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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Losing My Religion.

Yesterday this gem popped out of a strange and randomly stormy day. It was gone before you knew it, but luckily a coworker alerted me to its presence. "It's like God is saying everything's okay!" he say jokingly, but considering how this photo doesn't come near to doing the rainbow justice, it sort of was like a giant, glowing, gorgeous message from God. I heard Bob Marley in my head singing "Every little thing, gonna be all right" and it put a smile on my face.

Anyways, early this morning I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. Some song (no Bob Marley unfortunately) was stuck in my head. Now, often times when this happens, and it happens a lot, I like to say the Our Father in my head to smooth away annoying lyrics, and quite frankly to soothe myself. I don't go to church nearly as often as I'd like, but my goodness does our child seem to sleep in on Sundays more than any other day. And I really don't feel like hauling ass feeling fat and unattractive in a dressy outfit, chasing down goldfish and books and toys to go sit in church with a squirming toddler.

Anyways, saying the Our Father, or the guardian angel prayer, or the Hail Mary, or the Apostles Creed when I can remember it, is a comfort to me. I often repeat one of those prayers a few times, add in some personal shout outs to the Lord on behalf of my loved ones, and then, miraculously (it IS a prayer to the Lord after all), I will drift off to sleep.

Anyways (JUST KIDDING, wanted to make that three out of four paragraphs starting with Anyways).

But this morning, something happened. I got to "as we forgive those who trespass against us" and I drew an absolute and utter blank. I have been saying this prayer for most of my life, I know it like the back of my hand. What does the back of my hand look like? Now I'm panicking because I desperately want to look down at my typing fingers. Are those my hands? I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S REAL ANYMORE

I started over, and boom, right at the trespass/forgive/other people line, I hit a wall. And it made me sad. It freaked me out a bit too. I felt a little lost, and a little lonely. I believe in God, so if you don't the next line will make you eye-roll. I do believe God is always listening, but for some reason, having my prayer interrupted by an utter brain fail made me feel like the call got dropped. I felt disconnected and sorrowful for that feeling. I kept repeating it over and over and over again, and I never got back to sleep. The moment I got to the office I sat down, and boom, like a wave of relief, the words came to me.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. That's the version I've known and loved, and it felt like a warm embrace to say those words, silently to myself. It made me miss church, and mayber, just maybe, I'll squeeze into something presentable on Sunday and shovel Cheerios and goldfish into my girl's mouth so I can try to listen to the priest before she inevitably says fuck this shit by throwing a tantrum.

I love you, Lord! Sorry about the dropped call, I'll check in with my service provider. Unless Alex sleeps in. Sorry. Forgive me? Yeah, I thought so. Thanks, God. Every little thing, gonna be all right.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Old Faithful.

Todd has to take his ring off when he teaches kung fu or works out or does heavy labor, because his ring is made of tungsten, and it's so durable and hard core that if you hurt your hand, you won't hurt the ring. But you won't be able to get the ring OFF if you injure that finger. Some guy in some line at some place had a tungsten ring and told Todd this. It could all be a lie! But still, those are the times he removes his ring.

I never take mine off. Well, okay, not never, but it is extremely an absolute rare event when I do. A few days ago, I took some pictures. Here's the proof:

My God, my pinky looks positively stubby in that photo. But anyways, I love how the lines above and below my ring set are like my knuckle creases. Permanent. A part of me, a part of my very anatomy and physical make up.

I also like how there is very obviously something missing without my rings. Like my body has saved a place for them, for when they get back. Maybe I should get them enlarged. I tried my mom's rings on and they slide right on, and her fingers are absolutely tiny. So I know my rings are, obviously, a little snug. They always have been because it feels safer and more secure to have them that way. But there's that story about a tree growing around a bicycle so I don't know. I do enjoy this very obvious display of devotion though.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday Workout (on Thursday)!

