Friday, January 29, 2010

Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag

I had to keep this info on the "down low" last week, but now that it's all done and we're back safe and sound, I can let you all in on the secret.

My Mom turns 65 today and it just so happened that my husband had a conference in our hometown for the Tuesday and Wednesday. We decided to surprise my mom for her birthday and drive down. We told her to be ready with a bag packed, including swimsuit, and someone would come pick her up Tuesday at 4pm until Wednesday evening.

When I called my Mom to inform her, she hemmed and hawed and said she couldn't possibly go unless she had more details. Sigh. Try to do something exciting and.......

Anyways, after filling in some blanks, she seemed excited, and I know we were, here. We arrived in town around 2pm on Tuesday and did some running around first. We picked up some dinner and then picked up my Mom. While my husband was at his dinner, we dined on Chinese food and my girls got to love on their Granny as much as they could and wanted. We went for a swim in the frigid hotel pool (turns out the heater was broken) and then soaked indulgently in the hot tub for a good long while.

My girls were beyond ecstatic to see my Mom, and especially to get to sleep with her in the hotel bed. (and make her scratch their backs for waaay longer than I ever do) We stayed up late talking and laughing and gave my Mom her gifts. We had brought her an organic goat's milk soap bar that is really great for sensitive skin. The real gift though was an artisan piece-a turquoise and carnelian and Swavortski crystal necklace. It's a really different piece and really more like art. My Mom loves turquoise so we thought it was apropos. She seemed to be very pleased with everything. As were we, of course!

In the morning, we feasted on the hotel's breakfast buffet and then headed out to the movie theatre to see "The Tooth Fairy." (which is hilarious, btw) We met up with my sister and her kiddos, all looking better than ever, and also had lunch out. The kids were thrilled to see their cousins and you could feel the energy in the air. Literally. We were going to all go back to the hotel and swim, but the sub-zero temps of the pool weren't really conducive to that, so we hung out and my sister gave my Mom their gifts.

That evening, we had a delicious dinner at The Keg (and yes, my diet was clearly out the window for the two days that we were in town) and perused the shelves at the new T and T store. I could have stayed in there forever, frankly.

Finally, we dropped my Mom back home with a bittersweet feeling in our hearts. It was a great treat to be able to come down for her birthday and see her, but it's always sad having to leave again for an indefinite time period. We likely won't be back until spring-if then.

We left early Thursday morning, to make it home in time for my youngest to get to her school play where she was playing the part of the cow. The smallest, cutest cow I've ever seen, let it be known.

I'm feeling so exhausted today and am all mixed up in what day of the week it is now. I have my daycare kids back today, and it's a PD day on top of that. I didn't sleep well the night before we left, nor at the hotel, and not that great last night either. I'm hoping tonight and the weekend gives me some recovery time after our whirlwind trip.

Happy Birthday to my Mom today. She's 65 years young, and doesn't look a day over 50, tops. She has not one wrinkle, I kid you not. I hope she always remains young at heart as well, as young as she looks!

Monday, January 25, 2010

All Adult, All Day

Under the threat of a "school cancellation" warning hanging over my head, I tucked myself into bed last night with the visions of my plans for today going down the drain. It was raining and icy, and my peeps in the 'hood (okay, so they are suburban moms) were issuing dire warnings that buses would likely be cancelled due to the freezing rain.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't ENJOY having my children home with me, it IS why I've stayed home all of these years, it's just that my husband is on holidays (a rare occurrence) and we had envisioned a day of lazing around and shopping and lunch together over candlelight.....I'm getting carried away now. Really, we had just planned to sleep. I also have an appointment to FINALLY use the gift certificate my husband gave me for my birthday in September to get my nails done.

Instead, I imagined we'd be trucking the girls around with us as we browsed in stores for a birthday gift for my Mom's 65th, which is always a tricky task. Or that I'd have to cancel my nail appointment. (Heaven Forbid!)

Yet, when I woke up and checked the bus cancellation website, there it was just glowing triumphantly from my computer screen!


Now, for some coffee and back to bed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

On To The Weekend!

