March 2012 archive

Sick-sick/Sick

After a week of doing everything the doctor told me to do when I called, she finally suggested I bring Abe in. Two hours later she gave him a strep test and it came out positive. Yep. My 19 month old has strep throat. And then my brain did this:
Pow.
My kid has had strep throat for a week and I had no idea and I should have brought him back to the doctor sooner but when I called her she said it was probably the flu and now he has to be on antibiotics and I didn’t WANT MY BABY TO BE ON ANTIBIOTICS. (And breathe, breathe, breathe.)
Clearly this doesn’t make me the worst mother in the world, but I do think I’m in the running now. ONE dose of antibiotics and he started acting like himself again after a week of misery worse than Kathy Bates in Misery. How are we supposed to know when our babies are sick-sick or when they’re just sick? Does one have a sixth sense about this sort of thing, and am I totally missing that sense? Did I go straight to the seventh sense with my ability to remember all of my dreams weeks after I have them??
The good news is that he’s not going to remember any of this and if he claims to, I can still deny it.
The monster under my table is back.

 

Party in my Pan

I love the smell of meat cooking in my kitchen.
And before all you vegetarians and vegans in the back raise your hands, I eat responsibly raised meat. Grass-fed, cage-free, no hormones, all that green jazz. I really do believe that if we’re going to eat animals that the least we can do is give them dignified lives (and deaths). And yes, I do think I could hunt and clean my own game if given the opportunity. Although I did just watch the Hunger Games…
One of my favorite (and most simple) dinners is meat-stuffed vegetables. You can go crazy and hollow out zucchini, or you can just cut the top off of a pepper. This week, acorn squash was on sale, so I cut one in half and popped it in the oven at about 355. Then, I started with some lovely grass-fed ground beef. (Seriously, if you’ve never tried grass-fed beef it’s DELICIOUS. Sweeter.) I tossed it in a skillet with some olive oil and garlic. A little salt and pepper and it did its thing.
I finely chopped a big hunk of kale and introduced it to it’s new best friend. It said thank you. Throw in whatever veggies you have on hand. They’ll say thank you, too. I added in some brown rice for good measure. I’m not sure what “for good measure” means in this statement, but it was delicious.
Hi. I’m kale. Sittin’ on meat.
I toasted some pine nuts because I have an abundance of them in the fridge. Again, toast up whatever nuts you’ve got around. (I know. Laugh, husband. I said nuts. But I said toast first.) Except peanuts. That wouldn’t be good. Unless of course you add soy sauce and Sriracha…that’s another blog.
The pine nuts joined the party in my pan.
I took the squash out of the oven and put a lovely pad of butter on each half. Then I filled it up with my meat mixture. And I have enough meat to use for a wrap tomorrow!
Delicious, nutritious, meat-stuffed vegetable.
Speaking of tomorrow, Abe has school. I am constantly on the hunt for lunch ideas that don’t, A. Come in a box or, B. Take me more then 5 minutes to make. Ahhh, the plight of a housewife in the new century.
I have discovered muffin tins. These little beauties make EVERYTHING easy to pop in a tupperware and pack up. I make 9-12 different “muffins” every week for Abe. Then, come breakfast time or lunch-packing time, I don’t even have to think. Here’s one I made this week.
Four eggs, a handful of finely chopped kale, half of a sweet potato grated, and a few tablespoons of flaxseed meal. I mixed it all up in a bowl. See?
Fixin’s.
Then I filled up a few muffin tins, popped them in the oven at around 350 and came back 15-20 minutes later. Taaadaaa! Breakfast for a week!
Hey ya’ll! We’re breakfast!

