Friday, December 17, 2010

Jumping Bean: From Baby to Kid

It is becoming more and more obvious that I no longer have a baby, and while I'm still not ready for a new one, I'm really sad about how grown up he is getting. My son is a little over 19 months old. Officially a toddler, but I still say "my baby" when I'm talking about him to people who don't know him because that's how I think of him. But he just isn't anymore. Not really.

He is babbling now. He says "star" and "chair" and "bye" occasionally, but mostly he prefers to jabber. He has his own little language though. "Sha sha sha?" means"Please tell me the word for that object." "Shee Shee!" means "Hey I have a thing! Look but don't touch!" He responds to Alpha Pig with "Meah" when Alpha Pig asks where the various letters are. And he seems to understand pretty much everything we say.

He's trying to jump, it's really fun to watch him experiment with it. He's very thoughtful and serious about it. He actually got off the ground today, but couldn't stick the landing. He hit directly on his butt and found it hilarious but didn't make any more attempts. This spawned something though because later, while we were outside, he kept intentionally backing off the patio causing a soft one inch fall backwards on the grass and dissolving into giggles.

Then after playing outside, he ran into the kitchen and pulled open the silverware drawer. Before I could get to him he had pulled out a spoon and closed said drawer so I just watched as he then walked over to the low counter with all his snacks on it and pulled down a yogurt container. He tried to poke the spoon through the yogurt lid a few times, and when this failed he rather grudgingly walked over to me holding up the yogurt and spoon. He really wanted to do it himself and I'm amazed that he almost could.

Sigh. I want him to have a healthy since of independence, I just thought it would take longer to develop.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Flowers Part 1

This was all I got done yesterday, but I'm still happy with it. Today I got nothing done, not even running, again. I think life is going to be too chaotic until after the holidays to regularly run which is very disheartening because I've already lost a lot of the progress I had made from having so many visitors and going away for Thanksgiving. I'm totally doing a 10k in April so I need to get back to business after the New Year but for now it looks like I'm just going to have to take things in stride.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Acrylics on Canvas: Beginnings

I'm making some paintings for my mother, father, and mother-in-law. They are just little stocking stuffers but they seem to like homemade gifts and I like doing it. Making a gift is one of the few times I get to indulge in a hobby and not feel a tinge of selfishness or guilt over the time wasting.

So far I've got all the blocks of color down where I want them to be. Tomorrow (hopefully) I'll hit them with the lights and darks and shape up any other problems that present themselves. After that, only a billion more things to do before Christmas. Woo! Holiday chaos!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

First Night Night without Nursing

I put my son to bed tonight without nursing him. I expected it to be a tantrumy heartbreaking fight, but actually he hardly seemed to notice. It took a few more song verses and rocking than normal but not a lot and he went down about three hours ago and hasn't been heard from since.

I thought I'd be sad tonight. I was dreading it all day. We decided to go for it because I agreed with my husband that we would phase out night time nursing by Christmas and I want it to be routine for him before we travel so it pretty much had to start this weekend. I literally was battling off nausea during bath time I was just so anxious. But afterwards, it felt like any other night. Just one more step in my baby not being a baby anymore. I can't believe how fast it's all slipping away.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Magic Cake

I can't remember if I've talked about this cake from Ina Garten before it's friggin' amazing y'all. I've made three really different and really great tasting cakes using this same recipe as a jumping off point. Though, I admit I've never actually made the recipe as it was originally written because something about poundcake in the shape of a loaf seems unnatural to me.

The first time I tried it I made a lemon cake in two 9-inch round pans (which changed the cook time to around 30 minutes, start checking at 20), and frosted it with this cream cheese icing. (I had to double it.)

It was for my husband's birthday and it was really big hit. It is really, really lemony the batter is going to taste a touch to tart but it sorts itself out in the baking especially after you pour the syrup over it. It just says relaxing afternoon tea to me. It's a happy cake.

Next, for my birthday I used the same recipe and 9-inch rounds but I substituted oranges for lemons and used this chocolate sour cream frosting from the Smitten Kitchen. I was a little concerned the sour cream would add too much twang so I substituted one stick of melted unsalted butter for a half cup of the sour cream. The recipe makes plenty to frost the entire cake. I even had a little left over, and I am a thorough froster.

The result was wonderful. The flavor of the cake itself was very smooth and subtle and the frosting tasted like dark chocolate, flavorful but not too sweet or too rich. You will have to keep it refrigerated though, due to the two cups of sour cream in it.

Lastly, for Thanksgiving with the in-laws I made this orange poundcake in a bundt pan which put the cook time at around 45-50 minutes, more true to the original recipe and did the glaze in the original recipe which I left out of the other two, substituting lemons for oranges. In this one I did add a bit more zest and juice than the recipe calls for at every opportunity because I wanted a brighter flavor.

I got it. It was sweet and the orange flavor really stood out without being overpowering, plus the glaze is really simple but easy to do and looks impressive. In all cases I took the commenters suggestions and poked the cooled cakes several times with a toothpick to allow the syrup to soak in more easily.

If you're looking for a holiday dessert option, and don't mind taking a little time, any of these would be great choices.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I have a new blog!

I'm not abandoning this one, but I'm looking to get back to the more cooking/kid stuff here for a while, but in my quest to avoid doing anything I ought to be doing like house cleaning, I've decided to set up a new blog for displaying the sketches I do while working my way through 642 Things to Draw, and for displaying any other projects I might work on.

It's funny, one of the main reasons I stopped taking art classes was I hated critique. I didn't mind getting input from others but I hated having to talk about what I had done. I just didn't ever feel like saying anything. But so far it's been easy to talk about random stuff. I guess maybe it's because a blog is exactly ideal for going on and on about yourself even, and maybe especially, when said stuff is completely inconsequential.

Anyway, come on over and see me at Self-Indulgent Exhibitionism!

Bob the Hoarder

So I really like to watch the shows on TLC and A&E about hoarding. I'm not precisely sure what draws me to these shows, especially because I can totally see what people are complaining about when they talk about the negative aspects of exploiting these people's serious mental illness for television purposes. I rationalize it to myself that they are getting help it's raising awareness and so it's not that exploitative but at the same time I'm sure there are times as in all reality tv that things get manipulated in the name of entertainment, but I can't look away.

I'm pretty sure one of my grandmothers was a hoarder. She had newspapers stacked shoulder high in her house, and had scores of glass of coke bottles everywhere. I'm very aware how much this disease can affect someone's life and how even physically dangerous a disease it can be to have. With that in mind, hearing a popular children's television character say over and over again, "Hardly anything's ever really garbage." while dreaming up sometimes completely improbably and complicated uses for the smallest of things is super creepy to me.

