October 30, 2007
October 29, 2007
October 22, 2007
I generally have little problem with most commercials I see on television. Yeah, they can be annoying and repetitive, but they’re trying to sell you something whether it’s an idea or a product and repetition really does work. Sometimes it works a little too well, in fact.
HEAD ON! Apply directly to the forehead!
HEAD ON! Apply directly to the forehead!
HEAD ON! Apply directly to the forehead!
HEAD ON! Apply directly to the forehead!
Repetition works. Whether we actually purchase the product or not, some things just won’t get out of our heads!
I was half-watching TV last night while making dinner and I noticed a commercial that’s sort of been eating at me. It’s not particularly any more annoying that a lot of the others. At least, no more annoying than your typical fake-sounding enthusiasm about a car most of us haven’t even heard of. This woman was told she was swapping her car with another one for research. She traded her Honda for the Ford Whatever for a week.
“It’s really elegant on the inside and sporty on the outside, so it really reflects the type of person that I am.”
Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little.
I mean, who talks about themselves like that? Have you ever even thought about referring to yourself as ‘elegant on the inside and sporty on the outside?’ This is what’s wrong with the world; so many people just take themselves too seriously! I think if I were to have a car to reflect the person that I am, it would have to be beige and a very bad dancer. One of the windows would be stuck shut, while another would be stuck open. And the brakes would squeak and the heater would only work in the summer.
I want my children to think highly of themselves. I really do! I think confidence is a great quality and if you believe in yourself you’ll go far and blah, blah, blah. I just don’t want them to take themselves too seriously. The really confident people are the ones who can laugh at themselves. If you really believe in yourself, you don’t need to come right out and tell someone how ‘elegant’ or ‘sporty’ you may be. You just are.
I’m hoping this week is the start of my new outlook on eating right and maybe even some renewed confidence. We’re off to a great start and eating real food that I cook almost nightly. That’s huge for me, the one who used to burn KOOL-AID!!! Yeah, I’ve picked up a few things since then AND I haven’t killed anyone with my cooking….yet. I’ve taken the challenge set up by Mrs. Flinger at Weight Loss Wars. The competition starts today and lasts exactly one month. The winner loses the highest percentage of their body weight and there is a cash prize involved. Maybe the cash incentive will keep my focus! And the fact that the competition only lasts a month because who really likes to try to lose weight on Thanksgiving?
And when I lose a bunch of weight and get all ‘HOT’ and everything, I won’t need to tell you how ‘HOT’ I am. I’ll just be. In the meantime, I just wish the car that reflected me would fit into a compact parking spot! (Those jeans in the back of my closet that haven’t seen daylight in YEARS.)
October 17, 2007
My kids love cornbread. I love cornbread mix where you just add water. Someday I’ll bake cornbread from scratch. Someday. That’s somewhere on the list of things to do in between ‘clip coupons and actually use them’ and ‘stop buying things I don’t actually need at the moment.’ You know all the things you think you’ll do when you grow up!
My kids also like beans. I made cornbread muffins and dropped spoonfuls of baked beans into the batter before I popped them in the oven. I tried it a couple of different ways to see how they would bake up the best. (Yes, the baked beans were from a can. Who do you think I am, Betty Freakin’ Crocker?) The girls loved them and they were much cleaner than having bowls of beans and cornbread crumbs to dispose of. I will definitely make something like that again. The rest of the batter was spooned into a mini muffin pan and we now have little bite-sized cornbread muffins.
The whole ‘Jessica Seinfeld cookbook thing’ has sort of got me thinking; maybe I should be trying to hide more good stuff in my kids’ diet. Now hiding beans in cornbread isn’t exactly any healthier of a choice nor is it really necessary. Not for my kids, anyway. But, I could easily steam and puree veggies and stash them in all sorts of things, couldn’t I? I do use oatmeal and wheat germ in my meatloaf, but who says I can’t add veggies too? We don’t have meatloaf too often around here, but we may have it more with the weather cooling down.