What the Good Lord Gave Ya or I Miss My Boobs

So on most days I’ve got a JayZ or a Kanye Pandora station on my phone to keep my blood pumping and my car moving. I know that eventually Abe is going to understand what’s happening in these songs so I decided to move to a jazzier, piano Pandora in an effort to disuade him from gang-life. I went with Sara Barreilles. Killer voice, awesome skills, still gets my blood pumping. Compromise.
And as Pandora goes, I get introduced to more and more other women with jazzy voices and tickled ivories, and a vast majority of them I don’t like. (Do you find this to be the case, too? Come on, I told you what I like, Pandora. Just play that and keep the no-names to yourself.) I continue hitting the thumbs down until all that remains on my Sara Barreilles station is Sara herself and John Mayer. Occasionally Pandora scolds me for doing this, which makes me feel awful. And then I defend myself to Pandora, scoffing, “It’s not like I’m pirating music. You licensed it and you GAVE me a THUMBS DOWN BUTTON.”
Finally, this morning, Pandora’s got it right. I’m cutting back the roses, trimming up the holly trees, feeling jazzy and girly and singing along (much to the dismay of my neighbors), when suddenly India Arie sneaks into my Sara station. She starts singing about how her hair is perfect, her eyes are perfect, she loves every part of herself. She’s here to tell me every freckle on her face is where it’s supposed to be.
And I’m all, hells yeah! You go girl! (Except I’m white, so it was more, “Yaaay, good job!”)
She says sometimes she doesn’t even shave her legs and she still looks beautiful.
RIGHT?! SO RIGHT!
She says she was sent here to share this lesson of inner and outer beauty with me!!!
I’m just starting to burn my bra when I hear her sing, “Keep your silicone, I prefer my own, what God gave me is just fine.”
Screeching. Halt.
Obviously India Arie didn’t have children when she wrote this song. Am I out of line here when I say that I’m happy with what God gave me, but not thrilled with what he left me with? If we’re complaining (and I am) my boobs used to be a lot higher up, a little more…boob-like. My hips are at least a full 2 inches wider than they were B.A. (Before Abe). This means my pants size has gone up despite the fact that my legs remain toothpicks. My hair is definitely growing back in a funny, swirly sort of way; so much so that my hair girl looks at it everytime and says, “I just don’t see how this piece is going this way and the one right next to it is going that way…” And my stomach, lord my stomach. Not that I ever looked like Demi Moore, but my stomach was at least tight and somewhat toned. As I work out more and lose weight (I’ve lost 5 pounds, only 5 more to pre-baby weight!), I have SKIN. Like, EXTRA SKIN! Of all the organs, I’d prefer a spare liver. Even a pancreas.
Look, I’m a fan of loving your body. I’m also a fan of loving yourself the way God, or whoever, made you. But I think there should be a caveat to that statement if the woman in question has had children. Because this is NOT the body God gave me. Am I supposed to be happy with it because it’s the body Abe gave me?! And am I a total self-indulgent bitch if I’m not thrilled that he GAVE me this?! I like cute tank tops, flippie floppies, and kitchen knick-knacks. Why couldn’t he have given me a colander?
If I’m way out of line, call me out. But no matter what you say I’m still going to miss my boobs.

When it Freaking Rains

In the middle of my inspiring and self-renewing experience, I felt a little drop of rain on my shoulder. Adorable, little drops of rain, amiright?

Except Ted Bundy's eyes were blue.