I'm all for the reduce, reuse, recycle aspect of the show but I don't know, constantly throwing in that one line almost every show just doesn't sit well with me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hey guess what?

O to the M to the G, can you believe it! I don't want to make a big deal in real life because I can't figure out any way to say the phrase "working on a novel" without sounding like a jerk but seriously I'm so proud of myself right now I can hardly stand it.

Make no mistake, it stinks so out loud that if I printed it it would actively smell bad, but I think it has good bones and I think I'm going to pursue making it into to something I wouldn't mind if other people read. But even if it never leaves my computer, I literally cannot remember a time in my life where I haven't wanted to write a book, academic, fiction, whatever, just a book. In fact, I used to write Ninja Turtles fanfic when I was a kid (seriously, my little brother illustrated them and I think my mom still has them) but when I got older and learned to doubt myself I gave novel writing a shot several times and always crapped out after like twelve pages. But something about having to cram all of this into such a short time period took all the pressure off and it just came out. I did the last 10,000 words in 48 hours.

So, in summary, Today is a pretty good day for walking around like I own the place.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I ran in front of people...

and nothing bad happened!

I ran my first 5k this weekend. It was such a wonderful experience, I can't wait to do it again. I have never in my life run any significant length outdoors where everyone can see me and due to my unfortunate PE experience I was really anxious about that aspect of it. Also, I knew it was going to be cold and hilly which I don't have to deal with on the treadmill so I was concerned with how this would effect my performance.

The first hill appeared about half a mile in and when I saw it I immediately thought "I can't believe I'm going to crap out in the first mile." It was steep and winding and I have never been good at climbing. Even when I was spending four hours a day at the gym right before my wedding, and could carry my husband from the back of the Walmart parking lot to the door, an incline on a treadmill or 2 minutes on a stair climber would kill me. Those muscles just seem to be the last to respond to anything I do. For a moment I even considered stopping before I reached the hill in an effort to avoid the eventual disappointment/humiliation.

But I kept going and before I even knew it I was at the top high fiveing the boy scouts who were cheering us on at various points along the route (So cute!) and on my way down again. And that just kept happening, just up and over. It wasn't easy, but it was doable and sustainable, and I'm just crazy proud of that because I've never been able to achieve that before.

Oh yeah and I placed 3rd in division and got a friggin medal! So, yeah I'm hot stuff right now. I went to Kohl's and got a fancy running jacket and I'm going to try running outside once a week now in my neighborhood which has got some impressive hills in order to improve for next time. I'm hoping there will be something going on around my hometown in late December so my mom can come.

Sorry I'm not more articulate but it's late and I'm doing NaNoWriMo because I'm crazy so I'm at the end of my writing rope for the evening.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

MJtBA Part 3: Shifting Perspectives

My life seems to be divided into noticeable blocks of time where I saw the world in one particular way and then something happens and I have a drastically different viewpoint that makes it hard for me to relate to the person I was before. I'm not talking about external things like political, social, or religious views. Even as a child I was pretty agnostic, pro-choice, and (though of course I didn't learn the term until I was older) socially progressive. I'm talking about perspectives about myself which affect how I interact with the world around me.

For example, there was a time in my life when I accepted facts given to me by authority figures completely at face value without examination of their merit. There was a time that I would nervously pretend that I agreed with my peers just to fit in. Or kept secrets about benign likes and dislikes to avoid being made fun of. This letter could have been addressed to me just two short years ago.

I'm not ashamed of any of this. Personal development is a natural part of growing up and it's not surprising that there are situations I've come across even as an adult that I would probably handle differently now.

One of the major things that changed me was having my son. Before my pregnancy I was pretty willing to allow toxic people into my life to run all over me. I knew that these people were bad for me, but it was like I felt sorry for them or like I was obligated to help them along in life because they were misfits just like I felt I was. Plus I will admit I got some pleasure out of being told how great I was for putting up with all the bullshit. Being a martyr is kind of intoxicating. Getting together with my husband definitely started chipping away at that behavior, but it wasn't until I got pregnant that I drew a line in the sand when it came to my codependent tendencies. I can't do that anymore. I'm a mom and I have to be mentally healthy for my boy.

Interestingly though, developing my body image has gone a long way toward easing my fear of confrontation that created a lot of the shenanigans listed above. I'm not overly confrontational or anything. I'd still prefer to keep the peace on most occasions. But I'm genuinely not suffering from the delusion that if I make myself invisible, no one will notice I'm fat.

I think this is a problem a lot of fat people suffer from. The word "fat" is super loaded in our culture. It implies smelly, lazy, stupid, gluttonous, etc. , and it pretty much shuts down any argument because most of us (even a lot of thin people) are mortified by this accusation. It was like this imagined silver bullet just hovering out there waiting on me. I would rehearse a confrontation in my head and get maybe four lines in before my would-be opponent made a fat joke and all was lost as I slunk home with my tail between my legs. IN MY OWN FIGHT FANTASY! Sheesh.

And here's the weird part. I never ever ever ever once in my life ever believed any of those fat stereotypes to be true of other people. I have always been around a wide range of body diversity and I've pretty well always been on the small side of fat. I've never found fat to equal automatically unattractive in anyone but me. I know people who weigh over 400 pounds and live active lives (one of them plays college football and baseball and no he is not all muscle) with friends and romance and families and all the other things Sanjay Gupta wants you to think you can't have while fat. I have absolutely always believed that a fat person can simultaneously be a beautiful person. I've seen it with my own eyes on many occasions. Yet, it's almost like I saw myself as the one and only really fat person on the face of the planet. No one else deserved all the torment and shame heaped upon fat people in this culture. You know, except me and my lazy fat ass deserved it in spades apparently.

It has been hard to shake this mentality and believe things like my husband loves me for attributes that include my body not in spite of my body. Or that no, in fact I'm not lazy and if I were it would be no one else's business because I have no moral obligation to be otherwise. I spent a lot of time afraid of being fat or fatter even when I was thin and that hampered me quite a bit. The notion that I am fat and that is totally fine has made a huge difference in my life. I still have doubts and hard days but I'm no longer afraid of speaking up.

Watch out world. There is no silver bullet, no kryptonite, no Avada Kedavra. I'm free now to be exactly who I am.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Journey to Body Acceptance Part 2: Feeling at Home

I ran 4 miles last night.

I'm just going to let that stand on its own because I am SO proud of it. I don't really know why even. I feel like I did something really important though and I'm deciding to relish it.