I feel a buzz in the air today and a little bit of excitement for what is coming up! It started today with the fact that my husband is on holidays for the next week, almost! That is a rare, rare occurrence. Of course, today, I'm still working and he's running errands, so it's not that thrilling for either of us. However, it's just nice to know he's around and that he'll be here for lunch and to make dinner (mwahahahah) and for the entire evening.

Tomorrow, we're invited to spend the day in the great outdoors with 40 friends. I know about 14 of them, tops. My friend and her family invited us along with them and some other families I've met a few times, to a sleigh ride that lasts a few hours, and ends at a campfire replete with marshmallows and hotdogs. The family that is hosting didn't realize that ALL of the people they mentioned it to would actually show, but RSVP yes they did.

After the sleigh ride and campfire, we'll head back to their house. They live on a lake and have made a nice, big skating rink. We'll skate on the lake and then enjoy a potluck dinner and kids playing and adults chatting. I'm thinking that night we'll all sleep like we've never slept before. I'm hoping it's not too cold out as well!! I decided to keep my potluck contributions kid friendly and easy to keep in the car the whole time we're outside. I'm just doing a veggie platter, a fruit platter and a cold meat and cheese platter with crackers and breads. I might do some sandwiches as well. I think that will be easier for kids to assemble or grab on their own and also saves me having to heat anything up afterwards.

I'm really looking forward to it and am glad we got invited and are expanding our ever growing circle, here.

Sunday we're just cleaning and hanging out in prep for our big week ahead. I'll let you know all about that, next week.

Have a fantastic weekend! Enjoy whatever it is that you have planned!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shoe Troubles

My daughter came home from school yesterday with her indoor shoes in her bag. She showed them to me, and told me that they were "finished" and she needed a new pair, stat. I checked them out, and yes, having a sole that's flapping is never good. I explained though that with dance classes that night, we'd have to wait on getting new shoes and that maybe she could bring one of her many OTHER pairs for her indoor shoes. The look she gave me certainly made me pause. You've surely all seen "the look." It's a mix of the "whachu talkin' bout Willis" and the "ach. You're almost making me sick with your stupidity!"

Apparently, her other shoes all have a variety of roles that do not allow them to fraternize with shoes at school. Some are for when she's dressed up, some are for outdoors only, some are only to wear for a short time and certainly not gym class, and some are just for fashion. She then pleasantly threw my own words back in my face, "Once your shoes are done, even though you may have loved them, the good news is, it's time for MORE shoes!!! We need to shop!"

Ruh Roh. I may have caused this shoe fetish and it's various delineations with my own shoe lust. I, too, could explain why certain shoes just cannot be worn except for their predetermined purpose. I could also then explain why my closet is so full of so many shoes. I don't think I've had to get rid of many though, so unlike my daughter, my collection just continues to grow.

I proceeded to tell her that we'd look for some new, proper runners on the weekend but for now, she'd have to wear her outdoor ones inside, and that it was okay to do so because it was winter after all and they weren't out and about getting muddy and gross. It seemed to satisfy her and she packed them into her bag for today.

In the middle of this shoe fiasco, my other daughter handed me all of her notes and such from her school agenda. It turns out that their school is working in conjunction with Soft Moc and Sole to Sole, collecting shoes to send to Haiti. Their school already had collected a hundred pairs, and were asking for more gently used shoe donations by Friday.

What perfect timing! Today, we searched our closets and our summer bins and we packed up at least ten pairs of shoes and sandals for donation. We talked about why we were donating our shoes, why people in Haiti would need shoe donations, and the wonderful feeling that comes with helping others in need.

As my husband put the bag in the trunk and my girls were preparing to leave the house, I realized that maybe the lesson had gone over my youngest's head. She proclaimed that she was so excited to be bringing all of these shoes to give away, and my heart soared. She then said, "And you know what Mommy? Since we gave all of those shoes away, now it means WE can get MORE!!"


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Daughters Rock My Socks

There are days when I can't wait for the shouting and fighting and scrambling to stop, and with a final wave to my girls, they are off to school, faces pressed against the bus window. I'm left taking a huge deep breath, and giving a little sigh, happy for some quiet restored to my day.

Yet, for all of the struggles and impatience and days when I feel like I just might actually go crazy, I really can't imagine a day without those wee chicks.

