Thursday, April 26, 2012

True Confession: Eating Healthy

Last night Shawn and I both "saved" the snack from our meal plan so we could eat it after dinner. It was frozen yogurt and sliced strawberries.

I was allotted 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt. I smashed as much yogurt as physics would allow into the measuring cup filled the measuring cup with yogurt. As I scooped the yogurt out of the measuring cup into the bowl, the smallest drop of yogurt fell on the counter.

I looked at the more-than-ample amount of frozen treat in my bowl.

I looked at the drop on the counter.

I looked at the more-than-ample amount of frozen treat in my bowl.

I licked the counter.

But, you already knew that was how this story was going to end. Didn't you?

Status Update

Spencer is using my laptop AND my phone for his homework. It's been five minutes. I have reached for one or the other at least twenty times now. Can't. function. Feeling. baffled. and. confused.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Learning a Healthy Lifestyle...
There's a Learning Curve

Shawn turns forty in a month. He decided that he would like to face the next forty years without encouraging one of the myriad of familial illnesses that plagues his gene pool. So, he is willing to try eating healthier. A serious commitment from someone who has spent the past forty years fine-tuning the delicate skill of vegetable-avoidance.

But, I'm on-board! I would love to eat healthier and have a buddy to help encourage me when I don't feel like encouraging myself. Also? If this is his version of a mid-life crisis and it doesn't involve a girlfriend, ridiculous sports car, or plastic surgery, I'll eat bok choy every day for the rest of my life. So, I signed us up for a meal plan on-line. It counts our calories. We sit down every Sunday and choose what we want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. It gives me a grocery list. I shop. We eat.

I've only had to yell at one of the children one time when he wouldn't stop calling this "your diet." We had a discussion about what people think of as "diets" are just radically changing your eating habits for a temporary time to lose weight and then going right back to eating like crap (I didn't use that word, I promise). And, that this was Mommy and Daddy learning how to eat healthy. Forever. He said he understood. Although, he really may have just wanted the lecture to stop...

I hang my head as I tell you how foreign it was for me to buy healthy food - like fresh fruit and vegetables. (I think the first trip to the grocery store took me an hour and a half.) And how eye-opening it was when I started comparing labels to decide which brand of different foods would be the healthier option. (For example: Wheat Chex. A "whole grain wheat cereal." Must be healthy, right? Second ingredient? [And, we all know ingredients are listed in the order of predominance, right?] SUGAR. Straight up "sugar." In "healthy" wheat Chex. Damn.)

But, it's amazing how much we're learning already. After a week, I can already cut up a cantaloupe like a pro. Learning portion control has been huge for us, too. Turns out a 12-ounce piece of meat isn't in anyone's healthy diet. We've also learned how bad some of our "go-to" options are. Pizza? French fries? Salad dressing?! Oh my. But, with the variety this meal plan offers us, there are lots of things that we like that, eaten in the proper amounts, are good and good for us. And, there are healthy ways to prepare some of the ol' favs like hamburgers, pasta, etc.

We have stumbled upon one meal that made us throw up in our mouths. Luckily, it wasn't one of our first meals. We already had enough good dinners under our belts (no pun intended, ba-dum-cha) that we didn't ditch the entire "healthy" concept altogether and run for the nearest Mexican restaurant. But, that meal made it to the "Never, Never, Never, Again" List. We do already have three on our "Put in Heavy Rotation" List. So, the ratio of good to bad is quite acceptable.

It's actually been kind of fun to work along-side each other in the kitchen, too, measuring and cooking. And, I send Shawn to work with his "snack" every day. It's very Donna Reed.

But. (And, we all knew there was a "but," didn't we?) Here's the thing. He gets many more calories than I do. He gets so much food, that many days he can't eat it all... or feels like he's being force fed if he tries. Me? Not so much. I want to kick him in delicate places when he says things like, "I just can't eat my cheese and crackers."

And, then? The first week? He lost seven pounds.


I'm just bitter.

And, hungry.

Monday, April 23, 2012


My washing machine started giving me an error code when I tried to start a load of laundry.

So, I tried to fix it the way I fix most broken things in my life. I googled it.

It turns out that "F-dl" on a Whirlpool Duet washing machine means the door lock is malfunctioning. The internet also taught me that the door lock is in the upper back right corner of the washer. You can use gravity to help the lock latch. As the lock is trying to latch, you can "assist" it by pounding the machine with your fist.

Are you picturing this?

Please picture this.

Sometimes, to make my washing machine work, I have to hit it with my fist.

