I have seen a lot of posts on FB and blogs lately regarding the plight of the stay at home mom. Most are kind hearted and calling for ...
Perspective from a Working Mom
I had to share the hilarity of my children. Last night was our Women's Bible Study and Kid's Club at church. I go in the gym to pi...
I laugh and said, "No, I'm not having a baby."
Then our children and family minister steps up and asks, "Do you have anything you would like to share?"
Turns out that Miss Liz asked the kids to share a blessing each before dinner. When they got to Addie, she said, "My mommy is going to have another baby soon."
Well, everyone's face turned and they all just assumed she'd let the cat out of the bag. I had lots of inquiring minds but I assured them all that I am not pregnant. This elicited lots of laughter, some relief, and a few inappropriate comments along the lines of, "Oh good, I was thinking, 'Are y'all crazy?!" I was quick to clarify that we do want a fourth baby someday but that we are not currently pregnant.
On the way home I asked Addie why she told everyone that I was having a baby. She replied, "Because I want you to."
Here's how the rest of the conversation went:
Me: Well, baby girl, I know we would like to have another baby in our family, but Mommy is not pregnant right now. I'm not growing a baby in my tummy so we don't need to tell people that because it might make them sad.
Addie: But I want you to!
Me: I know, but I'm not having another baby right now.
Addie: Why not? I told them you were having one soon, not right now.
Me: I'm just not, it takes a long time for babies to grow, so I'm not having a baby soon either.
Addie: [Bursts into sad sad tears and sobbing] I waaant you to right now!!!!!
Freddie: Mama, why don't you just go home and get married right now so you can have a baby. I want you to have a baby tomorrow. I want a Pokemon baby.
Me: It doesn't work that way Freddie. Only God can decide when I am able to have another baby.
Freddie: Why don't you ask Him for one?
Me: I have and I will keep praying for that.
Addie: Just roll your window down and ask Him right now!
Me: [laughing a lot] I can pray without rolling my window down, ya goof.
Addie: I want a girl baby.
Me: God gets to decide if we have a girl or a boy, not us. We will be grateful no matter what we have.
Freddie: Or we'll be grateful if we have two babies.
Me: [doubtfully] Um, yes, we'll be double grateful.
Freddie: Oh, Mama, you can get double pregnant. Tomorrow you need to kiss two boys.
Me: [laughing more, near peeing my pants] It doesn't work that way Freddie, stop worrying about it. Mama will tell you both if we are going to have another baby.
Freddie: You can kiss Daddy and Rimshot, he's a boy.
Me: [thinking he may need a better anatomy lesson than I was willing to give a 7 year old] No, humans can't have dog babies. It doesn't work like that. I'll explain more when you are older.
Addie: We never had a boy baby.
Me: What did you all have for dinner at Kid's Club??????
Today at lunch, Addie asked Jason what he made in Sunday school. He replied, "Conversation." Addie said, "Oh, that's ...
I'm gonna write that down
I told her that he also ate some cake. She wanted to know what kind.
Jason replied, "Chocolate ice cream cake with chocolate chips."
Addie said, "Ooooh, that sounds delicious. I'm gonna write that down."
She is hilarious. So, I'm gonna write some stuff down too. First off, today is September 1 and I ate a CHEESE quesadilla for lunch. I had a whole wheat tortilla with white queso quesadilla cheese sprinkled with a little cumin and some homemade fresh salsa made from my garden tomatoes to dip it in. Now I feel queasy. I'm also nursing a sore throat and overall yuck feelings today, but I will try and blame the dairy for as much as possible.
