United States of Motherhood: December 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Healthy Resolutions Rub Off on Kids

All this healthy eating is rubbing off thankfully on my teens.  

My daughter ADORES salami so Santa put one in her stocking.  

So last night, she meticulously picked out every plug of fat. Crazy.  

Excessive you think?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Starting Over & Getting Healthy: Almond Joy Paleo Gluten-Free Mug Cake

Well my friends?   

Christmas is over....

...and so is my wheat binge and Paleo cheating. I've been bingeing on sugar, grains, wine, cream, flaky pastry  and much more.  

Well,  not bingeing like the old days, but when I haven't had these foods for weeks, even a bite inspires guilt.  

And yet?   It was worth it. 

Seriously it was worth it.

Hello mashed potatoes, cream gravy & Yorkshire pudding with prime rib

Hello apple pie a la mode.

So worth it for these few days of treats and feeling normal. That's what I have missed--feeling normal.  Not feeling like a high-strung foodie that has to poke and prod each dish with suspicion.  I needed the break.

However, now I am paying big time again. BIG TIME!

I actually maintained my 17 lb. weight loss through the holidays, but as usual, my acid reflux and brain fog is crazy out of control right now. I am guzzling Maalox.  I am forgetting words mid-thought. 

So I have started to detox and wean myself back to a gluten-free, Paleo diet--free from grains, legumes, dairy, and nightshade.  I am thinking of weight loss and getting healthy.  I have been guzzling ice water and green tea to stave off cheats. I even applied for BookieBoo's Mamavation Omron Weight Loss Challenge. 

However, it is not without flailing.  I feel like I am starving.  Craving.  Ready to stuff anything that moves into my belly. That wheat addiction came back pretty fast.  I know when I get like this,  I need to be careful because a SERIOUS binge is coming on.

I've been good for two days now, but the self-control is getting brittle.  So I came up with a quick fix recipe that is Paleo and just enough to quell the hunger pains and emotional desire to eat. We've all seen mug cakes, but why not a Paleo, gluten free mug cake??

This food porn my friends is a Almond Joy in a mug.  A minute to whip up, two minutes in the microwave, and then the kids and I were dipping into heaven.  2-3 bites for each of us and crisis averted.

Paleo Almond Joy Mug Cake

2 tbsp of Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder 
3 tbsp Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal Flour
2-3 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Almond Butter
1 Egg
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 pinch of Salt
1-2 tbsp Flaked Coconut

Measure all ingredients into mug.  Stir with spoon.  Pop into microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds to 2 minutes.  Done!

Dig in!  Yum!  Crisis Seriously averted.  I am so good until dinner time now. 

Will I cheat again?  Yes.  I have decided for special occasions, a day or two cheat here or there every couple of months will only allow me to stay the course.  I can do this and prevent the feeling of deprivation and self-pity. 

... And yes, I am already looking forward to eating this again next Christmas:

In the meantime. I will continue to come up with quick, small bite, highly satiating Paleo alternatives to stave off the hunger.

Holiday Assignments, Treadmills, and Call of Duty

This kid is crazy.  

As part of his IB Sports and Exercise class he was supposed to run 90 minutes during break.  

As an aside, as a competitive swimmer, he swam 2-3 times that amount... DAILY over break. 

I guess his teachers wanted to keep them active over break and for most teens that Is a problem.  Anyway *surprise*  the kid procrastinated and now has 90 minutes to run in three days. 

30 minutes a day, right?!

Nope!! He has decided to run it all today WHILE TRYING TO PLAY CALL OF DUTY!!  Then go to another 2+ hr swim practice.

He's only fallen off the treadmill twice.  He says he keeps trying to run in the direction of the game.


Upside: At least he will get the true experience of running and being out I breath while shooting...unlike most couch "soldiers."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gifted When He Wants To Be

Lil man is procrastinating making his required SAGE (gifted pull-out program) project of sandwich maker vending machine...

...only to design race cars. Sigh.

I am so sick of nagging.

I am dubbing him gifted only when he wants to be!

Starving and Need Advice


...And there is nothing paleo or healthy to eat in this house. I took some advice to drink ice water and green tea to stave off hunger.  So far so good.  

Any other weight loss, eating clean, paleo,  gluten-free advice???? 

Pretty please with no sugar on top?

I'm getting  started on some healthy living now while I cross my fingers that I get picked for the Mamavation Challenge.  


