Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

On Tuesday night I made these spinach lasagna rolls that I found on Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes blog. They turned out sooo good. Even my husband (Mr. I will not eat it if it's healthy) enjoyed these bad boys. They are super easy and quick to put together. Enjoy!

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 9 Serving Size: 1 roll Calories: 188 Points: 4 ww pts
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese (I like Polly-o)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Backyard Fun

Chris and I have decided to stay in our house another year (to pay off my student loans) and invest a little bit more into our house. So, my mom and started the planning process last Monday, with no less than fifty of these bad boys:
I wish I had all the money and time in the world to turn these projects into our backyard reality. There are so many great ideas! To help me focus, my mom had me pick one area of the yard that had me the most trouble. I picked the back yard:
I wish I had thought to take pictures before we raked all the leaves and crap up. It was incredible the amount of random stuff we found next to and especially behind the garage. The final list included a sock, blue fish aquarium rocks, a flea collar, a cat toy, beer bottles, siding, gutter guard, a green vase with a broken bottom, the broken pieces of the vase ducked taped together, two hunter green shutters and a hose. And now a visual to give you a true idea of the randomness:
Oh, and we also found enough bricks for a small doghouse. Don't know what we're going to do with them yet, but I'm definitely open to suggestions!!!
After tons of raking, weeding, and tilling, my little corner garden looks like this:
Obviously we've still got a lot of work to do, but I'm so happy with this progress! I can't wait to add some color and more mulch! One more exciting thing that's happened is that we got bids to have our front porch redone!! At first we were just going to have the rotted boards and spindles replaced, but the more we looked at it, the more we decided to just go for it. After all, when we do put our house on the market, the front will be the first thing people see! Here's how it looks now:
I can't wait to see it with a new, white front porch, new front and storm doors and black shutters on all the windows!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MIA No Longer

I know I've been absent for a few weeks, but with good reason, I promise.

As a PICU nurse I always knew that the day would come when I would take care of a child who's time on this earth was soon to end. Don't get me wrong, in my two years as a PICU nurse I've seen death far too many times. This time though, I was the primary nurse. And in that role, it's a whole new ball game.

Enter Alex, a 12 year old boy who has graced our ICU a few too many times. Each time he gets very sick and yet still defies every odd that gets placed in front of him. His parents have stood with him on heaven's door so many times, and yet each time, Alex remained here. So on Friday, February 18, Alex rolled through the doors with an acute GI bleed and respiratory distress. By that afternoon he was on a ventilator, with IV lines for medications, blood pressure and heart function monitoring. By the end of the weekend he was on an oscillator (an extreme type of ventilation) and his heart function was barely there. This is it whispers rang through the unit. Nope, said Alex, not yet.

And so he rallied. Again. Then on Monday, March 8, I went into his room to find him lying in a pool of blood. Through the course of the day, Alex lost 4L of blood and another 2L of abdominal fluid. For 9 hours we were doing everything we could to save this little boys life. We got the bleeding stopped, gave him and the room a bath, and allowed his parents back in the room. After many tears and prayers, they made the gut wrenching decision to make Alex a DNR. Before leaving work that night I gave his parents what I thought would be the final round of hugs. But of course, this is Alex. So it wasn't.

All night I waited for the phone call telling me Alex was in heaven. I waited the next day and the next. No phone call. I walked into work Thursday morning and there he is. Rallying once again. He's getting better his night primary says. So I spend Thursday and Friday taking care of Alex and his family. I'll be back Monday morning I said, enjoy the family weekend (Alex's siblings were coming to visit.) We will they said. See you then.

Monday morning proved to be the longest morning of my life. When I walked into his room, Alex was wide awake. He looked at me and waved. We went through our morning routine and at 1005 am, one week and one hour exactly from when he started bleeding the first time, he began to bleed again. Only this time he was a DNR. There was nothing we could do. We got his parents, who were once again faced with gut wrenching decisions. What to do? Take Alex off the ventilator? Revoke the DNR?

With tears streaming down her face, Alex's mom came out of his room and asked for the attending physician. They wanted Alex off the ventilator, all medicines stopped, and his IV lines out. It was time for him to go to heaven. We started that process at 1035. Alex went to heaven laying in his mother's arms at 1115 am, March 15, 2010.

Words cannot describe what going through this process has done to me. It was the most humbling experience I have ever had. I'm very thankful to have gone through this with a family that was out of this world amazing as well as a group of primary nurses that did everything possible for this family and child.

Prior to all of this, I was questioning my career and if this is where I wanted to stay. Taking care of Alex and his family reaffirmed in me why I'm a PICU nurse. And for that, I'll be eternally grateful.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Indiana Road Trip

This weekend, Chris and I headed out to spend time with some of my family at their home in Carmel, IN. My cousins, Grace and Chad, we're in our wedding and we miss them so much! We had an amazing weekend that included good food, good wine, the Olympics, bowling, and turning our family into the mafia. :) Here are some pics from our family bowling tournament...

Chris and Chad:
Aunt Pam, Uncle Joe, and Chad:
Chris, Grace, and Me:
This pic about sums up the relationship between Grace and Uncle Joe:
Chad had kicked my butt in any game we play, starting back in the day when he was two and loved Rugrat Uno. Well, this weekend, I got revenge. I beat him in bowling. Here's the proof:
While Chris and I were gone, Skittles (our puppy), got to be spoiled at my parents for the weekend.

Here she is recovering:
And fast forward a few hours later when I told her that her "daddy" would be home soon:
And this is where she will remain until she sees Chris' car pull into the driveway. Too cute.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Finished Kitchen!

Here are the before and after shots of the kitchen. Get ready to be amazed!

First we have where the sink use to be. Note how there is just a sink and a fridge. That is all.

Gutted to the studs:
And transformed:
Now the entry to the dining room:
Down to the studs:
And finished!
Now for the fridge area:
And finished!
Last is the island. Obviously the ghetto kitchen was too good for an island before, but we love ours now! Skittles and Ziva wanted to get in the picture, too.
So that's it! A lot of hardwork, tears, and margaritas went into this kitchen and we couldn't be happier with it. Hopefully, a future homebuyer feels the same way!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Here's to a new house?!!?

I spent the day cleaning and meeting with our realtor. Chris and I are ready to have the finishing touches put on this house so it can go on the market in the next 3-4 weeks!!! That is enough to make my stomach do flips. To make it do a complete gymnastics routine, our realtor got me really excited about the idea of building a house. You may remember that we tossed this idea around before we got married and decided it would be too much. So, prayers said and fingers crossed that maybe it will work this go around!!