August happened. Vegan eating for a month happened. Lots of new foods, recipes, ideas, etc. happened. Four pounds lost and reaching my 60lb mark happened. Now it's time for something new or something old. A friend asked me for an informative post on why vegan. I mentioned watching Forks over Knives and a slew of other documentaries, but if we just need an abbreviated version I'll deliver. So, the stuff that causes exponential cancer growth us omnivores is animal protein. Animal protein isn't only found in meat, it's found in milk, cheese, and yogurt too. I wish we could take butter out of the equation. It's not protein, just fat, surely that's ok! Also, I can't turn away from the incredible environmental toll of the livestock industry. It is destroying our earth. The human population continues to place crazy demands on high yield from the meat industry, causing soil erosion, water polution, severe animal cruelty, greenhouse gas emissions, genetic manipulation, and the eradication of viable farm land. So, organic is good, right? Free range chickens and eggs, grass fed organic beef, and all that jazz. Well, maybe. Maybe is as good as I can get because, first, I can't actually afford to feed a family of five all free range organic grass fed animals and their by products. Second, it's not all it's cracked up to be either. Free range chickens only require a few feet of space to meet the standard while they still get placed on an assembly line and male chicks are shredded up while they're still alive to make our dog food and hot dog fillers vs. a traditional chicken "manufacturer" who hoards hundreds of chickens into a few square feet and they grow into their cages and are pumped full of so many hormones to make their breasts grow that they can't even walk. Hormone and antibiotic free organic dairy cows are euthanized if they have a basic udder infection because farmers can't use antibiotics to heal them or they won't get a stamp on their milk cartons. Things like this upset me.
I'm not asking or expecting it to upset everyone. We all get through daily life with selective ignorance and denial on one thing or another. I have no idea what small indonesian child probably suffered to make my cheap target sandals. There is no way I could go through all the possible scenarios of how a cow is treated before it becomes a rawhide chew for my dog. I've only started looking at how all the chemicals in my house are probably killing us. Food has just been something that I take such an active roll in on a daily basis, that it seemed a good place to start being socially, economically, and environmentally conscious. We all have our issues we are passionate about. I'm not certain this will become "MY THING" since my thing is already all wrapped up in natural birth! It's all strung together for me though. Making small steps toward a more conscious way of living is how we'll survive another thousand years on this earth without it becoming a real live zombiepocalypse nuclear holocaust hunger games situation.
K, there's my soap box. I ate cheese today. Just plain old cheese with no fancy labels and it tasted good. I won't be eating it at every meal and I don't know when I'll feel like eating a piece of meat again. I'm only going to do the best I can to reduce my consumption and educate my family so that they can do the same. Maybe a year from now I will have more resolve and higher standards and expectations for myself. I honestly hope so, but I've made dozens of small changes and an entire eating, lifestyle, shopping, environmental consideration, fitness, and outlook change because of these. That's good enough for me for right now. Individual choice is key and I'm proud of any small step I make or you all make in the right direction.
It's almost done! My month of vegan eating has not been quite as hard as I thought, but my desire for cheese has reached an all time ma...
Vegan Adventures on the Go
Here's the other thing that made it easier. I've only eaten away from home a handful of times this month. Once to Pei Wei, where they were incredibly accomodating and almost excited to help me find a vegan option. Once to Panera for lunch on the very first day (which I shared with you on FB!) and failed. Once to Mexico Chiquito and once to Chuy's, and oh gosh once to Razorback Pizza. Here's what I had.
Panera - Corn Chowder (FAIL!) and Greek Salad- order black bean soup in stead and get a vegan bread option because the little mini baguettes are not
Pei Wei - Pad Thai w/no Egg (Success! and YUM!) There are just a million calories in it.
Mexico Chiquito - (Half Fail) Veggie tacos which consisted of black beans only because I ordered them with no cheese dip. The half fail is because their lettuce/tomato/cheese mixture for topping is all mixed in and I couldn't get the powdery goo off of my taco. I also got guacamole and chips which were tasty.
Chuy's - Veggie fajitas (SUPER DELICIOUS!), OMG their tortillas are so good and the veggie fajitas with some quacamole and salsa honestly left me feeling no sadness for the lost sour cream. The only thing I didn't like was paying (sortof, we had a gift card) $12 for veggies on a skillet. They should adjust the price if you are only ordering veggies I think.