I. am. Fonzie.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Clown Barf Cake

Here's something you missed out on during my hiatus:

Clown Barf Cake!

Or. If you want people to eat it.

Rainbow Clown Cake (boooooring....)

I mean, seriously. That is Clown Barf!

The kids LOVE this cake. I mean, duh. Look at it!

My only word to the wise is that you SCAPE each bowl when you transfer the batter while mixing the different colors or you will end up with very thin layers.

That's all. Let's all go enjoy some barf.

Rainbow Clown Cake
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • red paste food coloring
  • orange paste food coloring
  • yellow paste food coloring
  • green paste food coloring
  • blue paste food coloring
  • purple paste food coloring

  • Directions
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the cake mix, water, and canola oil; continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Divide the cake batter into six separate bowls. Use a toothpick to scoop a dab of food coloring into one bowl of batter and stir; add more food coloring, if necessary, to reach the desired shade. Repeat with the remaining colors and bowls of batter.
  • Scoop spoonfuls of batter into the prepared pans, alternating the colors. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the colors for a marbled effect.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Thursday, April 19, 2012

    The Post You've All Been Waiting For
    (Yes, you have. You know you have.
    SHUT UP. You have.)

    So. You remember how I was in a little ol' play? I mentioned that, right? Once or four times? And, then disappeared off the face of the earth for ten weeks or so?

    Well, it went down like this:
    Play rehearsal, play rehearsal, play rehearsal, play rehearsal.
    Play, play.
    No more play. Funk for a week while I mourned the fact that there was no one in my real life who would applaud me on a daily basis. Bastards.
    Then the family went out of town for a family reunion.
    Then I followed Shawn on a business trip to San Antonio.
    Then I got the plague. I was sick for about a week. Nearly died. Then I slept for 16 hours (many hours of which I still owed myself from the aforementioned play practice and play). And now I'm better.

    I feel like myself again. I hope it doesn't take me four weeks of being useless after the next play before my life returns to normal. Because, let's not kid ourselves, if they'll have me, there will be a next play. And, I'm not sure how long Shawn's sunny, supportive disposition will last with a wife who needs a month of trudging through her regular life and responsibilities before she can construct a coherent sentence. Much less be delightful and charming again. (Shut up.)

    But, anyway. For the past week or so, I've been hanging out at the Little Theater again, helping with the sets for the upcoming musical. I'm pretty much like a stray cat they accidentally fed and now they can't shake. Poor, poor unsuspecting people. I think I saw a horror movie that started this way.

    Anyhooo... What I guess I'm trying to say is:

    I'm baaaaack.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    UN-inspirational Quotes

    Near the kids' school, there is a chiropractor's office that has a sign outside that is always displaying different quotes.

    The one this week reads:

    "One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
    -Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Every time I see it, I replace "mind" with "stomach" and "new idea" with "child".

    It's less inspiring my way.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Deep Thoughts by Ali and Spencer

    Disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to ignite any religious fervors. It is meant to make you smile at a conversation between my son and me. If you do not agree with the religious views of my family, feel free to pray for us... silently. You know what? Go ahead and pray for us anyway. We can use all of 'em we can get!

    I started laughing at this tailgate. And I took a picture of it.

    Spencer was in the car with me and said, "What are you taking a picture of?"
    I said, "That truck."
    "He's just got a lot of things happening there on his tailgate... He's advertising his business and he's saying 'Heaven or Hell? Time is running out! Do you know Jesus?'"
    "What does that mean?"
    "Well, babe. There are some people who think you either believe in Jesus and go to Heaven, or you don't and you go to Hell. But, I think that's judging people a lot more than I'm comfortable judging them. It's not our job to say who's going to Hell. That's God's."
    "Hell. Is that where the Devil lives?"
    "Yep. Where the Devil lives. It's a really terrible place. And, I know me and my family are going to Heaven because we believe Jesus died for our sins so we wouldn't be separated from God. But, if someone else tells me that in their heart they feel right about what they believe in, I think we're supposed to love them and not judge them and tell them they're going to Hell...
    Now. If someone's worried that they won't go to Heaven, I'll tell them all about Jesus! Because I know that Jesus will get you into Heaven. He's a get-into-Heaven-free-card."
    "So, Jesus lets you go to Heaven for free?!"
    "Yep. Anyone who believes that Jesus died for our sins gets to go to Heaven - no questions asked."
    "What's a deli?"
    "A place where they sell meat and cheeses and sandwiches."
    "Can we eat at McDonald's tonight?"

    Sometimes it feels like I'm being punk'd.


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