Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let Us Eat Lettuce!

My Darling Dear (as I refer to my little 19 month old daughter) has FINALLY relented to eating the lettuce in her salad, as of lunch-time today! Her normal ritual is to eat all the salad fixings (carrots, cheese, raisins, etc) and then suck off any remaining dressing from the lettuce. The result is a gross, slobbery blob of mistreated greens that NO ONE is interested in finishing for her. Her plate usually ends up in the chickens' scrap bowl.

However, today I watered down the dressing in an attempt to wean my boys from needing so much of it to eat their salads. It just so happens that my little Darling Dear decided all on her own that there wasn't enough dressing to warrant her typical lick/discard routine and committed to chewing and then eating her entire plate of salad greens! Then another! Her father and I sat in awe as she munched and crunched away happily.

I just love unintended bonuses!

Also, in the Good News Report: The boys had a salad eating contest today. Boy 2 ate two huge platefuls and Boy 1 ate three! I guess my diabolical plan of starving them out and then offering only veggies for sustenance is working! Whatever it takes, right? LOL.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sometimes I feel so awkward, I feel like I should punch myself in the face

Today has been chock full of weird pauses, overrun emotions and odd strung out vocabulary.

Sometimes I feel like-----WOW.

Just. WOW.

How is it that I am knocking on the door of 34 and I can't vocalize my thoughts in a cohesive VERBAL exchange? I'm constantly trying to fish words that I KNOW out of my brain and insert them into a sentence in real time, which makes me sound both harried and uneducated. (or uninformed) Then, because I'm completely embarrassed by what has just happened, my emotions come surging up from my heart and into my throat and strangle me, further complicating matters and actually just making my issue worse. It's like I'm stuttering, but I'm tripping over a LACK of words.

I feel so weird. Very lonely and isolated in my inability to converse the way I used to.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Social Consciousness, Developing Empathy.

Hubby and I have been on a path lately. Sometimes it feels like a warpath because of the amount of friction that any amount of mind and habit changing incurs, but mostly it's a path towards peace and love. (Well, we HOPE anyway!) It was really unintended, this new way we're walking, and it all started with our garden and our food.

We've been trying to instill a broader social conscience in our kids. They have so much and lately it seems like they are taking it all for granted. (not appreciating good, healthy food, misuse of belongings and abuse of privileges.) So, we've been talking about other kids in other lands that don't have even the simplest of the things that we think are rights, like clean water and food. As with most things I teach the kids, visual references are key, so we YouTubed a few videos that illustrated the hardships that most of the world has to bear. The lesson was meant for the boys, but all of us were moved and I cried myself to sleep Friday night, wondering what we could do to help the world and hoping for direction of some sort to come to me in my sleep.

So, yesterday morning as we were attempting to clear the front jungle--I mean MOW THE LAWN-- a neighbor came by to collect cans for the local Food Bank. Since we've gone Paleo and won't be going back, much of our very large "Apocalypse Now" non-Paleo food storage items were nearing their expiration dates. Husband called a meeting of the minds and after careful and thoughtful consideration over the course of 35 seconds we decided to donate a good two-thirds of our non-Paleo items. (I was all for donating everything, but Husband and Boy 1 still have this running thing about a potential Zombie attack, and apparently we'll have a better chance at survival so long as we have superfluous amounts of non-fat dry milk, canned white flour and dehydrated refried beans.) Anyhow, we packed up the food and the kids and drove to the Food Bank and let the boys unload our wares. We explained to them beforehand what we were doing and how this was helping other families in our town. I was proud of our little guys because there was a treasure trove of their old faves (peaches in heavy syrup, hamburger helper, Gushers fruit snacks, cake mixes, etc) that they cheerfully unloaded and donated with their own little hands and nary a wince or sniffle! That's pretty great for a 4 and 7 year old!

On our way home Boy 1 talked about how we could maybe give some of our money to the kids we saw on the YouTube videos. As a family we've now decided to clean out our house and donate all the things that we don't want/ need/have too much of to a yard sale. We will take a portion of the money made there and donate it to charities that we would like to support. So far, we have this one:

Friends of Kingston, A charity established in memory of my little cousin who was taken too early by a very rare auto-immune disorder that, up until 2 days before he passed no one knew he had. X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), which is also known as Duncan’s disease, is a rare often fatal disease that affects only boys. To date only about 100 families and 400+ boys have been diagnosed worldwide. It is likely, however, that there are many more cases where the correct diagnosis has not been made. This charity was formed to help families, like my Uncle's, who are affected by XLP.

We'd also like suggestions for a reputable charity that fights hunger/starvation and doesn't re-direct the money they receive. If you know of one, please let me know.

September Nook Look

Holy crap! It's been WAAAY over a month since the last Nook Look update! Let's hop to it and see what I did and didn't do, shall we???

So, I managed to get put away (stash somewhere else) most of the stuff from the last time we looked. Pantry and 1st aid kit were re-stocked, Xmas deco got put in attic (thanks Bill), I took kids to the waterpark one more time before Summer ended and the bills got paid. The 4th of July return was done, by a very patient husband who needs no praise, right babe? LOL. But the dress-up hat, parasols and weekly circulars that I was supposed to make a menu from were all just chucked in the garbage. The hat got shredded by a my little girl who hates hats and loves pink, so a green sun hat was no bueno. And the bulbs got returned to Costco, not planted. I've taken WAY too big a bite out of life lately, so I couldn't handle planting them. To do that would first require that I weed, mow and till the area. Not happening this fall. *sigh* I guess I will have to enjoy beautiful perennial loveliness NEXT next Spring!!!