As they grow and change and blossom, I just see so much in them that makes my heart swell with pride. While they may fight like cats and dogs with each other, out there in the Big World, I hear nothing but glowing reports.

This morning, while we were standing at the bus stop waiting, another mom that waits with us commented on how my girls are always so polite and quiet and just have the greatest manners. I hear often from school teachers and activity leaders that my girls are polite, but also that they are kind. My eldest's teacher says she's always the one to help out or offer to do extra with the little kids in other grades. In fact, she volunteers her lunch hour several days a week to "mentor" a little boy. She helps him get ready and eat and such. His parents even gave her a note of thanks at Christmas. My youngest apparently is the model for how to act in class and her teacher appreciates the calming influence she brings on others in the class. (what the? Is this even the same kid?) She attended her first Sparks meeting last night, and another Mom stopped me at the bus this morning to tell me how sweet my little firecracker was and how she was such a joy to be around.

I know I'm Mama Bragging. I think the good qualities are what we try to focus on and nurture and keep fostering so that they continue, and in the hopes that they overwhelm the "not so stellar" moments that we also all share.

In that light, I've been talking to my girls about the horrors going on in Haiti. Obviously, I've watered it down somewhat so that they aren't seeing graphic images or can still sleep at night without the terror of nightmares that they get plagued with when faced with inequities or unkindness. I'd like us, as a family, to "do more." I'd like my girls to be involved in helping out someone else-with no payback other than the feeling of satisfaction and joy that being charitable can bring. I'd like to make the world seem a little smaller.

We've discussed working with World Vision and sponsoring a child. I have friends who have done this for years now and truly find it inspiring and concrete. I have friends with plans to travel to visit their Foster Child as well. One friend sent school supplies to her foster child's whole school for Christmas, in the name of her children's teachers. She said he sends photos with gifts they've sent and homemade cards with her children's school pictures. It's real and tangible help-not just for the child, but for the community. Right now, World Vision is already in Haiti, and has been for some time. There are also profiles of children who are living in communities with a high risk of HIV and a need for fostering. I think for $35 a month, it's way more beneficial and character building than eating out at a restaurant, or buying even more Webkinz.

Over the weekend, I believe we'll move into action and make our family a little larger with the edition of a new child. It may be one that is physically farther away, but the scope, I hope, will bring our worlds, and our hearts, that much closer. My goal is to encourage my already kindhearted girls, into being big hearted ones as well.

There are so many profiles of children worldwide. I encourage you to find a way that you, too, can make a difference in the life of a child, near or far, today. Let's not take our privilege for granted, but use it for good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Walking And Talking

My friend and I have decided to walk three mornings a week together, with others joining occasionally, or not. Today marked Day 1 of our trek. The thing is, her husband leaves for work at 630am, so she needs to be home by then. You do the math. We leave our houses at 530am. Yuck.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a morning person. I can get by on very little sleep better than most. In fact, I'd say I've probably gone on 5-6 hours of sleep for the last oh.....ten years? So, it's not the lack of sleep that kills me, it's just the getting up early. I'd much rather stay up til all hours, and then sleep in a little in the morning. It works out to the same AMOUNT of hours, it's just skewed a little differently than most.

We discussed some evening jaunts around the 'hood, but with five children between us and various activities, that just didn't seem to be working out. So, 530am it is then.

It was still dark as I pried my eyes open this morning. I crept stealthily into the bathroom to throw in my contact lenses, and then tiptoed down the stairs where I dressed in the dim light of the stove hood light. Once outside, it felt great though, I have to admit. It was pretty warm out this morning, and half way through I ended up removing my hat and my gloves.

We chatted about everything under the sun, huffing and puffing a little on the big hills, and started cruising in for the last stretch at exactly 615am. I grabbed a shower and then crawled back into bed for 30 glorious minutes. My mind wouldn't shut off and I couldn't fall back asleep, but I felt good. Content.

Once the family began to stir, with complaints of it being too early and that they needed more time, I chuckled and told them I'd already been up, walked 45 mins, had a shower and crawled back into bed to await the rest of the world's awakening.

My youngest daughter's reply? "Well, you're crazy then."

Crazy is as crazy does, my sweet.

While I'm exhausted now, hitting my wall at 1pm, I'm still happy that I got in a brisk walk early this morning and that I can just enjoy my day from here. Well, except for the cursed Shred, later.