However, I am simultaneously experiencing a rush of resentment towards my school PE teachers. You see, last night I met a goal that I never consciously set simply because I would have never believed I was capable of such a thing. I was just feeling pretty good when I got to the end of my third mile (I have a 5k coming up which is what I've been "training" for.) and so I decided to keep going and all of the sudden there it was. And I find myself thrilled, but very very angry.

I have been building up to this since April. If I remember right I could not even do a half mile then at a slower pace than I am running now. I've gotten here because I was patient with myself. If was hurting, tired, or injured I didn't run. I didn't go faster or longer until I was sure I was ready. And I was finally and honestly working out to do something for my health and for myself rather than pursuing the goal of making myself take up less space in the universe.

Running makes me feel great. It clears my head. I can tell that I've gained strength as well as speed. I have more energy during the day than I used to. Most importantly, I feel very at home in my body in a way I never really have before. (I plan to write more about this feeling.)

I'm just bitter mostly at a particular teacher, Coach J, for making me intentionally avoid running because I have found that I really really really enjoy it. Starting in elementary school Coach J would make us run a mile as a class. He clearly delineated what was a good time and made sure we knew anything less was unacceptable and was pretty effective at pushing the POV that anyone who could not achieve said time or better was somehow defective. There was no discussion of what running could do for your health, no starting benchmarks from which improvement could be made.Nothing. Just a whistle, a stopwatch, and an unnatural affinity for humiliating little kids. Among other bad behavior, Coach J allowed an ENTIRE 6th grade class to make fun of me for running slowly. I don't know what he was going for, but I didn't run again on purpose until my last year of grad school.

I guess our teaching philosophies differ. I think teachers are charged with providing safe spaces and opportunities for growth and learning. He thinks he should blow a whistle and be a jerk.

The sad thing is that I really believe that p
roper Phys Ed is important and can be a positive force in a kid's life. In a proper PE class I would have been TAUGHT to find and honor my physical comfort zone and provided with reasonable and appropriate opportunities to expand that zone rather than just being shamed and barked at.

Running has been so important to me. Meeting and exceeding these goals makes me feel so accomplished and confident. And like I said, my relationship with my body has improved dramatically as a direct result. I think this would be true as I progressed in any physical activity that I liked. Feeling like this would have been very useful growing up and him and others like him cheat kids out of that everyday. It's shameful and it really is putting a cloud of spite over my happy time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Night-Night Alone

I put my son down in his crib to go to sleep by himself for the first time tonight. He cried when I put him down but I scratched his back for a little while and he stopped and sat down. I said "Night night" and I left. He was lying down as the door closed. He hasn't cried yet. It's been about 20 minutes. I've been crying since I shut the door. I don't even know why.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hey y'all as it turns out, brussels sprouts are freakin' delicious!

Via the How to Cook Everything app on my iPhone I bring you the recipe that made me love this much maligned vegetable. (So maligned in my life in fact, that I have never bothered trying them before.)

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


6 Ounces Bacon, Chopped
1 Pound Brussels Sprouts (trim off hard edge of stems and remove first layer of leaves)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon thyme
( I added one handful of parmesan cheese at the end)


1) Put the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium and cook until crisp and the fat is rendered. (about 5-10 minutes). Meanwhile, cut each sprout into thin slices or shreds, or cut them into quarters.

2) Add the sprouts and 1/4 cup water to the pan with the bacon; sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn the heat to medium, and cover. Cook, undisturbed, until nearly tender, about 5 minutes.

3) When the sprouts are ready, uncover and raise the heat back to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until any remaining water evaporates and the sprouts are fully tender, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the vinegar and thyme. Sprinkle cheese over top if desired.

Dew it!

ETA: OMG I just realized this isn't a Rachael Ray recipe!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recipe Review: Buffalo Chicken Chili Mac

I made this Chili Mac recipe for dinner tonight.

Surprise! Surprise! It's a Rachael Ray recipe! I know. I'm eventually going to have to branch out, but there's a reason they call it a comfort zone.

Anyway, I'd recommend giving this a try if you like spicy stuff. It is pretty economical, simple, and makes a lot of food. It's even the kind of thing you could make the night before and then just pop in the oven for a little while after you get home. I used regular macaroni instead of whole wheat because that's what I already had, but I think whole wheat would work just as well in this kind of dish.

That being said, there were some problems for me.

1) For me, it was bit too spicy. The recipe calls for 1/4 to 1/2 cup hot sauce and I only used 1/4 and it still overwhelmed the rest of the flavors. I did leave it simmering for a really long time because I started making dinner early when I convinced myself it was an hour later than it really was so that could have been a contributing factor. You be the judge.

2) It needed more cheese. Next time I make it I'll probably add close to two cups worth of cheese to it. I'll probably pick a milder cheese (like either cheddar or mozzarella) for the additional gooeyness and while I'll definitely keep the pepper jack and blue cheesy crust on top ( I added some parmesan to that even), I plan to poor the chili mac mixture into the baking dish a little at a time and add cheese to each layer. I think that would balance things out and hold things together better.

3) There could have been more chicken. Budget-wise this probably stretches a buck pretty well with less meat and less cheese plus more pasta, and it is definitely filling. I just think that even one more chicken breast would have made it feel more substantial. But I think that's just a personal preference issue. It's totally fine without it too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Totes Easy Recipes: Delishus Sauce

I've been trying for a while now to figure out a nice recipe for an easy cream sauce. Up to now all of my attempts have fallen short. Something always seems missing.

As it turns out, what was missing was dry onion soup mix.

Delishus Sauce

2 tbs olive oil
2 cups heavy cream (or milk you can always thicken it with corn starch)
8 cloves minced garlic (4 tsp from my jar)
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 packet of dry onion soup mix (2 ounces)
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

2. Add garlic, cream, soup mix, and salt and pepper. Heat to bubbly.

3. Add the cheese a little at a time stirring as you go to prevent too much clumping.

4. Lower the heat and allow sauce to simmer until desired thickness is achieved. (IMO it is already fine by this point but a little reduction never hurt)

As with everything I make, I believe this to be flexible with the measurements and generally user-friendly. So far I have used it over the top of some Lobster Ravioli that we got at Costco (highly recommended) and a chicken, spinach, mushroom, fettucini dish that I made tonight that was freakin' awesome that I'm going to post the recipe for as soon as I make it again to get a better idea of the measurements. Did I mention I don't measure things?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Journey to Body Acceptance Part 1

I never really meant for this blog to become so food centered, but I guess it makes sense that it has. A short time before I got pregnant, I was introduced to the world of fat acceptance by a friend via Shapely Prose. (I'll probably link to their posts a lot in this series even though Kate hasn't decided if she wants to continue the blog because they were my first exposure and therefore most concrete in my mind.) I was only beginning to absorb the ideas and question my own practices and beliefs when I got the news that I would soon be a mother. From that point on I have been, in earnest, fighting to normalize my relationship with my body, with food, and with exercise because avoiding passing on self-destructive/self-hating habits to my child/ren is really important to me. No matter how they look, the world gives kids all kinds of messages that they are not good enough. I want to do everything I can to make sure none of these messages come from or seem supported by me.