Cooler weather means crock-pots, chicken and dumplings, pot roast and anything else I can bake. Mmmmm….comfort foods! I guess that means I have to actually start buying more veggies, eh? I have a love/hate relationship with produce. I hate the commitment of it all. This stuff will go bad, and quickly sometimes. I am so much better off being able to buy something in a can or being able to stick it in the freezer until I need it. Or, until I remember I have it. I usually remember I have fresh tomatoes in the fridge when they are no longer fresh. Or even resembling tomatoes. Okay, so they have been known to stand up and tell me we’re out of milk! Since I don’t particularly care for most fruits and a lot of veggies anyhow, I only buy them because I know they are good for us. And that’s all the love I have for them. Fresh produce is just too much pressure for someone who likes to buy things in bulk and forget about needing them for a month or two.
I guess I remember I actually have veggies about as often as I remember to water my plants. Wait! That’s almost never! I can’t keep plants or fish alive to save my life! (Or theirs, I guess you could say!) Unless I do something on a very regular basis, I forget about. I honestly wonder if I could take some sort of medication to stay focused. I could use produce more regularly, feed my fish, water my plants…I might even resemble a grown-up!
But, do you think it could help me balance my checkbook any better?
October 15, 2007
October 12, 2007
Five years later. Yes, it's had its ups and downs. But what kind of pure hell could we have gone through to have aged so much in five measely years? Sure, I had two more kids after this. In fact, I may even have been pregnant with 4YO in this picture. But, I don't think I was THAT much thinner than I am now. I just look so.....well rested! Sure, I only had one kid at the time. But, I was also working full-time (and then some!) at a dental lab and I really thought I was exhausted at the time.
I guess I didn't really know what 'exhausted' was, huh? Maybe I still don't.
I guess you could say that we have just aged. It's natural, right? A few more pounds, a few more laugh lines; they should be seen as badges of honor to wear with pride. How lucky we are to smile enough to leave marks on our faces! What great fortune to have had so many meals that have increased our girth!
Instead, I'm just grateful for Weight Watchers, my gym membership, and that night cream I need to start using on my face again.
October 10, 2007
October 9, 2007
Yeah, I weigh myself every day. Don’t you?
Every single day I am about a pound lighter. How? I guess you could say that I’ve traded one habit for another…and this one’s less fattening.
I’ve become hooked on hot tea. Although I do own and drink a fair amount of green tea, I also drink sugar cookie flavored tea, gingerbread flavored tea, peppermint tea, etc. It’s all yummy to me right now! When I want a sweet snack, I just whip up a hot cup of sugar cookie tea. It has no calories in it and smells just like I’m eating a sugar cookie, even though it’s not actually very sweet! With the weather cooling down, it just feels so good to sit around and relax with a hot cup of tea in my hands. It smells so good too!
Even though I think Kevin Trudeau is a quack, there is a little bit of method to some of his madness. I’ve given cold beverages up for hot ones. It’s easy to do this time of year and there are so many flavors of tea to choose from! I no longer drink cold beverages with meals. I’ve actually noticed that I tend to eat more when I have something cold to wash it down with. Also, there is something to be said for the theory that cold liquids slow down digestion and solidify fats in your gut.
Now, I didn’t actually start doing this to lose a bunch of weight, because I haven’t actually changed the way I eat much at all. As a matter of fact, I made some yummy chicken last night that wouldn’t’ have been considered ‘healthy’ or ‘low fat’ at all! I took some leg quarters (Yes, bones and skin and all!) and brushed them with melted butter. Then, I tossed them in a Ziploc bag with breadcrumbs, rosemary, and a little Mrs. Dash. I’ve been using Mrs. Dash in pretty much everything I’ve cooked for the last couple of years since extra sodium won’t help David’s blood pressure or my edema at all! No, I’m not pregnant. But, as a result of bad breeding my ankles and feet pretty much swell up every day of my life.
I was really meant to be royalty, I think. I was meant to be carried around on a big velvet pillow and for my feet to never touch the ground. Does that really sound like too much to ask?