In the middle of remodeling a bathroom, Abraham got sick. Super sick. High fever, body pain, lots of crying and whining. So instead of working, or cleaning up after the monsters who have turned my otherwise peaceful home into a Dewalt Concert, I’ve spent 3 days on the couch watching an endless supply of Mickey Mouse. There’s only so much Mystery Mousekatools I can handle before I want to kill myself.
On a side note: is anyone else INCREDIBLY concerned about the fact that Mickey Mouse makes up hundreds of words to further incorporate “mouse” into his vocabulary? Isn’t this pretty narcissistic? Is it possible this was the final straw for, say, Ted Bundy?
The schedule:
1am: Abe is awake, screaming. Mom prays that dad will figure something out.
1:15am: “Babe, Abe’s crying,” dad informs mom.
“Can you go? I always go. Give him some motrin if he’s feverish and some almond milk.”
Dad goes. Comes back 5 minutes later.
“He’s really hot. Do you think he’s too hot? He can’t calm down. What do you think I should do? What if he can’t cool off? Should we call the doctor?”
Mom does not answer any questions, walks upstairs, administers both motrin and almond milk. Brings Abe into the big boy bed and goes to “sleep” while getting kicked in the face for 7 hours.
8:15am: Abe is awake, crying, uncomfortable.
9:00am: The workers arrive. One of them informs mom that he will be in the can “for a while” and when he emerges he announces, “I feel like a new man.” Mom decides she will be using the bathroom upstairs, and only if really necessary.
9:30am: Loud drilling noises, both inside and outside. Abe is trying to sleep on mom’s lap. Not happening.
10:15am: Mom has work calls scheduled starting now until forever. Mickey Mouse does his best to care for and soothe Abe. Occasionally one of the workers checks on him, too. I fill out my application for Mother-Of-The-Year while working.
11:00am: Mom lays Abe down upstairs, hoping he will be able to sleep. He does. He sleeps for 3 hours. However, the incredibly kind and sensitive worker tells her stories about his childhood, young adulthood, mid-thirties, and anything else that happened to him in the last 25 years, not necessarily in that order.
1:30pm: Mom takes a quick shower (but doesn’t shave because she forgot her razor downstairs and there are men everywhere who probably don’t know where she keeps them) and then begins working.
2:00pm: Abe wakes up. More fever, more crying, more Mickey Mouse. Also, researching what kind of drugs the writers/creators of Mickey Mouse are currently using.
3:00pm: Abe is content. Mom starts doing the dishes. Workers turn off the water.
3:30pm: Abe is crying. Workers turn the water back on. Mom is crying.
4:00pm: Mom watches Dr. Phil with Abe because, honestly, if we’re going down we may as well go all the way.
5:00pm: Mom makes dinner for Abe. He alternates between yelling at it and bashing it with his fists.
5:30pm: Dad calls. He’s not going to be home until after bedtime so we decide to Skype so Abe can say goodnight. Abe smiles, laughs, and acts as though he’s having a wonderful day. Mom has a drink.
6:00pm: Mom remembers we have dogs and feeds them.
6:30pm: Workers are still here. Mom would like to take off her bra. Can’t.
7:00pm: Mom gives Abe a bath and puts him to bed.
7:15pm: Mom is humming the theme to Mickey Mouse and considers moving to South America.
7:30pm: Wine in bed while folding laundry.
9:00pm: Dad is home. He has lots to tell mom. She “listens”.
9:15pm: Mom falls asleep.
Aaaaaaand, repeat.

When I Listened

Today when I listened, I heard these 2 things:
1. If you reach like you’ve got a safety net, then you don’t put all of your energy into the reaching.
 2. Just let it be messy.