In this series I want to explore all of that, so I can parse it out for myself, so I can use it in my future children's adolescence, and also in case anyone who happens to read this might find it useful in navigating their own path to being kinder to themselves. At some point I'll post more specifics about my past and about the things I've done to come this far, but tonight I want to start with a victory.

I never liked pictures of myself. If I got dressed up and looked in the mirror I was capable of thinking I looked nice but if I was ever photographed and then I saw the pictures you can rest assured that up to now whatever I was wearing at the time would never be worn again due to how ZOMG DISGUSTING WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME? I looked in it. But a little over a month ago, I was at my MIL's house about to leave for church and I decided to snap a picture knowing I was in a situation where I would just have to accept the result and would not be able to change. So I did. And I looked at the picture, and felt nothing. Just kind of, "That's pretty much what I thought." It may not seem like much, but this is huge people.

For example,

I'm on the right, the one standing up straight. This is about 20 years ago and this is not a picture of a kid totally stoked to go trick-or-treating with her BFF. This is a picture of a kid wishing people would stop taking pictures of her because she's so freakin' fat and she'll probably have to be tortured by looking at these pictures later. And this isn't even the earliest I felt this way. I remember feeling too fat for the world in mother-effing pre-school so I've got a long way to go before I'm deprogrammed. But I've made some progress, and that's something.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Totes Easy Recipes: Stovetop Meatloaf

This recipe is so easy and so forgiving, the ingredient amounts are pretty much just guidelines. It's like cooking for pirates! Also, we pretty much always have all of this stuff around at all times especially because we buy or ground beef in bulk and freeze it, so it's pretty much our go-to "Holy crap it's dinner time?" dinner. We usually put it with risotto or sweet potato fries as a side but it really would go with most anything in my opinion. I would say this quantity would serve three hungry adults with a side dish. Two adults if you just wanted to have Stovetop Meatloaf with a side of Stovetop Meatloaf.
It started off life somewhat predictably as a Rachael Ray recipe which I highly recommend trying including the pasta side dish, but doing it this way was easier and incorporated more ingredients that I generally have on hand. And in case you're noticing a pattern, yes Garlic and Cumin is to me as Butter and Mayonnaise is to Paula Deen.

Anyway, without further ado:

Stovetop Meatloaf

1.5 pounds lean ground beef
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 slices provolone cheese

1. In a skillet on medium-high heat, add the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, cumin, garlic, and cranberries. Cook until the beef is browned.

2. Stir in parmesan cheese.

3. Lay the provolone slices across the top of the ground beef mixture and cover, allowing the cheese to melt. After the cheese has melted, fold the rest of the ingredients over until everything is all mixed together.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Joys of Mastitis

Oh my god you guys I was so sick. I apparently allowed some mastitis to go unnoticed and get kinda severe and I really really thought I might die because I had never experienced chills like this and had no idea what was going on. It is in the 90s here right now and I was wrapped up in my winter bath robe under all the blankets plus my winter quilt and was still freezing and shaking uncontrollably for hours until I finally woke my husband up and he set about getting me drinks and tylenol and club crackers (all the shaking made me throw up eventually) and demanding to know why I hadn't woken him up sooner.

The answer to that is that it kind of snuck up on me. I always get sort of cold at night so at first I thought that's all it was. And my breast was kind of hurting which was keeping me awake but my son had been night waking and nursing lately and did not (thank your preferred thankee) wake up Friday night so I thought I was just engorged and I didn't connect the two until around 9 in the morning when I was no longer shaking but was still definitely sick and called my Mommy to wax pitiful and she said that it sounded like mastitis and then I felt pretty dumb and went to the doctor who couldn't believe last night was the first I noticed it. And the thing is, I had been kinda feverish and tired for the last few days, but I haven't been sleeping and it's freakin' hot so it was easy to brush off.

I've gotten some wicked strong antibiotics and am coming along quite nicely, though I still kind of feel like I have a weak flu. The whole thing did result in some overwhelming cuteness Saturday morning when my son finally woke up. He's 15 months now so I don't think he really understood what was going on, but instead of insisting on running around and playing like he normally does in the morning (he is definitely a morning person) he sat quietly on the bed next to me for over an hour rubbing my belly and feeding me (and him) club crackers in between snuggling. So even though the circumstances sucked, that's a hallmark memory right there.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

On Drugs

I'm feeling bloggy this evening and my son is actually sleeping so I'm gonna roll with it.

I've been wanting to write about this issue and others like it because someday my son may need advice from me as I am now rather than when I'm the mom of a teenager. One of the issues I dread having to confront as we go forward is the possibility of drug use. Right now, I genuinely feel that it is best to be honest with children (in age appropriate ways of course) no matter what the issue (except fictional characters, I'm all for prolonging that) from sex to financial issues. From my own experience, I think most kids can handle it as long as the communication remains open and they are constantly encouraged to ask questions about things they don't understand and I really think kids appreciate the respect that honesty implies.

I grew up around the criminal justice system in what at the time was a relatively rural area. Rural means a great many things but for those of you who don't know, due to the large expanses of land, rural often means lots of drugs.

I live in a much more urban area now but the addictions I've seen swallow people whole still make me terrified for my own children because I know exactly how easy it is to go down that path, and I know how long someone can hide an addiction even from those who know them best. I have known all of that for as long as I can remember and in spite of that, I experimented with drugs. A couple of different ones. Not a lot and not for many years, but I tried it partly because I was curious, partly because I was tired of feeling like "the good one", and partly because sometimes it does feel good to do something stupid.

I know that part of the reason I tried it was that it is my nature to try new things and I don't want my son or any future children I have to walk through their lives afraid of new experiences, but I'm hoping I can be honest with them about my experiences so that they can benefit from first-hand knowledge that in fact there is no point whatsoever in even dabbling in drug use. Yes, you can get addicted the first time. Yes, you could be arrested. And yes, there are various health risks involved with regular and even one time use of a narcotic. But the main reason I would encourage everyone to steer clear is that it's not nearly as much fun as regular drug users make it out to be.

