Murray, "I can't believe the judge chopped me, but at least I made it to the dessert round. Whatever. They don't know what they were missing with me. Just wait till next time. I am just going to throw my chef apron in this trash can... whatever."

Clicking the magic button.

Just a word.

I very rarely enter free giveaway contests. I usually figure my chances of winning are abysmally low, so I don't even try.

But sometimes I do.

And I never win.

BUT what I do think and marvel at is the fact that my entering the contest changes the outcome. If I didn't enter the contest, person A would win. But as soon as I click the magic submit button, person A will not win and person A will never know that I caused them to not win.

Isn't that crazy??

So, my apologies to person A who will now not be going to BlogHer this year.


Is is really Friday already? This week has gone by SO fast. And with very little posting by me. Many apologies. I have actually been quite busy with work. It seems like everyone backed off when Gulliver was born and gave me a bit of space, but lately, I feel like I'm right back into things, full swing. Which is GREAT because it means we get money. And it means that I'm working and doing things that I enjoy. But it means that I'm not sleeping in till noon and eating bon bons all day long. What the heck?

One of my favorite moments of this week was when Murray rolled over my surgery foot in bed and when I cried out in pain, instead of apologizing, he said, "Huh. It'll subside." This is my new pat response for any complaint of his.

Tuesday of this week, Murray and I dropped Gulliver off at Grandma's and went to see Taken at the movies. I really needed to get out of the house. We actually quite enjoyed the movie. Of course as with any action film, there are things that you can pick apart (which is one of my favorite things about watching action movies). But I only had three things about this movie anyway. If you see the movie and want to know what they are, highlight the following secret text:

1) In Paris, the protagonist presents a French government business card to the Albanians but speaks to them in English (with no French accent) the entire time. What's up with that? Like they couldn't figure out right away that there's probably no Americans working in that part of the French government?

2) The rich dad sends the real dad to Paris on a private jet, but when the real dad brings his sexually exploited daughter home, they take a regular plane. What's up with that?

3) Apparently I can't remember my third point. But I know it was really good.

On Wednesday, Murray was sick and stayed home from work. So it kindof felt like an island Saturday in the middle of the week, especially considering we'd been out to the movies the night before. So I took advantage of Murray's ability to stay in bed and entertain Gulliver and I got some good housework done. And Murray listed a bunch of old books that he doesn't want anymore on Amazon (and sold 6 in less than 24 hours).

Here's Gulliver and company. One of these days we'll get a picture of him smiling with his friends.

Here's Gulliver standing. He hates being on his stomach and he doesn't like lying down more than necessary. He likes sitting up and standing.

Gulliver and his feet. I finally found a pair of pajamas that are not skin-tight on him. Unfortunately he's pretty much outgrown his Dwell pajamas already. Those were supposed to be 3-6 months!! He's barely 3 months. These pajamas are 9 months. Hopefully they'll last through the week.

And finally, here is Gulliver laughing with his Aunt Cici.

Photo Catch-up Part 2: Vacation

On the flight out to Maryland, Gulliver wore his plane pjs and had his plane blanket. Everyone loved it. He slept most of the flight and didn't cry at all. Passengers and flight crew told us how good a little traveler he is. We are so proud.

Once in Maryland, my mom treated us to crab cakes. They were honestly the best crab cakes I have ever had. Yum! At this restaurant, there was a sign saying no sleeveless shirts or tank tops. My mom asked if they actually enforced that and the hostess explained, "It's actually only for the men, but we weren't allowed to put 'Men Only' on the sign."

Visiting the Stephen Colbert portrait in the American History Smithsonian.

Dad in the statue garden, sharing secrets with his new friends.

Outside the Hershorn.

Gulliver is pooped after a long day!

Getting some real Jewish corned beef sandwiches.

At the bench where we got engaged, with something to show for our marriage!

In the Australia exhibit at the aquarium.

Getting near a snake-necked turtle.

At the Jefferson Memorial, looking at the cherry blossoms.

We did not walk ALL THE WAY AROUND the tidal basin, because every time my dad asked us if we wanted to walk "ALL THE WAY AROUND the tidal basin," he emphasized certain words that made it clear what HE wanted to do. (And because I didn't actually want to walk ALL THE WAY AROUND the tidal basin with my healing foot and with the big marathon going on that would have blocked our walk.)

Dad and Ootsie and Maeby.

Dad and the marathoners. Should I write what he calls the runners? "Losers, wannabe's and would-be pretenders." And he said it loud enough for them to hear if they were listening. I hope they get my dad's sense of humor... We didn't love the runners. There were 12,000 of them, and they and their spectators made a usually busy cherry blossom trip EXTRA busy. There were almost fist fights over our parking spot when we were ready to leave.

Oh, how beautiful! The cherry blossoms are raining on Murray! And just to the left of this picture, dad is shaking the cherry blossom tree. And some runner is yelling at my dad. Good times!

At National Harbor, looking at The Awakening.

Back at my parents' house, Murray is sharing music with Gulliver.

On the plane ride back home.

Gulliver was, once again, a perfect little traveler.

So there you go. We had a fun visit out in Maryland and got to do lots of fun things.

Hoppy Easter

Here is Gulliver in the only Easter outfit we were able to catch on camera. He pooed in every other Easter outfit before we had the chance to take his photo. Gulliver is wearing a hat made by Nemesis because she loves him.

Photo Catch-up Part 1: Park Day

Okay. I know I haven't posted in forever. I have been legitimately pretty busy and we were on vacation. So now I'm ready to give you a photo account of what we've been up to.

Here are some great pictures from our activities on Saturday. We went park hopping with Murray's family and the fact that it was raining meant that we got the parks to ourselves. Murray's family has found two great parks in the area. I was feeding Gulliver during one park visit, so I don't have pictures from there, but here are some pictures of a park that was so fun, even we adults couldn't resist playing on the equipment.

(Gulliver's first slide ride. I think that I have enough excitement in my expression for the two of us. Unfortunately for me, I recognize this expression from other pictures that have been taken of me in moments of extreme excitement.)

(You can't see my 9-yr-old nephew, but here I am, racing him up the rock wall. Because I don't let kids win.)

(And here's the coconut cake I made for Easter---the first ever cake I've made that actually turned out pretty.)

On Vacation

I thought I should put up a couple pictures to give you a hint of what we've been up to lately.

Another hint as to where we are: It may only be midnight Utah time when I'm posting this, but out here it's 2:00 a.m. and Gulliver is still wide awake. And we're getting up at 6:00 tomorrow morning (four hours from now) to go look at cherry blossoms.