For now, I hear the couch calling my name for a little tardes siesta.

Until the next early morning call to walk.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Do You Talk About Martin Luther King Jr. AND The Golden Globes? You Just Do.

These topics can't really be combined but what the hell. It's my blog.

SO, last night I'm watching the Golden Globes, mesmerised of course by the dresses and the shoes and the hair. I'm both weepy by some of the speeches, and alternately horrified. Hello, Chloe Sevigny? Others are talking about Haiti or being grateful, and she's all pissed off that the guy walking her up the stairs had the GALL to step on and hence rip, her most probably free dress. Man, she may have to actually PAY for it now!!! Geeze. Self-possessed much? I loved Sandra Bullock's speech, Mo'nique's and of course my twin, Meryl Streep. I don't care what anybody says, either. I still find Drew Barrymore to be the sweetest thing ever. What the heck happened to Felicity Huffman, though? She couldn't get a sentence out to save her life.

Amid all of this glitz and excess, it was easy to push the soul wrenching images of the destruction and loss of life in Haiti out of my mind. Really, that's the point of movies and television and literature anyways. It can transport us to another world of entertainment and glamour. I've been crying silent tears seeing children searching for parents, individuals dying because they don't have access to medical care, for many days now. I've listened to people say that maybe this is the "cleansing" that Port-au-Prince needed and make sick references to the quality of life there "anyways." Really? I don't care who you are, or where you live-poverty or affluence, war or peace. The human race still contains mothers and children. Mothers everywhere, I believe, want better for their children. They want to rise above their circumstance, they want their children to be healthy and happy. Those of us capable of sitting in our glass houses and mocking that tragedy truly need to shake our heads and take a look in the mirror.

This brings me to Martin Luther King Jr. day today. Though we've seemingly come a long way, we have so much further still to travel. Martin Luther King Jr. was a pioneer and strong voice in the battle for equality and freedoms. I hope we continue to fight ignorance and fear, and realize that inequality and prejudice surround us daily, still, in our modern world. I hope strong voices continue to rise for all of those held down by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Someday, some way, maybe we'll finally get to a place where we can all "come together" and truly extend our hands and our hearts for our fellow man.

You may say I'm a dreamer.........but I'm not the only one.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Out The Window With The Bath Water

I had big plans for today. Oh, not exciting plans or anything, just things I wanted to tackle. I need to clean my house from top to bottom, meaning vacuuming, dusting, mopping. I did the bathrooms the other day and did the laundry. Well, mostly did the laundry. I still have to put it away. I was going to do my Shred (*$#@!!) and run on the treadmill as well.

I've folded the laundry and brought it up to the appropriate rooms, but haven't put it away yet. I'm still sitting in my jammies after finishing lunch. (and I'm now eating Cherries with an itchy tongue.)

I'm thinking that, you know what, since before the holidays, I haven't had one day to myself not involving some small person needing me or needing something from me. I keep my house pretty tip top to begin with, and while it's not my current standard, it's nothing a day or two will mind.

As to the working out, my goal is 5x a week for Shred and three for running. I could do them tomorrow and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday, and still meet that quota.

So, you know what? I went to bed really late last night (1am) and I didn't sleep well. I have no kids at home today and no commitments tonight. I think I'm going to grab a shower, put laundry away and then curl up with The Lovely Bones (shudder) and read and sip tea and just "take a day." They don't come often and really, why the hell not?

It's already 1pm, which means that my two sweethearts will be home in 3 hours anyways. We're invited to the neighbours for dinner as well! So, other than homework and baths, I'm thinking this will be a great day to just get some inner "me" time.

That's exactly what I feel I need and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

But, I Love Cherries!

I'm not a big fruit eater, in general. My husband makes smoothies every morning, and honestly, that's about my fruit intake for the day. It's not so much that I dislike fruit, there's actually many that I LOVE, it's just that I don't really think of it as a snack when I want something crunchy or salty or sweet. There's just more appealing options, to me.

I feed my children fruit daily, of course. They love green apples and bananas and grapes. My one daughter loves strawberries and blueberries. My youngest loves her some applesauce.