For example, let's look at marijuana. Marijuana is a mild drug. For most people, including me, it's relaxing. It can help tremendously with feelings of social awkwardness or stress which is I believe where addiction comes in if you are someone dealing with a lot of either of those things. In fact, I think the first time I did it I called my BFF while I was still high and said, "I totally get drug addiction now. X,Y, and Z are still going on, but I don't give a damn." And when you're in the right environment with the right people it can be a whole lot of fun. But what I've learned is that it's not actually more fun than going to the movies with the right people, or playing board games, or going to the beach, or the park, or doing any number of other fun things that are just as fun that do not carry any of the risks drug use does.

That's what I'm really hoping I can impress upon my kids. Too much to lose, not enough to gain. Hopefully, that can carry them through.

Totes Easy Recipes

Okay I give up some food is just too good to photograph and apparently I will never remember to take pictures of my food before I eat it. This should not be surprising to me as evenings are the most hectic time of day around here. It pretty much is a non-stop flurry of OMG FINISHDINNERBEFOREMELTDOWNGETABATHGOTOBEDSORTOF!

So anyway, this is a family favorite and it is the easiest thing I have ever made except maybe toast. The amount of ingredients here is just a suggestion, basically just put in as much chicken as you think you want and then enough salsa to cover that chicken.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

16 ounces medium salsa
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
Flour tortillas
Your choice of toppings

Place salsa and chicken in crockpot, cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. When chicken is done it should shred easily with a fork. I like to shred all the chicken up and then let it sit a little while so that all the little bits soak up some salsa before serving. We eat these all the time. We like to put shredded "fiesta cheese" or "mexican blend" as it is sometimes called and Gallo Pinto (which is a rice and beans recipe I'm including as well) on the tortilla along with the chicken and wrap it up like a burrito. I don't remember where I found the original recipe for this, but it included adding an onion and a packet of taco seasoning to the crockpot ingredients which I used to do until I didn't have those on hand and I couldn't tell the difference.

Gallo Pinto is a Costa Rican dish that I picked up when I lived there for a very short time. In fact, I just learned from Wikipedia that it's the national dish. There are as many ways to make it as there are fish in the sea so pretty much as long as you include rice and beans you've done it right. I've experimented a lot to get it as close to what I remember tasting in my area at the time and think I've finally gotten the taste (if not the exact ingredients) correct.

Gallo Pinto

1 cup uncooked basmati (or whatever) rice
1 can black beans, drained
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste

1. Cook rice to package instructions.
2. Melt the butter in the rice. This will help keep it from getting clumpy.
3. Add drained beans and spices, and stir it up nice.

It's totally easy and delicious and the measuring of ingredients is not that necessary as it's also very forgiving.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quick Meal Plan

Because dadgumit I am going to do one this week.

Monday: Chicken Tacos (still no photos, gonna post the recipe anyway)
Tuesday: Pork Chops w/Mushrooms and Risotto
Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff
Thursday: Lasagna
Friday: Rachael Ray's Sloppy Chipotle Joes w/ sweet potato fries

I have been trying new vegetable recipes but I don't think that is going to happen this week as I have let my house get way out of hand and I have to reign it in before the weekend because my mother-in-law is coming and also because I have a kid and everything.

As always feel free to join in the meal plannin' fun atMindful Menus

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Oh my poor neglected blog

If only Apple and Google weren't in a slap fight, I'd be able to update way more often. As it is life has just gotten away from me entirely this month. We've had a lot of visitors and we took a lovely trip to Virginia to visit some friends from college. I was a little nervous as it is a long and winding road but our son did great there and back and the drive as well as the area we visited was just breathtaking.

I've started drawing and painting again so I'm pretty thrilled about that. I would post pics, but I'm fragile and can't bear criticism in this area at this time so I'm holding off for now. Hopefully I'll be back with recipes and meal plans and the occasional coherent post starting this week as things should be slowing down a bit now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And....We're back

I've been seat of my pantsing it for the last couple of weeks, but now I'm back on the meal plan bandwagon.

Here it goes:

Monday: Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Honey Rosemary Chicken with Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Thursday: Stovetop Meatloaf with Risotto
Friday: Pork Chops and Caesar Salad

I'm having Chicken Tacos and Meatlog for the third time in three weeks because I keep forgetting to take pictures and I want to post the recipes up here. Luckily, they are family favorites.
Mindful Menus

Thursday, June 24, 2010


And not the soccer kind neither. Though those are fun to watch too.

Tonight I ran for 30 consecutive minutes without stopping. Woot!

It's been my goal since I started back running in late April. I'm pretty stoked about it. I need to up my pace to reach ultimate goal, but in reality I never thought I'd get here this quickly. It feels really good.

I feel like this:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Adirondack Redwing Burgers

I just wanted to do a quick review of these turkey burgers from Rachael Ray. I had hoped to make a more substantive recipe post but as time passes by I just want to get this one up before I forget all about it. (And for some reason I now feel I may have already posted about it, but here it goes anyway.) They are really easy to make as long as you have a food processor and very very good. I think combining the onions, celery, and carrots into the ground turkey helps keep the patties from drying out. I was never able to find "sandwich sized" English muffins so I used whole wheat Sandwich Thins instead which are just in the regular grocery store bread section. Also, I don't know how it will taste with blue cheese since I forgot to buy that and Husband won't touch blue cheese anyway. The hot pepper sauce I used was plain Tabasco sauce and I mixed in a little bit of Worcestershire sauce for good measure. Reviews were split 50/50 on the addition of the pickle relish but as with any toppings you're always free to pick and choose without particularly dire consequences.

Oy. That's all for now, but I'm hoping to catch myself up this week.

Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh Mothers-in-Law

My MIL is coming into town this weekend. Ostensibly to help me out, but since I'm trying to cut back on nursing naptime is a bit more upsetting initially for my son than it used to be. It's hard enough as it is, but ANY time our child is let to cry (which is very, very rare and only when it can't be helped) my MIL makes this big deal about how terrible it is and he "shouldn't have to cry when Granny's here", etc. And frankly, this is entirely unhelpful. I had really hoped to do totally baby-led weaning, but unfortunately I've come to the realization that I need to have him weaned by 1.5 years if I want to have a year where my body just belongs to me before trying for another pregnancy, which I think is important for me to do. Point being, it's hard to have him upset when it's something I'm not really wanting to do anyway and she will aggravate the issue I'm certain. He still nurses twice a day (once in the morning once at night) but we've cut out all other sessions.