Okay, so I did do this workout yesterday, which is why it's still called a Wednesday Workout. Anyways, what I love about this workout is that it really focuses on the back, which is an area I tend to unintentionally ignore. So it's nice to know that this little routine, designed by Todd, can always give my back a sucker punch in a good way.

Do each exercise 15- 20 times (12 if you get wiped out), and do the whole circuit 3 times, no rests except for water. And I don't recommend drinking water before your third round of push-ups. Just putting that out there.


15 pushups
20 sprinter crunches. Lie on your back, legs straight and arms stretched overhead (on the floor). With a quick burst of energy, bring your left elbow and right knee together. Sort of like a bicycle crunch but not? Todd suggests doing them very quickly. Don't forget to use your abs though, and not momentum to get up there.
15 tricep chair dips.
20 Russian twists
15 squats with a medicine ball. Squat down, throw the ball on the floor, catch it as it bounces up and raise up, lifting the ball high over your head until arms are fully extended. That's one.

Now rinse and repeat three times, and enjoy the happy, sore muscles tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Display of Determination.

There's a park right by our house with a pretty decent playground and now that Tucson's bizarre cold snap has morphed into an equally bizarre heat wave, we're heading over there more often. Before it got it cold, Alex always wanted to do what the big kids did, which thankfully wasn't smoking cigarettes behind bleachers (yet), but was climbing up the slide instead of sliding down.

During the summer she was too little to do it, but this past Sunday she didn't want a little thing like a string of failures to keep her from attempting it yet again.

"There, I'm in."

"Just keep climbing, just keep climbing, climbing, climbing..."



"Oh crap! Whatever, who cares, I'm gonna keep on keepin' on."

"Ooops, sliding down!!"

"Those big kids use their knees, right? And don't worry, mama, I don't need help for me, because..."



And of course you know what I did. I shrieked "YOU DID IT" and broke my laid back playground mommy rule and ran right over there and screamed "YOU DID IT" about five more time while begging for high-fives before she ran away to climb the 6' ladder so that I would have a heart attack.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sassy Water! Sassy Sassy Sassy!

Is that even a word anymore? Sassy!

Originally created by some woman named Sass (last name) over at Prevention, this is a slightly modified version, but nevertheless still sassy as hell. Supposedly able to target belly fat and promote a flat belly (combined with a diet but a diet consisting of 1600 calories a day which is higher than I aim for so what about that is a diet?), this water is, most importantly, delicious. If the lemon helps my liver to flush out last night's martini, then so be it, I count that as a pleasant surprise. I drink this stuff because it tastes great and since I read that club soda (and other carbonated bevvies) can cause dental erosion and gastro issues, it's nice having another drink option besides plain old water.

God, could I intro this sassy water with even more words? Jeeze.

Sassy Water!

2 lemons, quartered
12 mint leaves
1/2 cucumber, sliced
2 - 3 quarts water

In your pitcher, squeeze all the lemon quarters, dump in the mint and cucumber slices, and pour the water over all that yummy stuff. For optimal, prime water (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) let it chill overnight. But if you are like me and absolutely do not have the patience gene, you can go right ahead and drink it. Who gives a shit anyway? You are SASSY! I had a large iced tea from Jack in the Box, okay, I am vibrating right now! I am SASSY!!!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Paderno spiralizer

So this thing right here is a fucking badass. Do you see, in the photo, what this badass did to that sweet potato? IT MADE NOODLES OUT OF THAT SWEET POTATO. Do you know how much I love pasta and that thanks to this Paleo horseshit I decided on doing, I haven't had it since January 3rd? I LOVE PASTA. But, since I had a cheat day at a baby shower and ate gluten, and subsequently started getting itchy all over my body, I realized that I probably need to live my life avoiding pasta.