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bad Swim Mom at the Holidays

Santa brought the traditional sugar cereal this mom refuses to buy.  So guess what?  It's breakfast for dinner tonight.  

With this cereal coupled with Christmas dinner leftovers of prime rib and mashed potatoes, I figure we have at least two more days before we have to start cooking again. 

 Ok reason did prevail for a short period of time this morning--I do admit the kids who had pumpkin pie and apple pie for breakfast were scolded.  They were told while apple and pumpkin are indeed technically in the fruit and veggie department, pie still was not the breakfast of champions they needed to swim 3 hour swim practice.  


Monday, December 24, 2012

Gorgeous Gloom: I Forgive You Seattle

While waiting for swim practice to end, I sat for a while enjoying the gorgeous Puget Sound nary blocks from the pool.  I might hate the Seattle gloom, but the beauty around this emerald city is astonishing!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Marital Therapy

Breakfast Vietnamese Salad Appetizer


Chowing down on my husband's Vietnamese Shrimp salad leftovers from dinner last night as a breakfast appetizer....whilst I make eggs.  


You don't have appetizers before breakfast??  

I do...especially after walking 5 miles.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Warm Hearty Salad on a Cold Seattle Winter's Day

This was the makings of a eclectic, but yummy meal with whatever I had on hand which in this case was spinach, sweet potatoes, chopped up ham, and Shrimp.  Sautéed in some butter and tossed with some sea salt and green Tabasco for a yummy and filling warm salad on a cold Seattle day.  

Except for the buttah, pretty paleo.  Let's call it paleoish!

So what is the strangest combination you've ever come up with in your kitchen?

Tree Decorating Bribery

Yep, I just bribed my boys to throw up some bulbs on the tree that has been sitting bare for weeks in my living room. 


Special ornaments go up tonight. Still it rankles that it took bribing. They used to get mad at me if I decorated when they were at school.   Now that they are older, I've been waiting for weeks to do this as a family.  I finally realized no one was making it a priority and with 3 days left we were running out of time ...

So much for warm and fuzzies.  

So....I paid them in X-Box play time. 

Still not too shabby of a job for 10 and 15 year-old boys, right?? Bonus is that no ornaments were harmed in the decorating of this tree.  

Stay tuned for the finished product.

NyQuil Nukes & White Blood Cell Ninjas

Why I love my little guy?  

On Tuesday, my daughter was wiped out from a virus for days.  I got a little of it.  

We spent most of the day resting on the couch watching a "Monsters Inside of Me" marathon on TIVO and wallowing in it.  The program encompasses lots of creepy parasites and mystery fleash-eating bacteria stories for the uninitiated. 

So I guess all the medical talk rubbed off because he disappeared and a little while showed up with this above. 

Yes, he made this for his  really ill sister-- a get well card -- in an epic 10 year-old fashion of "white blood cell" tanks, ninjas, and shotguns with NyQuil "Nukes." 

It instantly made up both feel better. My friends, NEVER discount the power of smiles and laughter as medicine.  I am sure he has a future in healing--either as a doctor or a comedian. 

Man, I love this kid!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seattle Smells Like Holiday Teen Spirit

I always love Seattle at the holidays.  There's just something about seeing that familiar tree on top of the Space Needle that gets me in the jolly holiday mood.  

What about your city?  What is your favorite holiday landmark that says Christmas is coming?

Now sitting at the bottom of my husband's Amazon building, I am also reminded that I am not even close to getting my shopping done.  

All you people who were done back in November.  

You. Make. Me. Sick.

Heh.  Okay not sick.  More like green with envy.  

The good news? The deadline to make it for Christmas two day shipping at Amazon is tomorrow. 

So I've got gads of time, right? 


Would it be wrong to give my husband who works for Amazon an Amazon gift certificate for his Amazon wish list??? 


Sigh!  One of these days, probably when my kids are off to college, I will get my act together.

Sigh again!

Happy holidays, my friends. Here is to hoping you are done shopping, your feet are propped, and you are giggling at my ineptitude.  It's okay I am laughing at myself too!!

Paradise to the Ten Year Old Soul

We drove swim carpool today.  Reluctant Kid #3--no longer a swimmer--got dragged along nonetheless.

Silver lining?

Heelies on a super waxed floor at Seattle University???  

Nirvana to ANY 10 year old's soul.


Look what the postman brought...

...and was claimed already!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


How I know it's the holidays?  

