Saturday, March 31, 2012

Vegan week 3 complete

The issue with vegan pizza in rural-burban Utah is this: it's too confusing.

Earlier this week, we were frazzled and running late. I had a meeting in just 90 minutes, and everyone was being crazy. The boys were wound UP, and Bub and I were getting more and more irritated. With everything, and everyone.

So, screw it. We called the take & bake pizza store and placed our order. Half was pepperoni, mushroom, and olives. The other (vegan) half of the pizza was ordered with spinach, mushrooms, and olives, but NO CHEESE.

Pizza dude: No cheese?
Me: No cheese.
Pizza dude: No cheese?
Me: Right.
Pizza dude: Hold on. (To the side and away from the phone: she doesn't want any cheese!). OK, what else did you want?
Me: Spinach, olives, and mushrooms.
Pizza dude: But, no cheese.
Me: Correct.

So, we stopped to pick it up. Bub went in to get it since she needed a breather from, well, all of us. Not two minutes later, she came stomping out to let me know that MY half of the pizza wasn't ready yet. Why? Because they didn't know what to do. Apparently, it was just too much to take in.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vegan-for-a-Month, week 2 complete

At the end of last week, I had only lost one more pound. I think there are a couple of reasons for this:

First, my "no sugar" kick lasted only about a week which is typical. Why is that so stinking hard for me? I have, however, managed to steer clear of the chocolate.

Second, I had another "episode" mid-week. This means that I was far too dizzy to exercise, and when I was able to, I could only give it a half-hearted effort without barfing.

(Side note: as requested by the ENT, I made my way to his office to be tested again to show the difference between healthy and un-healthy in my inner ear. The re-diagnosis of PET was actually the MIS-diagnosis, and the original problem of Meniere's was confirmed for sure. So, it is what it is. Significant hearing loss during episodes. That will eventually result in profound loss in the affected ear. Whatever - I made my peace with that years ago. Moving on.)

Third, I found that vegans CAN eat microwave popcorn because there is not one shred of actual butter in there. (Eeewww....)

So, my love of popcorn + limited exercise + sugar = not a good combo.

And, yes, I realize that salt (and, therefore salted popcorn) is on the no-can-eat list for Meniere's sufferers. I know; I know!

Guess what else I realized this weekend? French fries and onion rings are completely vegan! Shouldn't un-healthy stuff be banned altogether when adopting a healthier diet? You would think so because, otherwise, what's the point? Well, yes. That makes sense. However, those were the ONLY things on the bowling alley menu that were vegan.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vegan-for-a-month, week 1 complete

As part of my 101 in 1001, I'm eating vegan for a month to see, well, to see whatever. Do I feel better, worse, thinner, tired, energetic?

Well, so far, it hasn't been too hard. I think that it's because I've been eating vegetarian for almost a year now, so I was already accustomed to searching special recipes and making substitutions. Still, it has been an adjustment.

For example, there was a big dinner at work last night for the sales meetings. There was almost nothing that I could choose because even the veggies had been grilled or sauteed with olive oil and a bit of butter, and all of the salads had some cheese sprinkled on them. But, that's OK. I just had to ask a lot of questions and be careful.

I'm not trying to be difficult for anyone, so I'm not making a big deal about it (although I think Tammy, in the cafeteria, would disagree with me.)

There have been a couple of slip-ups, completely unintentional, of course. Example, I'm used to relying on Cream of Mushroom soup to add to things here and there. It's one of the few soups in the pantry that has no meat or meat broth added to it. Well, I needed an addition to some scalloped potatoes that I made, so I just slopped a couple of spoonfuls of the soup in before I realized what I was doing. Um, duh - CREAM of anything = milk.

I'm not going to hold little incidents like that against myself and my goal of a month. The point is to eat consciously, and I'm certainly doing that.

Do I feel differently? Maybe. If I had gone vegan directly from a meat diet, I would be struggling.

One thing that I know for sure is that I lost five pounds in the first six days!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A good night's sleep

It has been basically five years since I have slept through the entire night.

About this time in 2007, we got a new puppy. For SOME reason, it is always my responsibility to let the dogs out in the middle of the night when they need to go to the bathroom, and - let's face it - puppies have to pee all of the damn time. So, there you go. Just when the puppy learned to hold it in all night, the boys were big enough in utero that I couldn't hold it all night. I got up at least once per night until they were born.

Well, then, they were in the hospital for a month, and we would get home late and get up early and stay up in the middle of the night worrying (and then calling the NICU), so sleeping then was out of the question.

When they were healthy enough to come home, they were also healthy enough to want to eat, and they had been introduced to a 3-hour sleep schedule in the hospital. I'm not complaining, because I know that the NICU folks know what they are doing, and they saved Meatball's life, and they managed to keep Peanut warm when he couldn't, and they hugged us when we broke into pieces, and they were just awesome friggin' people, but seriously with the 3-hour schedule? The boys were awakened every three hours for food, diaper change, and - often - needle sticks. So, when they got home, this schedule was part of the deal. Fine. Whatever.

Then, after I dunno, an eternity, they were off the 3-hour schedule, but they still needed to eat during the night. Well, "they" is generous. One or the other was hungry, but that one always woke the other.

IF, by some blessed twist of fate, they slept through the entire night, I definitely did NOT. Instead, I would lay in bed and listen to them breathe through the baby monitor. Genius.