Don’t Get Stuck

Between SXSW and starting rehearsals for the play, I’ve been ignited. I’m remembering what it feels like to be energized and passionate about something besides clean laundry and neatly organized cans of vegetables.
I sat in my stylist’s chair letting her mess around with which hair goes this way feeling overwhelmed with this crazy new energy in my bones when she said to me, “Don’t get stuck.”
“Well, I’m not married to this cut, whatever you think…”
“No,” she interrupted,”in life. Don’t get stuck. I’m starting to feel like I’m stuck.”
“Really?”
“Yeah. I’ve been here 10 years and the longer I spend here, the harder it is to grow and dream and do better. I’m 40 and now it’s too scary to change. Don’t get stuck.”
I wasn’t shocked by her candor, she’s always that forward, but I was shocked at the next conversation I had…
I sat chatting with a gentleman in the play tonight who happens to be 60. He’s a spritely 60, full of life and spirit and curse words. I mentioned my being 30 and he scoffed. “I’ll bet you’re going to tell me something about your 20’s now, aren’t you?” he asked.
“What do you mean?”
“I only joke. But to me, it’s like hearing a 13-year-old say, ‘Being 12 was really rough…'”
I was only mildly offended. “Give me a break! 30 is a big deal! I never have to be in my 20s again, and I can only get smarter and happier. Am I right?”
He nodded. “Yes. But wait until you’re 60 and you hear someone say they’re 30.”
“Well, then tell me, oh sage one. What’s the secret?” I started getting  a feeling like the answers were seconds away…one more breath and I’d have it all in my hands…
“Just do it. Don’t worry about it. Go and do it. That’s the big secret.”
So there it is. That’s the secret. Go. Go and do it. Don’t get stuck. I’m pretty sure it will mean something different to every person who reads it. I also think the longer you wait to “go” and to “do it”, the easier it is to wave your hand and say, “Tomorrow. I’ll go and do it tomorrow.” I also think going and doing, or unsticking, is hard. It’s scary. It creates judgement and uncertainty. And, according to a blog I read, uncertainty is:
Stressful and exciting
Fear invoking and empowering
Unnerving and confidence building
It’s the good with the bad, all a part of growing. Small changes are good, but they’re easy. What’s the big change that causes you fear, that unnerves you? The big decision that empowers you and gives you excitement beyond measure? That’s the thing you go and you do.
Go.
Go and do it.
Don’t get stuck.

Nap Interrupted

Abe fell asleep in the car on the way home from the beach and made a nice, smooth transition from car to crib. If you aren’t a parent, this is worthy of not just praise but some kind of alcoholic celebratory beverage.
However, Abe experienced one of the single most detrimental nap-interrupters a toddler can…diaper failure. Only an hour and a half in, he began to sqwuack, moan, and chirp. I’m not sure what the chirping was related to but it was in there. Assuming he was lying in a puddle, I checked on him to find indeed the diaper had not only failed, it shouldn’t even have shown up to give us hope in the first place. Every blanket, stuffed animal, pillow, and sheet was covered in pee. It was like Abe turned into a sprinkler and the diaper got stage fright and ran away.
As there was no hope of resuming the nap once the entire bed had been stripped and the offending diaper disposed of, I brought Abe downstairs to rejoin the family. Waking up Abe early from a nap is like poking a wild bear. Not suggested.
So since then, Abe has had major meltdowns over the following issues:
1. I would not eat one of the roasted parsnips he offered me from his bowl.
2. I closed a door.
3. I discontinued holding a shoe he handed me (after 30 minutes).
4. I offered him water in a blue cup.
5. I turned on Mickey Mouse.
6. I turned off Mickey Mouse.
7. Daddy blew the leaves off the back porch.
8. I opened a door.
9. I sanctimoniously removed said roasted parsnip from the staircase after stepping on it (which is apparently where he was “keeping” it).
10. I washed his sheets without first allowing him to say goodbye before they got wet in the washing machine.
It was a great night.

My List/Your List

I’m a perfectionist, through and through. I hold myself to a standard way higher than anyone else does. It’s not OCD and I don’t need to be medicated (regularly) but I have a hard time getting through a day without comparing myself to other people and deciding what I can do to be “better”.
I read this article this morning and it got me thinking: Without the perfectionism, who am I really? Having turned 30 this past year, I’ve comfortably settled in to this life. I still fight to grow and seek health and balance, but not at the expense of being who I really am.

My co-worker, Katie, and I at SXSW.