Kitty can't wait for us to decorate the tree before she claims it!!

Sometimes Yummy Hurts: Gluten Free, Paleo, and Tortured

Early morning cinnamon chip bread after an even earlier morning orthodontist appointment.

I made them pump my gas to earn it first. Yes, payback for the torture of smelling yeasty, cinnamon chip in a car when I am gluten-free and paleo. 

Must. Resist.

Is it wrong that that I am smiling while they stuff soft, yeasty mouthfuls of goodness in their mouth...and it hurts because they just got a major brace tightening?? 

Sometimes yummy hurts!! 

Don't I know it!!

We All Weep: The Connecticut Shooting and a National Conversation

Yes, this is a human issue.

I don't think I wanted to hear the words, "A six year year old should not be ripped apart by 11 bullets," but I needed to hear it I think and now I feel ill. 

This gun issue has me on the fence both as a gun-owning family with our military background who takes our kids to shoot at the range AND also as a mother who now gets physically ill and panicky when she thinks of those poor babies and her own babies.

This is especially true since I found out a young, promising man in our neighborhood committed suicide by gun the same day as the Connecticut shootings. He was the same age as my son and rode on his bus.So a conversation?Yes, we need one. I know some of us get too angry or emotional or defensive.  Others want to bury their heads in their pillows and try to think this did not happen.  These babies did not have their little bodies riddled with bullets.

My friends, we need to talk about this.  We need a conversation.  A rational one which is not what I have seen mostly on the Internet. However I think emotions run too high right now for rationality. I do think mental illness is undeniably intertwined as well. For now I yearn to wrap my arms around surviving siblings and mourning parents and weep.

 I hope they feel the love of this nation. We all weep for them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Will Power, Holidays and Being Paleo

Due to kid #2 still being so flu-ish, I have about 30 too many of these and the cookies?? They are calling to this paleo mom.  I swear they are talking to me.  

Calling from the kitchen to, "Eat me please!!"

Will power is breaking...

My Forgetful One

Kid #3 finally made it to school after snow delay with snowflakes biscuits, apple butter, book report speech, mittens for snow, and Irish shirt since it was "cultural celebration day."

He only forgot each item twice including that the book report was due YESTERDAY. He's already behind two book reports and MANY assignments. So much that we set up a drop box account for him to get partial assignments to finish over winter break.

Now  any bets on if my coolers, stoneware, Santa hat and mittens (he used mine since he lost his gloves) make it back home with my oh-so-forgetful one?!  Sigh!

Update: Just got a call from school.  Not kidding--he forgot his lunch!!

Update:  Second call from school--he lost his entire backpack

Update:  Backpack and lunchbox were found....and triumph, he remembered to bring everything back home!!  There is hope!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mommy Rant: Why I Will BE up to Midnight

I am helping my youngest make apple butter for a non-fiction book report project due today that includes making a recipe based on the book.

We just realized it was going to take 2 hrs to cook the apple butter recipe he chose and yes, you read that right...it was due today!! 


I am also currently making 15 dozen cookies to hand out to kids' friends tomorrow.  Collecting up money to coordinate coaches' gifts.  Scheduling the carpool for the month. Doing laundry and need to be up by 5 AM to take other kid to retake test missed by swim meet. 

Did I mention middle kid was sick and at the doctor's day?? Ugh!  

Back to apple butter kid, he also missed out on his safety guard party today because he forgot to give me party permission slip and forgot to tell me he needed cookies for the cookie exchange. Have I mentioned this same son is already behind on his sage project AND two book reports from their respective months past.  He had to go back twice for his sweatshirt and his project when I picked him up after school?

Honestly he'd forget his head if it wasn't attached.  I have one kid already with ADD--now beginning to think its two.  

Okay thanks for letting me rant!! Feeling much better now...or maybe it's the wine/whine. :)

Santa's Little Helper

Santa's little putty cat helper is super thrilled about her new wardrobe choices.

 Can't you tell?! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Another Day, Another Pineapple

Another day, another pineapple!  

Eating breakfast at the 10th day of a swim meet in December.  Yep three week-ends in a row.

Last day, baby!! 

 At least this time I am eating healthy, paleo-ish, and definitely gluten-free which makes the meet so much better.  I plan to continue the same though the holidays. Still 17 lbs down without trying.  I am hoping to make that 30 lbs by the new year.  Yep, I am starting my resolutions now rather than later.  

What about you?

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