After a year, we were finally ready for them to have a sleep over at Papa and Nana's house. It was our anniversary, and we went to a B&B where we proceeded to argue all night. Fun time, I tell ya!

At some point, the boys and I got into the habit of falling asleep together in the recliner. People warned me not to do this, but I didn't listen. (And, I really don't care, still to this day.) So, it became difficult for them to fall asleep on their own. We're still feeling the effects of this decision today (and I still don't care).

(Why don't I care? Because I'll never have any more kids. I gotta' snuggle and love on these for as long as possible because, all too soon, they'll be teens, and I'll be completely UN-cool. I'm getting as much hugging and kissing and tickling and whispering and story-telling as possible now.)

Once we got rid of their cribs, we allowed another bad habit to form: getting into mommy's bed in the middle of the night. Why? Because I was always so freakin' tired! (I wonder why!?!?) Now, at almost five years old, at least one of them climbs into bed with us every night. (I still don't care.)

At one point, for about six months, Bub raised a stink about the whole thing. I get her point. The grown-up bed should be for grown-ups. So, I offered to let her take care of all of the middle-of-the-night instances. The whole thing died down rather quickly after that.

Even the times when they sleep over at Papa's and Nana's house, I don't sleep through the night. I'm just used to waking up at 11pm, 2am, and 4am as a matter of course.

So, we have a family bed, and we're fine with it. The boys will soon realize that they need their own space. And, I'll be fine with that, too. (No, I won't.) But, I'll probably still not sleep through the night. Not for a long time to come (like, 18 more years?)

So handsome!

Check us out! Mommy Bub just gave us new haircuts. Aren’t we adorable? Yes, that's a rhetorical question...

Our first Disn*y experience!

We don’t spoil the boys. OK – we try not to spoil the boys - which isn’t really hard since Granny and Grandpa do it oh so well. Anyway – we don’t take them to every show or program or circus (yuck) or whatever. We go to a movie now and then, but when we go to an event, it’s a big deal – as it should be, in my opinion.

So, they are almost five years old, and we finally took them to see Disn*y On Ice. It was the Toy Story 3 show, and they have seen the movie a couple of times, so they knew what the plot was. It was fun to watch their reactions to everything.

First, we haven’t taken them to Disn*yland or Disn*yworld yet, and we don’t really hype those places up (yet). We’ve talked a little bit about them, but not much. So, when we got to the sports arena where the ice show was, Meatball said “I didn’t know Disn*yland had so much ice!” That was when I had to explain to him that Disn*yland was in California and it was about as big as our entire town. Oh, his eyes got huge trying to get a grip on information of that magnitude!

Bub caved in (I would have, too) and bought the $10 snow cones with the special Woody cup right before the show started. This was GREAT until the show actually started. Then, the boys were so busy watching the performance that they couldn’t be bothered with details like flavored sugar ice! So, Bub and I practically had snow cones dripping down our hands while we tried to get the boys’ attention. They were really involved. (And, I don’t blame them – it was a cute show.) Here they are with their attention decidedly NOT on a mom:

Maybe Bub and I are just old and don’t get out enough, but we were the only parents in our section who were clapping to the music and singing and dancing when appropriate. All of the other parents were just sitting around, staring blankly into space, or on their cell phones. I’m not saying that we are better parents, but we just seemed to have more fun than the other grown-ups. Or, maybe I'm saying that we're better parents. It's pretty obvious, isn't it?

In all, it was a fun day. See? Here is the proof:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We're so lucky - for now

Last night, Bub and I were momentarily glued to the TV while watching footage from last year's tsunami in Japan.

It was momentary for me because I was trying to make dinner. It was momentary for Bub because she just couldn't watch it for very long. (Plus, we didn't want the boys to see too much of that...). I could have watched it for hours.

As I returned to the kitchen, I reflected upon how lucky we are. We have the option of just changing the channel and watching re-runs of Friends or Big Bang Theory while people in Japan are still seeing the effects, staring at them everyday.

However, it's only a matter of time around here. We sit on a fault line, and the earthquake folks indicate that we are a few thousand years overdue for one.

Enter the lesbian survivalist, me. Ok, maybe "survivalist" is a bit much since I couldn't shoot a gun to kill a squirrel (but, I could skin and cook it). That minor fact aside, I'm serious about my pantry and my emergency plan, and I'm pretty sure I could forage my way around our area.

Where am I going with this? I don't know. I just know that I felt lucky (and prepared).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just having fun!

Seriously, forget about the hideous behavior at dinner time, these boys are adorable! They are at such a fun age that it's easy to forget about the trying times, and - trust me - they are plentiful.

From "Do you think I'm happy?" from Meatball to "Aaaaaaaaaah! I don't waaaaaaannnnnnnttttt to put away my toooooooyyyyyyysssss!" from Peanut, it's frustrating. But, one look at these (mostly) adorable faces, and the bad behavior is (almost) brushed under the rug. (They do spend their fair share of time in the naughty corner.

Here they are with Mommy Kel at Planet Play.

Again with Mommy Kel - she was truly scared! This is the closest she can get to a roller coaster without barfing.

This is just a silly picture after dinner one night when mommy was depressed. The cute boys made me feel happier.

Another picture from mommy's night where she needed cheering up.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Changes to a family favorite

Stuff like this could get me kicked out of the family, but I just had to try it.... And, I liked it! AND, I'll make it again!

I think that Grandma June's recipe just became mine.

Is that bad?