Last week I was at SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX for work. It required me to network, make pleasant conversation, answer questions, and drink (yep, drinking was a requirement). The first day I spent completely nervous about how I was presenting myself. The second day I spent trying to be what people wanted me to be. And the final days I spent throwing caution to the wind and being a wild woman. I didn’t come home until 5:30 in the morning one night and while I felt terrible that my husband didn’t join in on all the fun, I also felt somewhat liberated. And as I mentally reviewed my trip, I realize this is the evolution of my 20s into my 30s. I spent the beginning of my 20s being nervous; the end of my 20s being who people wanted me to be. And now, entering my 30s, I want to throw caution to the wind. I mean, my 20s are already over. That’s the first 3 decades of life. I can’t keep spending it guessing the right answer.

 

So who am I? I’m as multifaceted as the next girl, but who am I really?
  • I’m opinionated. I don’t care to share my opinions at the expense of a friendship or an otherwise friendly conversation. And I don’t care if your opinion differs from mine so long as we respect the contrast. But I do like to have strong opinions, and occasionally shout them.
  • I’m loyal to a fault. If I love you, you can do NEARLY ANYTHING and I will defend you. Maybe not physically (although my brain gets so clouded with loyalty sometimes that I probably would, if faced with it), but definitely with my big fat mouth. I find that I’m better with words than punches anyway.
  • I love to make people happy and/or laugh. It’s my favorite way to share love. If I say something funny, and you laugh, my day is made. And I hope yours is, too. Now, if you can make me laugh or catch me off guard with a snarky comment, my month is made.
  • I really like to curse. If I could, I would use a curse word in every sentence. Maybe it’s a repercussion from all those years of being nervous or trying to people-please; maybe it’s a Napoleon complex (I’m only 5’0″ tall), the only way my mind thinks it can grab the attention of all the minds hovering above it. Either way, I like it. I wish I could do it at the grocery store.
  • I love people. I love talking to people and learning from them. I love sharing what I know, too. I’d like to be a better listener. I’m working on it.
So now that I write these out, I’m more like my mom than I once thought, maybe without the cursing. (If you know my mom, then you know that makes me pretty lucky.) What really makes you YOU? While making the list, are you trying to please others or even comparing to my list?
Well, stop it. Write your own damn list.

Parsnips and Perfect

This is a really simple one! I got a  bunch of parsnips in my produce surprise bag this week. Did you know you can make french fries out of parsnips? Wait, do you know what a parsnips is?

This is a parsnip.

Super easy, super yummy, and super healthy. Just chop up the parsnips and run them under cold water. Strain them and let them dry. Then give them a nice polish with some olive oil or coconut oil, whichever you pleasure (I have a gallon of coconut oil, so you know…). Salt, pepper, garlic powder, pick your poison.

We're so happy in here!

I decided on fresh parsley, too. I put some parsley in the ground at the end of last summer and I have massive amounts of it now. My friend got me a mezzaluna so I pretended to be Nigela Lawson and chopped it all up complete with a British accent.

The bloody herbs (pronounce the "h").

I’d use parchment paper on a cookie sheet, but you can try foil if you spray it really well. (P.S. Did you know there’s such thing as foil on one side, parchment paper on the other?! Changing my life.) Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes, flip and cook another 10.

I don’t know about your kids, but Abe loved these.

Speaking of which, he’s insanely perfect.

 

 

For Example

My real life, for example:
  1. There is a small spoon that permanently lives on the floor under the dining room table.
  2. I can no longer open cabinets in my house without unlocking, unlatching, or unweaving an intricate web of rubber bands.
  3. Small piles of sand live in various areas of my house, hiding, waiting for bare feet to find them.
  4. At no time does the back seat of my car contain fewer than 3 talking toys, 2 empty sippy cups, and one very small sock.
  5. Don’t ask why that’s sticky.
  6. Sometimes we keep apple cores in an empty bathtub.
  7. The drawers that can open no longer actually contain anything. Check the floors.
  8. The lint trap from the dryer can be found in the bakeware cabinet, if you’re looking for it.
  9. Put your computer away. Put it away immediately.
  10. There are almost always banana stringies in my bed at night, which stick to my ear before I discover them.

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