So, the other day I was in the grocery store and saw that green grapes, red grapes, cherries and nectarines were all on sale. I loaded up on fresh fruit. I've been enjoying a little bowl of fruit for my snack, along with my tea, since Monday. Fruit contains A LOT of sugars though, even though they are naturally occurring, so I try to keep the portion smallish.

I noticed something consistently happening, though. After I eat the cherries, and oh how I love cherries, my tongue gets itchy and my lip feels kind of tingly. Are you serious????

I now am starting to believe that I have a sensitivity to cherries. Today, I had the red grapes first and waited a bit. Nothing weird happened. Then, I had some cherries. Immediately, my lip and tongue thing happened.

WHY is nature being so cruel to me???? Seriously? All of my favourite things seem to now be causing a reaction! Whenever I drink wine, or most alcohol actually, my face gets really hot and red. I always thought, "oh that's just what alcohol does to me" but then I was talking to my neighbour who is a nurse, and she said it's likely a sensitivity to alcohol. WHAT? That's it. Strike me down now. She apparently has the same thing happen and had it tested and the sweatiness and red face were a mild allergic reaction. Greaaaaat.

Of course, neither of these reactions are enough to make me stop eating cherries or stop drinking wine. I enjoy living on the edge, I guess. And really, what kind of living would it be without them? I can stand itchy lips and a sweaty face over saying goodbye to the sweet elixirs in my life.

Bring on the vino!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Hate The Shred

As I told you, I have the 30 Day Shred DVD. I had done it maybe twice in the past, half assed. By "doing it twice" I don't mean 60 days of it. Ohhhh no. I mean, two actual times where I put the DVD in, did some moves, sat down a bit, did a few more.

This week, I decided to get serious. No one was going to do this working out business FOR me and I'm kind of tired of complaining all of the time. (well, until dinnertime and I make something yummy and then all of this working out/getting fit stuff goes out the window) So, yesterday, I made the commitment. I was tired, I was cranky, it was the end of the day. At that fortuitous moment, my family ticked me off, just enough, to make me go grab my runners and start Shredding.

Lord help me.

The one saving grace of this DVD is that it's short. You can't really quit, cause seriously, how much of a lame-o are you if you can't even manage to carve out 20 mins? But like Jillian Micheals says in the DVD, "if you only want to work out 20 mins, then there's no breaks. This 20 mins has to COUNT and it needs to be INTENSE." Oh Jillian. I hear ya.

By 10 mins in I feel just about ready to quit. I'm also fairly certain that I need to purchase a new sports bra. Or two. The jumping jacks and skipping rope are not good on someone with over an A cup. Or B. Ahem. So, holding my boobs, I decide that there's only 10 minutes left and I have to stick it out. Only.

I just completed Day 2 of the 5 I'll do this week. I'm also off for a walk/run tonight. My plan is walk/run 3x a week, and Shred 5x a week. I still haven't managed to fit in the yoga, but in due time it'll happen.

Right now, I'm just trying to lift my arms to make dinner and walk up the stairs without wincing.

Jillian Micheals, you're a cruel one. If, at some point, I can have your abs'll all be worth it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Lovely Bones

How old is this book? Yet, I haven't read it yet. Back in the day, I recall it being passed around and I remember many a friend offering it to me to read. I always refused because the subject matter is dark, depressing and umm, yucky. That's just not the typical type of book I read.

I was in the movie theatre with friends, though, and saw the preview for the upcoming movie. It looked really good, in a creepy but not totally gory way. Here's something about me that you should know. I don't "do" anything scary. Nothing. I don't watch movies that are creepy, scary, gory. I don't read books in that vein either. I watched The Shining at a sleepover when I was 13 and literally, I kid you not, woke up with nightmares several times a week, for THREE years. I just think I wasn't really exposed to that genre, and I never became desensitized to it. My girls are the same. I'm very strict with what they watch or are exposed to, and so when they even see people being MEAN to each other in movies or on tv, they want it turned off immediately. No Harry Potter movie fans here.

Anyways, my friend said I HAD to read the book before we see the film. She had a copy and summarily thrust it into my shaking hands. I've had it now two nights and haven't even cracked the spine. Why? I'm skeered! Do I really want to read that right before bed? Me???

