Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Still Here.

I promise I haven't fallen off the earth!

Normally, my busy is fairly low key because I hate being busy.  Hate it, but this year, I seem to be struggling with the just-too-muches.

Between kid stuff, husband stuff, tutoring stuff, mommy stuff, and Spanish stuff, I just have too much stuff to do.  And, I have too much stuff.

And, when I feel overwhelmed, I sort. 

Do other people do this?

Two weekends ago, I took 13 trashbags and 15 WalMart sacks worth of stuff to a friend's house for her friend's community rummage sale.

It felt so good that I decided to remove everything from every surface in my house.

Wow- did that create one serious deep breath!

Then, my parents came for Thanksgiving, and I had to pause my purge. (More on their visit later. Short version: Delays, traffic, migraines, and more!)

They left yesterday morning, Tony and I spent the day together (AKA- long nap), and by last night, I had reorganized the pantry, my closet, the bathroom shelves, and my email inbox.

This morning I've been checking the "annoyings" off the to-do list.  Does your list get overwhelmed by the "annoyings"- those 5 second tasks that pile up because they're just so annoying?

I changed ink cartridges, made a phone call, sent some emails, and checked some online accounts.

I feel like I'm coming for mental air.

I made some breakfast cookies that Carson has been requesting for weeks.  I'm all ready for this afternoon's tutoring session. 

Ahh.  Deep breath. My house is spotless.

Oh wait.  I haven't purged the hall closets.  I need to do that.

I need to do that now.  Like, right now.

Chat later!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weight/Exercise/Eating Update

It has been a long time since I devoted a post to my health goals.  Overall, I could not be more pleased with how the whole process is going.  On the weight front, I'm at a new adult, healthy low of 137.5.  I was in a hurry that day so I didn't grab my camera to take a picture.  (I weigh myself daily, but I don't photograph it each time.)  I'm comfortably fluctuating between 137.5-139.5. 


Here is picture from a few days back when I started planning this post.
 
 
Exercising is not my thing.  It just isn't.  I try to remind myself how amazing I feel after my runs, but that doesn't always get my butt out of bed.  In an attempt to motivate myself, I decided to start a 10k program (and I turned the a/c warmer in our bedroom at night.  It felt like trying to get up on a winter morning in Illinois in there!).  Since July, I had been working a 5k plan designed to increase your finish time.  It's been pretty much a colossal failure.  7 weeks of faithfully following it, and my times were slow and my nerves were shot.  This new 10k plan, which I've only followed for a week, has been steadily increasing my distances.  I finished 3.89 miles this morning in 41 minutes.  Obviously, that pace (10:32 min) isn't going to break any speed records, but it was a much easier run than my July 5k.  (10:19 min)  I'm making process.  Need to keep reminding myself.  In June, when I started, I couldn't run 90 seconds without feeling like I was going to die.  There is progress here.
 
Now, to the eating goals.  We've had all kinds of victories and failures in this.  By the time we got back from the States this summer, I was ready to go 100% plant based.  (That's the new term for eating vegan because vegan means more than diet.)  Then, about 3 weeks after school started, Carson got sick.  Not super sick, but just off.  He didn't have his normal energy level, he complained of general discomfort, and he looked weird.  After talking with some friends, I decided that gluten might be the culprit.  I have a first cousin with gluten issues (maybe even Celiacs) so I thought we would start there.  Within three weeks, he was feeling so much better.  Another few weeks after that, and it was clear that gluten was a major part of the issues.  Nerves/anxiety/overachieving also played a measurable role in his physical health.
 
As I started researching all there is to being gluten free, I made the decision- though I didn't like it- that putting Carson on a gluten-free, vegan diet was simply too much.  Too much for his psyche to handle.  Too much for my budget to cover.   He has made some other health goals- no more soda, no more fried foods, no more prok products, no more fast food. And all was not lost on the vegan front because I do believe in the health benefits. 
 
When eating at home, I am completely vegan.  No butter, milk, meat, or cheese.  (obviously, since I'm allergic to cheese)  When I eat out, I'm completely vegetarian.  No meat.  I made the decision that my Spanish is never going to be good enough to determine every secret ingredient, and it is so important that I avoid cheese.  I need to focus my energies there.
 