The other thing, is that she waffled until the last minuted about coming or not and I still don't know if she's coming tonight or in the morning but that's supposed to be fine because she insists I don't have to clean for her.

I do have to clean for her.

If I don't clean she will and it's embarrassing. On top of which her and her sisters are always trash talking the wives of my husband's cousins for their housekeeping abilities. Nevermind that most of the wives work full-time. Apparently, the full blame for the various states of cleanliness still falls on them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Random Updates

Man, I actually have time to sit and post and I'm too tired to think straight. We've returned to waking up a lot during the night. Last night he slept pretty much the whole night but I'm so used to waking up that I couldn't get to sleep until after 4am which made 7:30 come very early indeed. I am way backlogged on recipes I want to post and I WILL get to it! Otherwise, I'm just going to do my best to have a nap this afternoon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nothing Helps the Blues Like Achieving a Goal

Things have been a little sad and gloomy around here what with my mom's situation and the oil spill finally reaching us in full force, but one good thing that is happening this week is that Thursday I will have met my goal of cooking a different entree every night for a month. Hooray!

Monday: Brinner-Cheese grits, fried eggs, turkey bacon, whole wheat toast
Tuesday: Grilled Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Roasted and Pureed Cauliflower
Wednesday: Whole Wheat Lasagna
Thursday: Chicken Quesadillas with Rice and Beans
Friday: Rachael Ray Sloppy Chipotle Joes with Sweet Potato Oven Fries

So there you have it. I win at dinner! I think. I'll have to go back and look to make sure as I've been in a bit of a haze. :-) I've found a lot of side dish recipes to incorporate a wider variety of vegetables into our lives and my new goal is to try a new side dish recipe and a new entree recipe (though not necessarily together) every week for two months. As always, feel free to join in the fun at: Mindful Menus

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grave Disappointment

My mother was an elected official. She just lost her primary last night and it is simply devastating. She's worked in this office tirelessly for her community for nearly two decades, though only four years in this exact position. Her office is the most financially stable it has ever been. Crime is down 21% even in these troubled economic times, partly due to her efforts. She is the first woman to hold this position. And she just plain deserved to win. I would still have voted for her even if she was not my mom, and I'd be upset no matter how this played out, but it is a particular slap in the face that both candidates heading for the runoff are woefully unqualified and only in it for the title. They just know how to run effective unethical campaigns.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Home Stretch

Woo! Meal plan! This will be week four of cooking something new every night. My goal is to go a full month so we're almost there. This week in food:

Monday: Pork Chops with Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Sweet Pepper Chicken with 5 Spice
Wednesday: Hamburgers with Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Thursday: Grilled Halibut with Blackeyed Peas
Friday: Beef Stroganoff

My next goal is to create more variety in my side items. I know how to cook very few non-starchy items and none that my husband likes, so it's a hurdle. Ever since our computer broke, and I lost my meal planning widget, Mindful Menus has been a great motivator to keep us eating in and organized. To join in, click Mindful Menus

Taking the Good with the Bad

The Good:
I've been running again. Sort of. I ran a mile without stopping last night. I know that's not that far, but I hadn't run since before my son was born so this is a big deal. Plus, this involves taking some time for myself which is not something I have been able to do much of in the last year so it's a milestone in that regard as well. I love running but when I got pregnant the nurse told me not to exercise AT ALL because my chance of miscarrying is higher than average. So I quit cold turkey of course and then when I finally saw a doctor, he told me that I should only be avoiding exercise I wasn't used to. By then however, I was super paranoid about what "used to" would mean for me at that point and was basically to terrified to do anything beyond a leisurely stroll. So this is great. I'm running again. I run.

The Bad (or at least mildly sucky):
I tried to scale back on the breastfeeding and the day after we began this new routine, our son spiked a fever that lasted for days. So now we're back to normal breastfeeding and I'm totally gunshy about trying again. I think I may have to go to college with him.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First Birthday! and Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Okay, so as I've mentioned we took our son to the beach for his first birthday for what we hope and pray won't be the last time. It was a wonderful trip, and I just wanted to share some pictures and obviously, a cake recipe.

First, since you can't have a birthday without cake:

I give you Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake! Seriously if you like chocolate you need to try this. It is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted. I have to generally avoid sugar because I have an endocrine disorder, but I use special occasions as an excuse to experiment with baking. I bought a boxed cake mix in case it was as gross as it sounded but it was awesome and totally easy. I made cupcakes (that's one of them above) so I reduced the cook time to 18 minutes at 350 degrees, and I used this vanilla buttercream recipe instead of the chocolate icing they suggest because Husband isn't actually that big a fan of chocolate.

And now...


The requisite flopsy hat:
My Boys:
Me and the cutie:
He wasn't sure about the water. I think it was too cold, but luckily he was all about the sand!

The whole thing was just amazing and I'm so glad we got to go, but I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weekly meal plan

I so totally need a copywriter. I am awful at coming up with titles. At any rate here is this week's Mindful Menus meal plan.

Monday: Chicken Tacos with Rice and Black Beans
Tuesday: Shrimp and Crab Fettucini Alfredo
Wednesday: Meatlog and Green Beans
Thursday: Multigrain Pancakes, Turkey Bacon, and Scrambled Eggs
Friday: Ground Beef Tacos

If you're wondering about the two tacos nights, I do that because my Pinto (rice and beans) recipe makes way more than we need and mixing it directly into the ground beef and salsa makes it a good texture and helps soak up the salsa so the "taco", which are really burritos aren't so drippy. Meatlog is basically a stuffed meatloaf, or at least it used to be until I just started combining all the ingredients in a skillet and cooking it that way which is way easier and just as good. The shrimp and crab recipe will be the new thing we're trying this week so we'll see how that goes as seafood and pasta recipes have thus far ended in heartbreak.

To join in with your own Mindful Menu, just click here. Mindful Menus

Monday, May 10, 2010

I hate BP's stupid face

Everyday it looks more and more likely that my son and any other children we may have will not get the privilege I had of growing up loving the Gulf Coast. This truly saddens me and I wanted to post about it seperately from my son's birthday post because I don't want to detract from the happiness of that event.

I don't live there anymore but I grew up near the beach at went their frequently. I consider my love of the water in general, and that beach in particular to be central to who I am as a person. And I can't effing believe that one stupid oil company is likely going to steal that from me and from countless other people. I know it's an ecological nightmare and that's terrible to think about which may be why I keep pushing the environmental consequences of this out of my head. The main thing I keep thinking about is how this is going to ruin so many people's lives and there will just be no accountability for it. It's like my friend said,

"I mean there are only two things there, fishing and tourism. When those are gone what's left?"