So, I no longer drink ice water. In fact, I haven’t really had any water in its natural state since I’ve begun this latest experiment of sorts. And my ankles haven’t been smaller in years. Isn’t that strange? I think I’ll be able to keep this up for quite awhile because I still eat whatever I want and don’t feel like I’m missing a thing.
Wait…I’m missing something…I’m missing five pounds to date!!!
I’ve been eating eggs and toast and brownies and….okay. I’m done here. All this typing about food is making me hungry and there is some leftover chicken and rice pilaf in the fridge that’s calling my name!
OH! And another cup of tea to wash it down with!
October 5, 2007
Does anyone actually like shopping with their young children. Older children?
I didn’t used to mind it when I only had one, or even two kids. My first two children were pretty mellow and easy to shop with. Even though my middle daughter had quite a few more opinions than her older sister, she didn’t like the idea of people looking at her in stores. Therefore, acting up in public wasn’t something I needed to worry about from her.
Then, I had another child. When you already have two, what’s one more right? WRONG. The third child brings an entirely different set of rules and makes it feel more like you have four or five children to maintain. At least, that’s how it was in our case! The third child is a busy one. Her natural instincts are to wander and fear nothing. Plus, she is enticed by the look of fear or stress in my eyes and it triggers even more bad behavior. She thrives on it.
When 11YO is in school, I sometimes drag the younger two out to run errands. Some days are more difficult than others. Have 11YO with us makes the journey easier. And tougher. You see, it’s really great to have another set of arms and legs to chase 1YO down and grab her. I can focus a little more on shopping so we can hurry up and get the heck outta there before every person in the store knows my 1YO’s name. Trust me, so many people get the chance to learn her name when we are shopping! As helpful as 11YO is, she has the attention span of a gnat. From observing most of her friends, I’m discovering how normal she really is.
Another extra challenge when my ‘helper’ is there is the fact that she points things out to her sisters that I do not intend to buy. These are things that they probably might not otherwise notice. I’m not even sure if she’s doing it on purpose…it’s never actually ever worked.
“Look, Mom. Oreos! YUM!”
(This is the part where 4YO starts repeating that she wants to “BUY DEM” and 1YO just points and screams as if that should trigger them to fly off the shelf and into their grubby little hands.)
Before we could go to the Mexican Mormon Samoan wedding on Saturday, the girls needed new outfits and shoes. They have outgrown most of the summer dresses and none that still fit seemed proper for a wedding. And of course new dresses means new shoes. It took two stores to get it all done. It took me awhile to find an outfit for 1YO that would suit the occasion. Most of the summer stuff is gone now and what’s left is either too casual or just plain ugly! I did manage to find a few to choose from and they were on clearance. (YAY MEE!!!) On the way to 11YO’s section, I spotted a little dress set that would be perfect for 4YO. SCORE! 11YO…that is an entirely different story. You see, the clothing they make for girls her age either look like ‘grandma clothes’ or something that ‘Hooker Barbie’ might wear to go ‘clubbin’. Needless to say, it is not easy to buy clothes for her. As much as I want to drape a large burlap sack over her to cover every square inch of her, it’s just not reasonable. That being said, how do some people live with themselves when they let their sixth grade daughters look like little pole dancers?
Just where is the happy medium here?
I’m not expecting her to walk around in long sweaters and baggy skirts. (However, if that look ever comes back in style for my girls I would totally embrace it!) I just think that the selections for the 7-14 girls’ sizes are disgraceful. At least, they are when it comes to dressier clothes anyhow. You can always find something cute and classy in the area of casual clothes. When it comes to 4YO and 1YO, they are still pretty easy to shop for. (TOO EASY if you ask my husband!)
I have a similar dilemma when it comes to shopping for myself. I am 32 years old and stay at home with three kids. I just don’t feel like they make things for people my age. Am I that uncommon? I don’t think so. So why is it that I seem to have to choose between looking a little older or looking a little younger than what I am. I’m not ready to raid my mom’s closet just yet, but I feel silly when I’m wearing something that could be seen on a 19-year-old. I am not 19 anymore, nor am I trying to be. This must be why jeans are sweatpants are so popular. Nothing else really seems to fit.