I guess I'll try again tomorrow. In the daylight hours. With my Blackberry by my side, just in case.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sickies and Weekends

Well, we're heading into a weekend filled with plans and those plans may not be coming to fruition.

My eldest daughter missed the first day back at school, with fever and a cough, holding her up. She went back the next day, but she's still pretty pale and tired looking.

My youngest daughter missed school yesterday, with just a fever. It's strange because she literally has no other symptoms. She seemed fine all day yesterday, so I sent her back today. Well, the school called around 11 to ask us to please, kindly, come get her again because she had a fever and didn't feel well. Sigh.

I totally blame the holidays and our raucous, crazy partying. HA! We WERE out late a few nights and their normally very consistently enforced bedtime flew out the window. We also slept in late, ate on the fly, and well, partied like it was 2009.

So, I'm not so sure my daughter and I will be making it to her "girls night" sleepover Saturday night. We were supposed to go Moms and Daughters to a friends, for dinner and drinks. (well, drinks for Moms) The little girls would then sleepover and the Moms would hightail it outta there!!!

On Sunday, we were supposed to head out of town to a nearby town with better shopping. The girls have gift cards to use at Old Navy (sadly, not located in my town) and I have a gift certificate for a restaurant there. We were going to make a day of it and pick up a few things for Mommy as well.

It looks like we may be having a weekend of lazing around in our jammies, renting movies and playing some Wii. Hmmm. That still sounds mighty fine to this tired, old Mom.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You Have To Actually Get Off The Couch To Exercise

I have the 30 Day Shred DVD and I've had the intention of using it, every second day, with running on my treadmill coming in on the alternate days. I'm also trying to figure out a way to add in some yoga. For me, yoga shouldn't really be just an elective choice. I'm a worrying type of gal, so much so that even as a child my worrying caused sleep issues. I'm also not much of a sleeper, and figure it could help me out in that domain as well. The problem is where to fit it in.

I mean, where to fit it ALL in. I'm not much of a morning person. Why, you ask? Well, the answer to that is probably due to the fact that I only sleep about 5-6 hours a night. If I have someone waiting on me or a workout partner depending on me (Hi Julie!) then I'll make myself get up and go. Otherwise, early morning just ain't happening.

I tell myself, then, that I'll do the workout during nap time. However, that doesn't really work out because A) I don't want to be a sweaty mess when the parents come to pick up their child, and 2) I'm a worrier and I can't hear what's happening in the house when I'm on my treadmill.

That leaves evenings. Well, three evenings a week my children have activities that pretty much consume the whole evening. We eat dinner and we're out the door. We get back in time for their baths and bedtime. I guess I "could" ostensibly do a workout then, but do I really feel like running at like nine o'clock at night? Hell, no. The other days, even without the activities, by the time dinner is finished and tidied and baths and bed are accomplished, hello, nine o'clock again.

So, while I have great intentions and I have the equipment I need, I can't seem to find a good time to actually use it. Trust me when I say, I NEED to use it.

I think, honestly, morning is going to be the only time that makes any sense. Now that I've written that down in print, it seems like a decision. Ugh. Then again, maybe if I have to get up early, it'll creep into other areas in positive ways, like forcing me to go to sleep earlier as well? I can then do the yoga during nap. It doesn't make me sweaty and would be a nice stretch in the middle of the day.

Now, let's just see what happens at the crack of dawn tomorrow, when the world is quiet and dark and the air is frigid. Maybe I'll learn to love that time alone. Or not.

As an aside-made the tabbouleh and falafels last night. My family already like tabbouleh (well, my husband and I anyways. My eldest daughter will eat some but youngest didn't like it.) The falafels? I thought were good. I'd make them again. My husband actually liked them as well and had seconds. Both of my daughters tried them but they were a no go, even with tzaziki! The one thing with the baking though-the falafels don't get the crispy outside you would expect with a falafel. I put them under the broiler for a bit to get a bit of crispiness. They are softer and a different texture then the fried, but I like them and had them again for lunch today. I made them into a patty like shape, as opposed to balls.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Greens And Beans

So, in my ever present battle to be "more healthy," I've decided that my family should try and eat more vegetarian fare. I'm aiming for once a week at this point, and then upping it to twice once the dust has settled and the crying subsided.