The economy there has already been depressed by the insurance companies who have jacked up their rates in the last few years to make it almost impossible to live there and very difficult for business to turn a profit as it is. If they don't start getting this contained I just don't know what will happen to everyone who depends on those industries.

How could BP not already have a plan for this? Am I really supposed to buy that no one in that whole multi-billion dollar international corporation thought that just maybe a man-made machine in constant use, outside, and submerged in saltwater just might break eventually? I think it's much more likely that just didn't give a damn because caring is generally not cost effective.

I've been to other beaches all over the world, and their lovely. But this one is mine. And I'm afraid I'm going to lose it forever.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekly Meal Plans

Finally! I'm joining the Chivetalkin' Mindful Menus blogroll! I think it's only been like two months since I first started talking about it. That's okay right?

Here we go!

Monday: Roast Pork in Orange Sauce with Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Hotwing Burgers with Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Wednesday: Tilapia with Honey Mustard Pecan Topping, Blackeyed Peas and Garlic Kale
Thursday: Lemon Chicken Spaghetti
Friday: Hot Beef Sandwiches with Steamed Broccoli and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I got the idea for Garlic Kale from The Little Stuff of Life, but I can't find the exact post to link to. Sorry! I have never made the Hotwing Burgers before and I'm really looking forward to trying them because I am really looking for ways to incorporate a bigger variety of vegetable into our lives and this is full of them, plus my husband is really into spicy things. I make the Sweet Potato Oven Fries at least weekly and I cannot say enough good things about them. The only thing is that there is a lot of peeling and chopping involved, but the end result is totally worth the extra bit of effort. And yes, there are three Rachael Ray recipes on this week's menu (the Lemon Chicken Spaghetti is just this recipe with some chicken that I cook in a skillet thrown in at the end). What can I say? She completes me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!

Here's a dancing Corgi.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Body Image Confusion Ramble

I'm beginning to think there might be a serious disconnect between how I actually look and how I perceive myself. There is a fat blogger I read that likes to talk about fashion and hair and other visual stuff like that. She is super cute and trendy and posts pictures of herself a lot. I have always thought that we were more or less the same size which has really helped me on my journey of undoing all the negative messages about my body that I've been sent by society at large because I really like the way that she looks and I'm proud that she is proud enough of herself not to be invisible but to go out and take up space with loud clothes and a sassy attitude that very often fat people (and I daresay fat women in particular) don't feel allowed to do.

However, recently she was reviewing a dress for a plus-size online boutique and she was talking about the sizing and in doing so she spelled out her dimensions. She is about six inches shorter than me and weighs close to a hundred pounds more than me. Now to some degree the whole height/weight thing looks different on all people and so I don't know exactly how far off my perception is, but with that great of a disparity we can't look all that similar.

It's a bit jarring. I mean I know I'm still fat because 1) I can see myself. and 2) Most of society reacts to me as though I am a fat person. I just may not be the kind of fat I think I am which is disheartening because I thought I had...well okay really I don't know what I thought but I'm just feeling very weird and not happy about this at all. I've been working really hard at gaining a realistic self-image and then becoming fine with that. ( I plan to do another post about my destructive dieting/ overexercising/ perpetual goalpost moving and my subsequent quest to recover and develop healthy food and exercise relationships eventually, but I'm waiting to have time to do it well.) And it seems that I'm not doing nearly as well with that as I thought I was. It sucks is what I'm saying.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Totes Easy Recipes

Check it out everybody I'm actually blawging something useful!

I found Alaska Salmon Bake with Pecan Crunch Coating on I didn't change any of the ingredients or amounts. The only thing I did differently from the original recipe instructions was I brushed half of the honey mustard mixture on the salmon and then put the pecans and breadcrumbs on the salmon and then I drizzled the rest of the honey mustard mixture on top of that. It was super easy to make and it tasted great. Even my husband liked it and he's not really a fish guy. I suspect the topping would work well on just about any fish. I'm planning to try it on a tilapia sometime soon.

TIP: I'm morally opposed to paying someone to crumble up bread for me. I save the end pieces from my sandwich bread in the freezer and food process it up whenever I need bread crumbs. I've always thought that works pretty good.

Next: (Picture to come)
As you might be able to tell I'm trying to get more seafood in our diet. I didn't grow up eating it so I have basically no frame of reference for taste combinations. If you're looking for an easier version of this, the inspiration recipe used green onions and no peas, butter, or garlic simmering. Just mix together the green onions, shrimp, pasta, and ranch dressing.

Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 pound cooked shrimp, tails removed
1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 small white onion, chopped (or 3-4 green onions)
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
14.5 oz angel hair pasta
2 cups ranch dressing


1. Melt the butter or margarine in a skillet on medium heat.

2. Add peas, onions, and garlic to the butter and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Meanwhile bring the water for the pasta to a boil.

3. Cook pasta to al dente per package instructions.

4. 2 minutes before the pasta is done add shrimp to the skillet with the peas and onions.

5. In a large bowl mix together the ranch dressing, pasta, and skillet ingredients. You can serve immediately but it is actually meant to be chilled and served cold.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Update

So there's totes a hole in my ceiling, but what could have been a $4,000 repair has turned out to be something that looks like it will only be about $500 so I'm not so fussed about the hole anymore. If you come to my house I could show you the section of ceiling that the snails had set up camp in. I would also have some questions about how you found my house. ;-)

Amidst the craziness I have managed to try out two new seafood related recipes that out well that I plan to post shortly, and I really really am going to start posting my Meal Plans to participate in the Mindful Menus roll. Really.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Man I've been reading some stories about school bullying after this latest suicide that's in the news and it is all very distressing. It's the one thing that makes me hope that Tyler does take to sports because I think that would insulate him somewhat, although then I'd have to worry about him being a bully. He has the genes for it (sports not bullying). All of Husband's family played sports in school, and I played basketball and baseball when I was a kid. (And was pretty good if I do say so myself.) And with his leg strength and general build I really think he is going to physically take after Papa who was a baseball player. I know I can't (and won't) push in any direction but this so terrifies me. I was only slightly made fun of as a child and it still haunts me. Like, people who used to be mean to me want to be all chummy now, somewhere on the order of 15 years later, and I won't engage because I can't let it go because it is something that so deeply affected me and I feel like they should realize that now as adults and if they don't then I have no use for them. The point is, somewhere in me I still carry those wounds and my torment was not nearly on the scale that a lot of people I've known have experienced and that still more of the stories I've read exhibit. I'll tell you one thing, if my son or any future children come to me and tell me they are having trouble with this at school, I will immediately leap to the "these kids are assholes and the problem entirely lies with them and I will do something about it" line of reasoning and skip right past the "you're too sensitive" "ignore them" "this will build character" craziness that I'm reading about and that I'm seeing in the parenting of one of my son's older cousins. And if any of our children ask to homeschool or switch schools and there is ANY way at all to swing that it will be swung forthwith.