I would have cried, but when that thought dawned on me I had already owned this badass machine for 48 hours and I knew my pasta cravings would be satiated. In fact, Friday night I made a heaping mess of noodles from just one freaking cucumber, man. Think what I could do to an army of zucchini! A hoard of sweet potatoes! And I bet I could make carrot noodles and parsnip noodles and holy hell, if you can make a goddamn noodle out of it, then I'm going to do it and sprinkle Parmesan all over it and  if you even get in my way, I'll bite your fingers off. 

Review: A+++

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Last night I got a new game app on my phone called Song Pop. I sat on the sofa for the last part of Alexadra's night playing obsessively. I sort of felt like an ass, but Todd and Alex were chasing each other around and so it wasn't like I was being neglectful.

But then later that night I had a horrible dream. The first part wasn't so bad; I was scouting routes for us to go to Canada to ski (don't ask). But it morphed into a horrible scenario. I had Alex with me and a new electronic gadget, basically like an iPad, and I was using it to FaceTime with friends and letting Alex see.

We were in some sort of huuuuuge mall/amusement park type place and we were in a restaurant bar type place. I sat on a barstool talking to friends while Alex played near a banquet table FULL of food. Suddenly the dream shifted and I was essentially inside the iPad. If I hit a game app, basically a door opened in the hall I was walking in, and I could go in, sit down and play the app, like in an arcade.

I pushed a button (my God I think it was Bad Piggies) and went on in to a darkened room, put my purse and iPad down and sat down to play the game. There were loads of other gaming stations and it was about half full of other people. It dawned on me that Alex would love to play and then I started freaking out because I realized I'd left her in the food room.

I panicked, left my purse and ran outside. But like in Labyrinth, the floor layout had changed and due to the dream changing itself between the food room and my walking in a hall, I had no idea where to go to find her again. There was a long switchback style line, like lines at Disneyland, full of people and there was an Asian man holding a glass of wine who was boss of that room. I was so frantic I could hardly talk but I told him I needed to find my daughter but needed him to get my purse.

And that is where I woke up. Frozen in panic and fear and terror, apart from my daughter, stuck in a huge line in a strange place. And it was all due to this stupid electronic device that had gotten me all distracted. I lay there in bed, torn over whether to just go wake up Alexandra so I could hold her close to my body, or whether I should try and fix the situation in my dream.

I chose the latter, and using my power as the dream's architect I tried to go back to that room and imagine myself hearing "Mama! Mommy! Where are you?" like she does in grocery stores when I step four feet away from the cart. It sorrrta worked, and at least helped to calm myself down. I imagined her coming through the crowd to me in her little jammies and I imagined the feel of her body pressed against mine in a hug.

When she woke up I bounced right on into her room and petted and stroked her face and hair, giving her little arm and leg a squeeze, and since then we've had a great day together. But that dream truly gave me pause because something sinister like that could actually happen were my attention sucked too thoroughly into my phone, into anything else while out and about with Alexandra. And I sure as hell am not going to fart around on my phone when there are chases to be had, Ha-Ha houses to be built, or snuggles to be stolen from a rowdy toddler.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


For Todd's birthday we had dinner at Sullivan's steakhouse, home of the tomahawk steak, an enormous ribeye with an even more enormouser steak bone. The end result is a steak that looks like an axe-head and a bone that looks like a handle. Hence, tomahawk. It's also dry aged but that's not important because what I'm really wanting to discuss is Alexandra's use of the bone. Like she gave a shit if the steak was dry aged!

What, mom? This is cool, right?

Damn right it is! Get it, girl!

Taking a moment to assess the carnage:

Attack! "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war"

I'd like to think that the lady in the background was startled by the gutteral feasting sounds of the cavebaby but it was probably because our entire table was laughing so much at Alexandra's carnivorous display.

These next three I love because of that Dr. Evil-esque finger there against her cheek. Not only will the bone meet its demise but perhaps us as well! Mwhahahaha!

What up, mom? What up, grandma? I'll TELL you what's up. EVIL!

But first, this bone. This bone is DELICIOUS!

I asked the waitstaff if they'd like to use any of these photos for advertisement or to post on their website. They'll get back to me any day now, I'm sure.