Razorback Pizza - Spanish Pie w/no cheese or meat or sour cream (EPIC FAIL OF SADNESS) Seriously, I have had taco pizza at Larry's before and it was delish and needed no cheese or meat at all. This stuff at Razorback pizza was awful. The beans are mixed with chili powder and tomato paste to create a bitter, vinegar flavored awful paste stuck to stale crust topped with big hunks of salad bar lettuce and tomato wedges and olives that seemed way past their fresh by date. They gave me half off the pizza because I couldn't even get the kids to eat the cheesy/meaty goodness side of the thing. It was awful and in the bathroom, there was this photo.
We are on a crazy tight budget this summer after vacation, so it's actually great to be cooking vegan/vegetarian foods. Meat is expensiv...
Cheap Vegan Meals and Recipes
1/2 cup green lentils (dry-cook according to package)
1/2 cup of cooked jasmine rice
1 small yellow squash, diced
3-4 portabello mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp curry
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp coriander
Dash salt & pepper
Dash allspice and cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup oats
Mix cooked lentils and rice together
Cook all veggies in skillet with olive oil, when very soft add spices
Add veggies to lentil/rice mix
Add flour, cornmeal, and oats, stir well
Create patties and pan fry in olive oil (same skillet used for veggies) until brown on both sides (3 mins or so on each side over med-high heat)
Serve on pita or with rice and cucumber sauce
Vegan Vodka Sauce
August really surprised me. I knew it was coming, but not so soon. We all say that, but I have so many things to do, that are due (Master&...
Very Vegan Vignette
The past few months I have been dabbling in Weganism or being a Wegetarian. That's where you eat vegan or vegetarian until the weekend hits! It started with just an interest to see if I could do it. Could I cook vegetarian meals for a family of five on a very tight budget with a meat lovin' husband and a picky two year old? Could I buy more organic fruits and vegetables and not go wildly over my weekly grocery average? Could I cut meat meals down to 3-4x a week, then down to 2, or maybe just one? The answer to these questions was YES! It cost more to buy organic fruits and veggies and meat, but once I cut out the meat, it evened back out. Some questions were a resounding, NO! Like, Can I buy only local food? Can I go to the Farmer's Market every Saturday morning? Can I order from the AR Local Food Network every week? Nope on those things. Too expensive, too much time commitment, too much future planning, tooooo much for me. That's ok though. I found out that I can grow stuff, with some help. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, eggplant, and now even some peppers from the garden have helped feed my locally grown fancy. Another resounding NO for me right now is feeding an entire family of five on a vegan diet. We have made HUGE strides in eliminating animal products from our house and at least having a variety of options. We have almond, soy, and dairy milk in our fridge. Meat meals are down to once a week besides eating out or at church functions. I haven't figured out how to get rid of yogurt, sour cream, cheese, eggs, butter, and hot dogs from a kid's diet. My children love fruit, veggies, hummus, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, beans, etc though. That's a plus!
So, what in the world is wrong with me anyway? Two years ago I had a blanket distrust of anyone who didn't eat meat. It was hoity toity nonsense. Vegetarians were obnoxious enough and vegans were on my list of the most pretentious on the planet. Don't get me wrong, those judgy snobberies definitely exist. It's just that there are multiple motivations and varying degrees of expectations related to plant based eating. Mercy and realism are elements of most people's daily perceptions! Rachel has been kicking tail at being a vegan, besides an occasional corn dog or cheese stick mishap. Damn that Sonic Drive-In! She's so encouraging when I cook vegan meals and appreciative. It made me realize that I wouldn't have to give up my joy of loving people with food in order to give up meat. It just didn't happen that I wanted to give it up or saw any reason that I needed to.
Then came friggin' My Fitness Pal. Do you know how many calories are in ground beef??? It was terrible, so I switched to ground turkey. Cue the e-coli bacteria outbreak in ground turkey. Um, now what? Ground chicken? Organic chicken was stranglingly expensive. I looked into a meat share with a local organic farmer but was way too overwhelmed with the thought of having a deep freezer full of a 1/4 cow, 1/4 pig, 12 chickens, a huge turkey, 8 lbs of organ meat, and an entire 10lb bucket of lard in my garage. Then I decided to give in and watch Forks over Knives on Netflix, then every other plant based, locally grown, organic food documentary I could find like Food Fight, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Vegucated, and many others. It was so interesting and sortof scary. Watch them! Seemed like a pretty good challenge for me, so August it was. I geared up by eating vegetarian for awhile and then just made the decision to try eating a vegan diet for the month of August. Done, sorta.