Having the kids with me while shopping for myself is even more fun. I’m already frustrated from the beginning because I don’t see anything that I’ll feel good about. 11YO is just pacing and whining about going to her clothing department. 1YO is either locked in the cart and screaming about it or on the loose. I’m trying to distract 11YO by getting her to keep 1YO close by. All the while, 4YO is grabbing every sequin-covered sparkly hooker dress she can find. I don’t know what else to say; the kid likes bling. I think she also secretly (or not-so-secretly) wishes I were a stripper.
Hey, I wouldn’t mind having the body of a stripper and I blame the fact that I don’t on my kids! Don’t you?
Speaking of clothes, I will need to buy more of them if I don’t get the ones we have washed. Unless you live in a nudist colony, your laundry is NEVER DONE.
That's it...I'm moving to a nudist colony!
October 4, 2007
October 2, 2007
October 1, 2007
You see, two of my husband’s aunts married Samoan men. They raised their children with a lot of the Samoan customs. And these people really know how to throw a party, let me tell you. Lots of food, lots of dancing, and they throw lots of money for the bride and groom. I am beginning to think that David and I should have had a Samoan wedding too!
One of his cousins got married on Saturday. This is the branch of the family tree that is actually Mormon Samoan. Their family actually goes to a church that is exclusively Mormon Samoans. His cousin married a girl that is Mexican. The ceremony was short and sweet, and Mormon. It took place at a country club where golf carts would pass by regularly. It really was a beautiful place to hold a wedding.
First of all, they had hired Polynesian dancers to perform at the reception. This seems to be typical for Samoan weddings. The music and costumes are really impressive and it’s so great to see the culture embraced and carried on the way it is. There just seems to be a real loss of traditions in so many different ethnic backgrounds. Aside from my grandma’s famous fried chicken, I can’t even really tell you much about my own family traditions when it comes to food or music or anything. My roots are many and I know very little about them.
I can’t tell you how awesome it was to see Polynesian dancers performing in between Mexican music and mainstream songs as well. Then, when all of them were out there together doing the Electric Slide, I almost choked on my pink lemonade! It was such a special day that the mother of the groom even wore her teeth. Indeed, it was a special day. They wrapped up the evening with the father of the groom giving the bride and groom his best wishes and saying, “May your coconut be fruitful!” I really do adore David's family! They are some of the most open, loving group of people I've known.
It seems that every time I spend time with David’s family, I learn a little more about the world. And there is no better place than the melting pot that is Southern California.
Meanwhile, 4YO and 1YO are just so happy to be home and back to their regular routine. They are playing like they haven’t seen their toys in weeks. They have, but life finally feels like it’s almost back to normal now. Provided no more family members pass away or get married, things should remain calm around here. Of course, the holidays are just around the corner so I can’t get too comfortable with things this way.
On another note, McDonald’s has those new Angus Burgers and they are yummy! Just when I resolve to try to eat better, McDonald’s has to come out with a new, yummy burger! Isn’t that just the way??? We hit the McDonald’s in Bakersfield on our way down to the wedding on Saturday. We initially stopped there for breakfast, but we all hit the restroom before we ordered our food and we missed the breakfast menu by about three minutes. Man, those people don’t cut you any slack when it comes to their menu!!! So, at 10:30 in the morning we were eating burgers and Happy Meals. UGH!
We also stopped by there on the way home last night. At least we knew which menu to expect! I got another Angus Burger and fries. I can’t remember the last time I ate McDonald’s two days in a row. In fact, my pee actually smelled like McDonald’s French Fries by the time we got home last night!
TMI? You’re welcome!
Anyhow, I still need to go back to McDonald’s sometime soon. I never did get my McGriddle and feel a little ripped off! And I think another Angus Burger may be calling my name…