Likewise, I won't be tolerating any reported bullying, not even as a young child. Liz at ...but then I had kids made her four year old miss his best friend's birthday party (a big party with a bouncy house and magic, and took his younger brother to it and came home and talked about how great it was) because, after having already been routine-type punished for this once, he ganged up with other boys and beat up another kid on the playground. Apparently, the other mothers in her social circle and her parents and her husband's parents are all over her about how she is being too hard on him. And quite personally I call shenanigans. I mean yeah he's little and is likely a lovely person overall, but he has even admitted that he knew that it was a "bad choice" and did it anyway. What are you supposed to do? Give him ice cream and teach him how not to leave bruises? I think that punishment is totally appropriate and I applaud her for taking this so seriously. "Kids will be kids"? No. Kids will be who you teach them to be.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vintage Food

So I still haven't made any new food, but these vintage food ads on have made me feel a bit better about not being your average 50s homemaker.

Mmm Tuna Pizza; not as bad as Sack O' Sauce:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just when everything was getting calm

There is a world of gross above my eye. Seriously, when my very experienced doctor looked at it he started and said "Oh my god what happened?!" :-) Nice to know I've still got it. So now I'm on high dose antibiotics and freakin' exhausted.

As for what happened? I truly don't know. I woke up Sunday with a throbbing eyebrow that just proceeded to get bigger and grosser. It should be fine, but I may have to see a specialist if it isn't better in a week. Gah!

In baby news, I feel strongly my little man is very close to walking. I am highly unprepared for this, but it will still be pretty cool. Last night we had a "conversation" where he laid his head next to mine on the pillow and made noises at me and I made them back at him for about 20 minutes. It was awesome.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hooray for me!

Soon I hope to resume posting about food and other actually interesting things and whatnot. I definitely want to get on the mealplan bandwagon ASAP. Things are starting to get back to normal, but the best non-baby thing happening is that I have picked up at least one freelance job that could turn into a regular gig AND it is from home which is awesome because I like being with my baby and dislike most other people. ;-)

Anyway, I can't believe my son is getting so big. He is already in 18 month clothing and continuing to grow. I started sorting out clothes to keep and give away and it made me have the whole weepy "He used to be so itsy-bitsy!" nostalgia even though I really don't feel ready for another baby and even if I did I don't actually want children that close together as I think a large chunk of why my brother and I are so close is that we were not close enough in age to compete with one another. We're shooting for at least 3 and no more than 5 years apart. Obviously, I know there is only so much you can do to control that type of thing, but these are our ideals.

Yay Life!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm going to miss my family

We're at my mom's for the weekend. My brother is here and we get to see my dad as well. I love my family so much. I never realize how much I miss them until I'm here. But man, I can already feel my chest tightening at the thought of going home.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh so many grumbles!

Grumble 1) In January we had a friend over and had the Beef Stroganoff that I posted for dinner, along with a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake that I made. (It was said friend's birthday.) As it turns out if there are more than two adults having dinner that evening you may want to make more of the crockpot ingredients for the stroganoff. I've edited the recipe to reflect this. It escaped my attention the first time because there were technically three adults eating and we had leftovers, but the third adult in that case was my mother-in-law and I forgot she eats like a bird. :-) So sorry if that made for any awkward evenings for anyone.

Grumble 2) My wonderful, wonderful child will not sleep. I haven't slept through the night in nine months but it was tolerable when he was sleeping three and four hour stretches. We even made it to six and seven hours on some nights and that was great. But all of the sudden since we got back into town he has gone back to sleeping only in one hour intervals and I am just run ragged. We've tried a lot of different things. The pediatrician has suggested a method for babies over 6 months that we will probably try for a few days next week. It involves letting him cry for 10 minutes before picking him up when he wakes up at night which hurts my heart to even think about but I believe being alone with him during the day in the fatigued state that I am in is becoming unsafe so I've got try something. (Not that I'm on the brink of anything intentional or anything like that. I'm just starting not to feel safe driving him places, operating the stove, etc.)

Update: This post took a long time to write so I can tell you that this method totally worked as promised. By the third night my sweet baby began sleeping multiple hours at a time and just yesterday slept 13 hours without waking. That doctor is likely to get a big wet kiss on the mouth at our one year checkup.

Grumble 3) Why is it that with all the respect, power, and obvious intelligence Michelle Obama possesses, she has decided to avoid all the real issues facing this world in order to champion the cause of making life harder for fat kids? I mean for one I agree with Melissa at Shakesville the whole campaign is totally ableist. There are lots of people for whom "Let's Move" is simply not an option. Secondly, I thought it was common knowledge among educated people that childhood obesity rates had leveled off? And that attempts to break out of one's general setpoint range fail 95% of the time and usually result in further weight gain and other health problems? She's not even taking into account that a large amount of the previous rise in children's weight can also be attributed to medications for mental illness that have become more widely used due to reduced stigma and furthered progress in the field of child psychology. She's also not addressing (as far as I can tell) the issue of many children not having a safe space where they can "move" or play. (The surgeon general is talking about this particular issue, so that's good.) I really just don't understand it. All the credible research (i.e.not funded by a diet company) that I've read also suggests that weight is not even a health disadvantage, but rather it is the way doctors' perceive and treat fat patients that leads to disparity of outcomes. This is what happens when epidemiological studies become the conclusion rather than the starting point. Correlation does not equal causation! Grr!

BTW, I completely support all initiatives to make people healthier. I would love to see all neighborhoods have safe green spaces to run and play in. I would love to see healthier foods made cheaper so that the average person could routinely afford them. I would love to see vending machines and fast food chains banished from public schools. I would love to see thoughtfully structured physical education programs. I just don't see why body shame has to enter into it.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I know I haven't posted in a while. We've been sorting out ID theft and I've commenced my job search since kidlet is nearly a year old now. Still don't have much time but I wanted to drop off this comic and say hello.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Well happy freakin new year

My husband's identity has been stolen and among other things a HUGE car loan has been taken out in his name. This is strange because we are super careful with personal information.

I'm looking at you internet.