Let's do "before" pictures, so you all have a good point of reference:
|View of the kitchen into the dining room from the naughty corner, what was then the fridge (it was like a long distance hike from the fridge to the oven: "Hello (echoes) hello hello hello....."|
|the living room from the kitchen/dining room doorway|
|the kitchen sitting in the dining room, which was labeled a "family room" and the eating spot was supposed to be that small corner that has wainscotting. Lame. Who needs two living rooms?|
|Front view of the kitchen from the living room doorway|
|This is the kitchen and dining room as seen from the naughty corner. :) Eventually we'd like to make all the floors cork so that it'll be one continuous great room.|
|This is the living room from the kitchen doorway|
|From our front door - no photos is the frames yet, but at least they're hung! My "office" can be closed-up in our secretary desk that doubles as an end table.|
|Whatcha think? :)|
Because there's a procedure in place, I don't have to lose my cool. I can keep my composure and just use my Voice of Authority, as Supernanny puts it. The simple change in tone does wonders, though Liam isn't quite catching on. He laughs and smiles at me in his cutest possible way when I use it and say "no thank you" to redirect him. Hmmmm..... we'll have to work on that. :)
I also really love having our schedule posted. With Chloe out of school these past few weeks and our car brakes being out it's been all day every day at home, with me needing to find a solid balance of activities. We don't have a TV now that we've moved (well we do, but it's not hooked up. Movies only, or we can download stuff from the internet, that way Brian and I can still watch The Daily Show/Colbert Report!.) Anyway, the schedule helps me stay on track without having to put too much thought into it. I just look at the clock, "Oh it's art time. Chloe 5 minutes to art time. Would you like to paint or color?"
It's been wonderful getting into this groove. I feel like the mom I've always wanted to be, which is so freeing. I think my attitude in general is improving because I don't have to remind myself daily why I'm happy (as a way to counteract unhappiness), I just am happy. I wake up happy, positively thrilled that the kitchen needs picking up again or that the cat's litter needs changing. All the chores seem simple and managable and downright enjoyable because it's my house I'm cleaning. Such a difference. That and exercise. Wondrous, glorious exercise - 45 minutes all to myself, thanks to my local Curves and it's after-hours keytag feature (bless you!). I literally have the place to myself, can turn the music to soft, and just groove, relax, and clear my head. I feel a zillion times better afterwards and I can finally feel these stubborn baby pounds melting away. I mean, I used to be a Curves trainer when Brian and I met - I was THAT in shape, people! :) It's so nice to have more flexibility/mobility/body confidence now. I've got about 60 to even 70 pounds to go before I hit pre-Chloe weight. Wowza. One pound and one inch at a time.
Alright. In the final bit for tonight, I have a recipe to share! Tonight I made some simple lo mein noodles and it was so tasty and so easy, I just knew I'd post it. :) It took me all of 10 minutes to make. Love it.
Lo Mein Noodles
Yield: 2 adult servings and 2 child servings
1/3 C soy sauce (tamari reduced sodium is my preference)
1 T oyster sauce
2 t hoisin sauce
1/2 t sesame seed oil
a few drops asian chile oil (or more if you want it spicy!)
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 pound linguini noodles
1 bunch green onions, cut on the bias into 1 inch pieces
2/3 C matchstick cut carrots
1 1/2 C coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and yes, more carrots)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t chinese 5 spice powder
1/2 t ground ginger
While pasta is boiling, make the sauce: combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin, sesame seed oil, asian chile oil, 5 spice powder, and ginger. Set aside. Drain pasta and set aside.
In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil to rippling hot. Add the carrots and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and green onions (and some crushed red pepper flakes for extra zing if you like) and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, stir in the sauce, then add the noodles and toss with tongs to combine. Return it to the heat and let cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing the pasta frequently. Serve with extra soy sauce at the table.