So, as you can see, I've got a few new pet projects on my plate. There's non-Paleo food returns, charitable donations, a yard sale (100% of the proceeds will be donated to charity) and PTA! Oh, the PTA!!! LOL! It's been a great experience, I just didn't anticipate so MUCH experience! I will fill you all in about that later! But I AM very grateful for the other women who I am serving with this year, they are a great bunch!

OK, so we'll see how my Nook Looks next month, until then, chew on this pic of my partially painted porch. (Partially because there's another coat coming in the next 24-48 hours!)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paleo Birthday Cake!

So, since we've gone Paleo this year each of our kids have had a birthday. Girl was the 1st, followed by 1st boy, and finally 2nd boy, yesterday. I made Paleo cupcakes for the girl's birthday, cheated with a flan for the 1st boy's, but yesterday I wanted to make sure 2nd boy didn't feel like the forgotten middle kid, so I went all out. I made a grain free/gluten free/dairy free/sugar free double layer German Chocolate Cake and Paleo Berry Ice Cream (my own recipe for a future blog) for his birthday. It was a big hit, despite all the "frees"!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Primal Instincts

Anyone who's been in my home since late May will notice one glaring deletion from my pantry. Grains. Of any kind. Yes, we decided to ditch the grains and go Primal after seeing the wonderful changes in energy, skin tone/texture and general shape from my dear friend, Cherie.

It was tough stuff in the first week, as we entered into the "carb flu" stage where your body starts wigging out about the fact that you're no longer pumping it full of the shit and toxins that it's become so used to. It's like withdrawals from drugs. I didn't have it so bad, but my kids were a mess. Luckily they pulled through with enough Paleo/Primal goodies. The changes in my family have been astounding.

1. The kids LOVE their veggies. Seriously, my boys will plow through a green salad with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and carrots in no time. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers don't stand a chance when placed in front of them. (Corn and peas are out of out lives. Corn is a grain and peas/beans of any sort are not on the approved list of foods.) They still need some convincing when it come to asparagus, but c'mon....they're kids, not super humans! :)

2. The kids think that FRUIT is a tremendous treat! If I offer my kids an apple, orange, banana, grapes, etc for snack, they are ecstatic! And if I REALLY want to impress them for dessert, all I have to do is bring over a HUGE plate of strawberries, cut melons and pineapple and all of a sudden I'm the best mom ever! Of course they'd still devour a cupcake if given the chance, but they don't turn their noses up anymore at the sweet, natural deliciousness of any type of fruit.

3. The kids have all toned down their craziness and toned up their shapes. My kids were never fat, but they had a bit of kid chub on them. Skinny fat, yunno? Now my little guys look straight up strong. And the fits/freak outs are a lot easier to manage than in the past, you can actually talk them down from the ledge! In the past, once they decided to jump on the crazy train, they were unstoppable. Now, you can actually reason with them.

I'll post more benefits later, but I'm running out of time allotted for this post, so I'll share a glimpse of what my wonderful friend, Cherie, made for dinner while she was in town visiting us.
These bad boys are primal Spicy Bacon & Chicken Poppers and this picture has been borrowed from MarksDailyApple.com You can find the recipe for these amazing pieces of heaven here. They are so amazing, I seriously almost cried when I tasted the first one. One of the best things I've ever had in my life. Make them, now.

My friend, Cherie, is just so fantastic. I swear I try to copy her in everything I do, she's just a phenomenal woman. I've copied her in polymer clay, home improvement projects, beloved authors, the list goes on and on. But of all the things that she's every introduced me to, I have to say that I am most appreciative of this lifestyle. I've never felt my body run so cleanly, so efficiently as now. And my skin glows, my shape is slimmer and I am feeling a lot more even keel than in the past. Thank you a thousand times, mon ami!

Monday, August 8, 2011

How Does My Nook Look?

Welcome to my entry nook, cozy, huh? This is the spot where everything I'm meaning to get to in the immediate(ish) future gets put so that I don't just plain forget to do it. If I put stuff away, I tend to forget to get it done. Lists work great for me too...when I can find them. I am the queen of writing amazing lists, with time frames, budget projections, the whole nine. Then I promptly tuck my wonderfully organized masterpiece in a nice, wrinkle free folder and put it in a safe place I am sure to remember.....only to forget where such a safe place is. So, this unkempt nook method is not great, it DEFINITELY needs re-tooling, but it's kinda what I got right now.

So, you can see from the photo and my notations (aren't I fancy??) that I've got a real mix of projects going on right now. Some are mundane, like tidying up, and grocery shopping. Some are fun, like the water park and crafting. Some are downright painful, like paying bills and returning stuff. *SIDEBAR* I hate buying something that doesn't end up working out. Not only do I feel the letdown of seeing that my vision of beauty failed miserably, but it also adds another errand to my task list to return the item. I always forget too, even if I put the object in my car and drive directly to the store with the specific purpose of a return. If I have kids with me, they distract me with all the buckling, unbuckling, fight to get in the shopping cart, etc. By the time all that ruckus is finished, I've got laser vision for just getting my herd into the store safely and without screaming my head off in the parking lot to get it done. If I DON'T have the kids with me I'm so shell shocked at my new found and short-lived freedom that I forget (or just plain ignore) the fact that I've got a return. I mean, who wants to stand in a long, boring return line when I've got FREEEEEEEEEDDDOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!! Not me. No way!

Looking at this picture, I'd swear I was a few vinyl records and a bag full of aluminum cans away from being featured on an episode of Hoarders. I really need to find a better system. Or watch a few more episodes of Hoarders so I can scare myself straight for a few more hours. I'll probably just get fascinated with other people's problems and fall to sleep on the couch with lots of resolve to change and then wake up to crying babies with markedly LESS resolve. I'm just being real. :/

Tune in to Nook Look next month to see what I got done!