Here's the problem. It's hard to eat vegetarian when only one person in the group will eat beans of any sort, lentils, couscous, bulgur or quinoa. Who is that one person? I'll give you one guess.

Every recipe that sounds and looks delicious either contains some soy or tofu product that I KNOW my family will turn their noses up at, or contains one of the aforementioned list of "no go's."

To me, everything sounds delicious. However, I was raised by a mother that served us tofu regularly. Heck, the woman made carob popsicles! Couscous was a staple in my household, and lentil soup? To. Die. For.

I'd like my kids to feel the same way about some of those foods (not the carob popsicles. Those were NOT my Mom's best idea) and in that line of thinking, I'm introducing new things a little at a time and telling them they need to give it a shot. The good news is, my kids are good at trying foods. They aren't the scream and yell and cry types. (Thank Goodness). They actually are kind of strange in that they don't really like "kid" foods anyways. They won't eat things like pizza, or macaroni and cheese or pogos or even grilled cheese sandwiches. Yet, if you give them salmon or curried chicken, or lamb with tzaziki, they are in heaven. It's good to know my Mom's influence lives on in some ways.

So, tonight. Tonight I'm making a "mostly" vegetarian meal. Yes, I'll have some steamed veggies and some roast chicken too. The main course though is going to be a big Tabbouleh salad, and baked Falafels. The falafels will be served with tzakiki. I'm tricky huh? A little side of tzaziki may make everything A-OK.

I'll let you know how it goes and who ate what. I'll let you know if my husband cried. I'll let you know if "I" triumphed.

The battle for beans and greens. It's not going to be pretty.

If you'd like to make some yourself, here's the recipes I'm using:


And Tabbouleh: For the tabbouleh (which I actually make quite often, I also tend to use couscous instead of the bulgur. Also, I add cilantro instead of mint.)

Play with your food, and Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Year 2010 Is Upon Us!!!!!

Is it just me, in my old fuddy duddy way, that thinks that 2010 sounds like some space age year in the future? I don't know about you, but the numbers just seem sooooo alien. So futuristic. So, weird.

Let's hope the year itself makes up for the fact that I feel like I'm living in a Sigourney Weaver flick!

We had a wonderful Christmas, and New Year's, and every day since. It really was one of our best holidays as a family in a long time. We had just the right amount of celebrating, visiting friends and holiday cheer. We got to spend a few really lovely days together, and I'm feeling quite at peace. If this is the way 2010 wants to usher in a new year, then I'll take it.

Last year was a difficult one and I was happy to sweep it out and start anew. I usually do make resolutions, mostly because I'm a "list" kind of gal and it's like one more "To Do" to follow. I took a look over my resolutions for 2009 and was pleased that I'd be able to scratch many of the items off. I also noticed that many of the items will be carried forward this year, not because they weren't completed, but because they have become part of our lifestyle. I'm still planning on eating fish, for example, once to twice a week. I'm still hoping to incorporate one vegetarian meal a week, maybe even add a second. I'm still interested in reducing costs, cutting unneeded expenses, and being a savvy shopper. All of those resolutions are keepers.

There are also, of course, some things I need to actually DO this year like get our passports. Those though are just practical necessities. I find they are good to write down, cross off, and feel a buzz of satisfaction.

Inevitably though, there are some deeper, inner resolutions that I want to devote my energy towards in the next year. I hesitate to say that I think this year will be a big one, because I tend to say that every year and then I feel let down when it isn't, or worse still, when it IS but it's big in a "not good big" way. I've learned the hard lesson that just when I feel myself coasting along contentedly, life throws a curveball to shake everything up once more.

My gut is telling me that this year is going to be a good one, and I've said it here before-I don't ignore my gut. So, I'm going to go with that. It's going to be a good one. Change is going to happen. Families will grow and change. Life will have unexpected surprises that we can't anticipate.

I'll be along for the ride. Now, I just have to go write out my resolutions for reals. I'll share them along the way with you all, maybe as I cross them off with an accomplished flair. (and then don't feel like a loser for the ones I told you about and didn't finish! It's all about positivity this year!)

2010-we are waiting and anticipating. It's a fresh start, a new day, and a new attitude. Heck, it's even a new decade.