In the meantime, let me leave you with this gem. I'm sure it's a preview of all the looks I'll be getting the second she turns 13.

Get it, girl!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Birthday Boy.

This sex beast is 34 years old today. I've been with him for seven of those years, and every single day I still can't believe how I lucked out. He's loving, kind, and loyal. Strong, brave, and intelligent. Funny, sweet, and understanding. He's open minded and thoughtful, well-spoken and well-traveled. He's adventurous and loves trying new things. He's creative and artistic but also pragmatic and no-nonsense. He's skilled in so many incredible time-saving and money-saving ways. He's motivated and self-empowered. He is beyond patient. He's an amazing father, and the bond between Alexandra and him is pure joy to witness. He is the best husband out there, and our little family is all the better for having him as a most beloved and cherished member.

Happy birthday, Todd.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rosemary Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Shallots

I think that ever since I started doing Paleo, every post I've written has had something to do with that temporary lifestyle change, and today is no different. However! Aside from the brief mention that walking by a display of blueberry muffins eventually led to an emotional breakdown, this post is going to be a POSITIVE Paleo post! The shock! The novelty!

Rosemary Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Shallots
serves two

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (think 4 chunks per spud)
4 shallots, cut into halves
6 small sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 chicken leg quarters, skinned, thighs and drummies separated
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1 - 2 cups finely chopped kale, evil stems removed
Drizzle of olive oil
Garlic powder
2 strips crispy-cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 375.

I'm tempted to just scream TOSS ALL THAT SHIT TOGETHER NOW regarding the first five ingredients, but I actually tossed the veggies and 2 tbsp olive oil together, deposited them in the pyrex, and then tossed the chicken pieces and remaining oil separately because the bowl I used wasn't large enough.

After you artfully arrange your meat and veg (I sound so British), sprinkle with the herbes de provence and salt and pepper and toss it into the oven because you're a caveman and you haven't had soft cheese or bread in six days (only!) and you feel like beating the shit out of something so it might as well be your oven.

Roast for about 40 minutes. Remove set aside. Toss the kale in that drizzle of olive oil and a shake or two of garlic powder. Arrange on a cookie sheet, shaking the sheet to make sure the kale is spread out enough. Bake for 10 minutes or so until crispy.

Plate your food, sprinkle with the kale and bacon, and devour, rending the tender, juicy flesh off of every bone you can get your carb-deprived fingers on. Hurrah!

I need to say that aside from that kale chip endeavor, I've never enjoyed kale. I don't know if I even enjoyed the kale chips since I kept the evil stems on like a noob. But THIS meal, holy shit! I LOVED the kale. Getting the pieces small enough and removing anything that remotely resembled a stem, the garlic powder, plus a wee bit of extra salt, all culminated into converting me into a kale fan. True, there are perameters to that conversion, BUT STILL. I feel so grown up. I like brussels sprouts now, and kale, and what's next? Free form jazz?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


So I am sick but only honey badger sick which means that my humble pie only has a few bites out of it. It's not nearly as bad as I expected, and to be honest, aside from a constant desire to hack my lungs out, it's extremely mild. The curious thing is it always takes me a full day of aches and pains plus an itchy, gross throat, then a night of sleep, and then the cough and sniffles and congestion arrive in a Black Maria. However, last night while watching Market Warriors (best show ever aside from all my other best shows ever), I realized it had happened right then and there, without a night of shitty sleep to mark the transition. Remarkable!

So, this goddamn paleo thing. I tell you. Last night's dinner consisted of oven fried chicken and broccoli fritters. But I was determined to keep it as paleo as possible, at least according to the terms laid out here. I had purchased some almond flour, a $10 attempt at solidarity, and so last night I whipped it out.