I have made a few mistakes and it is definitely a learning curve. I'm not freaking out about it though and continuing to make good choices even if I do eat a cream based soup by accident. I'm also finding humor in the huge tupperware I have to bring to the church hot dog bar and the whole cucumbers I pull out of my lunch bag. It's just another layer of being in this world, but not of it. We don't have to ascribe to a standard American diet of processed food and meats that are actually funding dessertification, soil degradation, and starvation for much of the world. We deserve to know how our bodies were created to work and how chemicals and hormones effect our health both mental and physical. I may not be able to stick this out and I LOVE hamburgers, corn dogs, turkey sandwiches, fried chicken sandwiches from chick-fil-a, hot wings, pepperoni pizza, oh man I'm getting hungry. It's just worth a try! The worst thing so far is not being able to use half and half in my coffee. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk creamers, tried them all and yuck, splfhfffh, ecck, ugggh, nope. The best is soy milk with lots of sugar but still it isn't the same joy. Poor me.
I hope to post some recipes up here and easy meal lists for people interested in just cutting back on the meat, cutting down their grocery bills, or in going all in. Oh, check out this awesome blog for amazing fat free vegan recipes. It may be important to note that I'm going to try and primarily eat plant based, which means no vegan cheese, processed prepared fake meats, oreos (totally vegan!), onion rings, and the like. This is supposed to be healthy, low fat, low calorie, HIGH nutrition. I still have more weight to lose ya know.
Last thing for today.....as promised, 18 month weight loss photos! 58.2lbs down! It's still so incredibly slow, but I see shape change even when I don't see pounds shedding off. I love to see the progress I have made and I laugh to myself thinking about what my infomercial would say. "Would you like to lose up to 58lbs in a year and a half? How would you like to exercise, run a half-marathon, track calories, watch your portions, completely change your eating habits and lifestyle, makeover your grocery shopping routine, and find yourself losing a steady 1lb a week over the next couple of years? Does losing three sizes and 8.5 inches from your waist by next Christmas sound good to you? If so, call this number NOW!" :) It just doesn't sound like it would sell very fast.
I had a request for an update! So, I'm updating but no major news. Life is completely insane. Seriously, we are having a blast but be...
Anyway, I just wanted to stop in and say I'm alive and life is good. My frustration has waned in the weight loss adventure because I've done much better at staying on track since the holidays finally came to a close. I'm down 52 total pounds since January 2012 and I will post an 18 month update photo after we take our July 1st comparison pictures. Is it weird to be excited about taking pictures of your butt and gut? :) I'm sure it is weird. Oh and the half marathon was amazing and super hard and not something I really think I will do again any time soon! Maybe if it didn't take me 3 hours to run the thing I would think differently.
Oh, and I will leave you with a motivational schpeel I sent to a friend the other day. It is truth folks.
I’m glad that I just feel like a person who is lovely inside and out. I’m thankful that I feel like I deserve basic human dignity and respect but don’t feel the need to demand reverence from anyone. I am grateful that God helps me feel worthy and deserving of love so that I feel others are also worthy and deserving of love. God loves me and although I have done nothing to earn my place in this world, I feel an undeniable need to smile and bring light into the darkness and breath into lifelessness. This must be a tiny glimpse of what God sees while looking upon the world, light and darkness. It’s not always the darkness that comes from evil or cruelty, but the darkness that comes from ingratitude, arrogance, insecurity, self-doubt, discontentment, self-loathing, loneliness, grief, pain, and the absence of hope. That darkness will not win today. I see it in her, in him, in that room, and I’m going to shine my light so bright in those spots today that nobody will even like me tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow my light won’t feel so bright and I’ll need a shining. Today though, I’m going to beam. I hope you beam too!