Instead of panko mixed with parmesan -- remember, I am OK with parmesan since it's a hard cheese and COME ON man -- I used the almond flour (first try, I typed almost instead of almond; I think my Freudian slip is showing under my skirt today). It wasn't too much different from the original, I'm happy to say! I dipped the chicken in egg yolk instead of soaking it in skim milk like I normally do (I forgot to buy almond milk durp). It wasn't as crispitty-golden as I'd have liked since almond flour is pretty caloric and I was skimpy on the amount I used. But still, all in all, a paleo success!

Next up, broccoli fritters! It calls for an egg, 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup parmesan. I dutifully switched out the flour for almond "flour" and right off the bat I could tell it wasn't binding properly. I kept mashing and smashing it all together but nope, it never acquired that gooey sticky substance required to maintain a good patty shape whilst frying. That's why I'm now putting quotes around flour when I specify that it is almond "flour" because this shit is just masquerading, man.

It could be because I switched out olive oil for grapeseed oil because of what, the high flash point or whatever? which is SO IMPORTANT in the paleo world, my God. I didn't feel like spending twice as much on coconut oil, plus that stuff comes in solid form and I already feel like my world is changing and I don't like it.

The broccoli was utterly basic. The patties fell apart so I had to just roll with it, and saute pre-steamed, egg-and-almond "flour"-covered broccoli in oil which was totally soaked up, but still the broccoli mishmash managed to be absolutely dried out when it came time to eat it.

I have to say, that before when I was reading about paleo on Dooce and she kept going on about how easily she transitioned and how she didn't miss cheese or bread or humanity, I was inspired. Then several months later she posted about how she can't cook and she actually hates to cook, and I was like, OH WELL NOW YOU TELL ME.

Because I don't care what other paleo people say. Sure, cooking mashed sweet potatoes with chicken in coconut oil (ALWAYS COCONUT OIL) sounds like fun but not when you just got French onion soup crocks for Christmas and have cookbooks and interenet cooking sites full of creamy starchy CHEESY goodness you bastards. I want steak au poivre, and lasagna, and, as Todd and I discussed in depth last night, cheesburger ravioli and if it doesn't exist, come February 5th, it sure as shit will.

Now, look. I didn't cry last night over my meal, and I didn't sit down in a huff on the kitchen floor stuffing uncooked spaghetti into my mouth.

But I wanted to.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Humble Pie. But I can't have pie. :(

So I don't think I mentioned it on here since I only posted like twice during my epic two-week-long vacation, but over the holidays my brother in law's wife's family (say that three times fast) came down with epic colds, and then passed the joy on to my brother in law, sister in law, mother in law and at last, my dear sweet husband. Alexandra and I were total badasses and didn't get sick.

Then, this past weekend, Friday I believe it was, Alexandra got sick. My poor baby! Froggy little voice, occasional cough and the most darling, cutey-wutey requests for "I need to blow my nose." But still, I reigned supreme in the world of immunity. I was kicking ass! An Emergen-C here, an orange there, and I'd be fine.

I went to yoga yesterday. It was hot and smelly like yoga in Tucson should be, which has nothing to do with this current tale except I just wanted to share how smelly and hot it was because come ON yoga studio, it was 65 yesterday, was a heater necessary after 329748 people did yoga in there all day long? My class was at 4pm so I kind of pondered that in down dog, ass in the air: whose bodies am I still smelling right now? Whose collective BO and BTUs am I currently wallowing in? I'm surprised I didn't barf.

Anyways. It sort of descended on me yesterday in that yoga class. The ticklish, scratchish throat. The hallmark of an oncoming cold, the appetizer to the meal of suck that is on its way, the um, the avant garde, um. Oh fuck it, the first fucking sign that you're going to be sick and it's going to suck and you might as well just give up.

And today, a MONDAY! YAY! it has descended. I am sick, and I feel stupid for being all, God I'm awesome, sorry you're sick! HAHAHAHAH! I RULE. Oh well. And then, thanks to yoga, I'm extremely sore which, when added to already present body aches, really drives in the fact that yep, asshole, you're sick and you are going to feel like shit for days!

So, yeah. Humble pie. I'm a mortal after all. Now if I could only actually eat pie before February 4th.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kale Chips

So this whole paleo thing is tricky! I planned my meals accordingly but then I was like oh shit, I can't snack on crackers or cheese anymore, so what the hell. Chips are out. English muffins are out. Alexandra's leftover mac and cheese is OUT. So I went to Paleo Plan and found a lot of tasty recipes, not just for meals but also for snacks. One of them was kale chips and by golly, these were easy and not nearly as disgusting as I thought they'd be.

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Wash kale and pat dry, and cut into 2" - 3" pieces, removing tough stems (I actually bought a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut kale from Trader Joe's, but it still had the stems, which are definitely not tasty).

Place kale in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat fully. Deposit kale onto cookie sheet and sort of shake the sheet to spread the kale out. Bake ten minutes or until crispy. And you're done!

I will say that some of the bitterness was still there in some of the leaves, so next time I will also season with some spices, like maybe chili powder and cumin, or ginger and curry, something like that. Maybe even just some good old 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's. Also, since brussels sprouts and asparagus are too bitter and pungent for me, I could just be a little more sensitive to the bitter flavor of kale.

All in all though, a way healthier alternative to potato chips and it was quick and easy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas is OVER.

I said this two days after Christmas when all the decorative clutter finally drove me off my own little fiscal cliff. I dragged out our Christmas storage bins and got rid of everything but the chili wreath, the ornaments hanging off the deer head, and the Christmas tree itself. Man, did that feel good.

I said it again yesterday when I single-handedly removed all the ornaments and strands of lights (I think there were 10 or 12), shook out my fabulous tree skirt and had Todd drag the poor bastard out of the house, sweeping merrily behind it the whole way.

And I said it again, inwardly, to myself this morning as I stepped on the scale and saw the Van Damage. It's not as bad as it could be, certainly not as bad as it was the first time I stepped on it and it was off balance and I almost fell over.  But it was enough to further strengthen my resolve to go mostly Paleo for the month of January. Well, January 4th to February 4th (I was on vacation until yesterday, people! I had to have one more night of pasta!).

What does that mean? Well, it means no dairy, and that's where part of the "mostly" Paleo comes in. I still intend to enjoy a Greek yogurt every morning because 14g protein for 110 - 130 calories and zero fat is just too good to pass up.  Secondly, if I want some parmesan, a hard cheese and therefore not as OMG EVIL for you, then I'm going to have a little parmesan.

What I am doing that is Paleo is avoiding white potatoes, breads, pastas, rice, grains in general and for the most part avoid corn as well. But another way I'm editing it is allowing myself peas and lentils because in my opinion those bad boys are super foods: high in carbs, yes, but also high in protein and fiber. SO WHATEVER.

Oh, and one more thing: I am totally having my wine on the weekends. Screw you Paleo! If cavemen knew about pinot grigio they would have never hit the Iron Age. They'd be all, "Why? This stuff comes in boxes, that's all I need." And now everyone gasps and goes "I thought she minored in history!"

My working out also went to practically a standstill. I think I can count the jogs I did on one hand for the past two and a half weeks. I'd like to get back into the swing of things and maybe get some yoga classes into my weekly workouts so I can get some good stretches for my damn plantar fasciitis (quit running you say? Perish the thought!).

So, yeah. Christmas is OVER. We had an absolutely amazing Christmas and holiday season and it was lovely with all the cookies and brie and escargots and champagne and Bailey's in my Christmas morning tea, and sleeping in and staying up late and laying around watching Cinderella in my plantar fasciitis boot with Alexandra instead of biking or running, and parties and dinners and eating ribeye for an appetizer.

But now it's sort of nice thinking of yoga and jogs with Patton, walks with Alex and her new tricycle, big decadent salads and club soda with lime. Cavemen did have club soda with lime, right?