Coralynn is the next most vegan member of the family.  Tony and the kids will tell you that it's all I can do not to weep when I see that baby ask for more rice and beans or beg for more broccoli.  She's a testament to the truth that most people, when hungry, will eat the food presented to them.  (Carson is a testament to the truth that some people will starve to death before they eat rice and beans.)  We went out to dinner Friday night, and the Bits devoured a plate of pita bread and baba ganoush.  Made her Momma proud!
 
As for the other three, they're a mixed bag of nuts.  (I love that expression.  Reminds me of my bff in Georgia.  Happy mental place.)  Tony has almost completely eliminated cheese from his diet.  As most vegans will tell you, cheese is often the LAST food people give up.  We're thinking there's hope for him!  Chloe continues to eat whatever.  As long as we eat at home, she'll eat what I serve which is usually highly plant based.  And do so happily.  At the food court, it's a different story.  I'm not sure why a child who is happy to eat healthy at home, when seeing a food court, becomes a McDonalds addict desperately in need of a McBite.  So strange.
 
And then there's Camilla.  The sweet child who refuses to eat anything that resembles healthy food- except for strawberries.  She is SO pleasant and SO resistant to eating outside her preferences which are fried chicken, bread, apples, strawberries, candy, and cereal.  That's about it.  She will eat a smoothie, with spinach, as long as the only fruit in it is strawberries.  Still working on that child...
 
Overall, I'm confident we, as a family, are considerably healthier than where we were this time last year.  There is no title for our diet, but it is working for us. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basketball Banquet

Last night was the basketball banquet for Carson's basketball season. It was fun to gather with all the parents again without having to focus on a game. Lots of fun conversation!!
 
 
Carson receiving his participation certificate with Coach Ezekiel.
 

Carson receiving the "Hardest Worker" plaque. 
 
We're super proud of him and the (little) man he's becoming!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Yes.

Yes, it is.  
 
 
 
 
Why, yes, that is Cosita wearing a diaper.  Why?  Because Cosita went into heat.  2 weeks before her surgery to be spayed.  And 2 weeks before her 7-month birthday.  I know.  You're jealous.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reason 156.

Why I love Chloe.

 
I found this on the kitchen counter this morning. 
I love that she made clear whom it was for and whom it was from.
 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Healthy and Yummy.

And Vegan.  And Gluten Free.  Quite possibly the perfect lunch.

 


 
First, a chocolate-zucchini muffin made gluten free by substituting Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour and guar gum for the the wheat flour.  Zero fat, low calorie, and chocolate.

Then, I made a green (though it's purple) smoothie with banana, spinach, pineapple juice, blueberries, frozen tropical fruit, and, for a little extra protein, chia seeds. 

The best part was that Coralynn enjoyed the exact same lunch with me.  Happy, healthy mommy and Bits!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Must Read.

Okay.  I'm not a reader by nature.  I don't mind reading, but I certainly will find lots of other ways to burn time before I decide to read.  I do have a kindle, though, and I enjoy reading on airplanes so I keep my eyes open for book recommendations.

I almost exclusively read Christian autobiographies and biographies.  I don't love fiction in any form-To Kill a Mockingbird and Frankenstein the exceptions.  Several weeks ago, I was online when I saw a recommendation for a book.  I have no idea which website I was on that recommended it, but it captured my attention.  And it's secular nonfiction, but I was intrigued by the title.

I ordered the book.  In paper form.  I love actual books.  The kindle is nice because it's hard to get English-language books here and bringing them from the United States is heavy, but I ordered it.  It was delivered to my brother, and I got it while I was in Los Angeles.

I finally finished it.  I. Loved. It. And, I had to recommend it to you.

As a bit of a disclaimer, it has some bad words in it, and it dapples into evolutionary processes if that is objectionable to you, but neither of those cause any difficulty in reading the book.

Born to Run is about a casual runner's journey to ultradistance running and a tribe in Mexico. 

The book is just so good.  It made me want to go for a run which I hadn't done in weeks and finally did just a few hours ago. 

So, anyway, I'm not getting any kickback.  There's no ad money here.  I just loved the book, and I wanted to recommend it to you.

Now, not only do I want to run more, I want to read more.  What book recommendations do you have?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Been a while.

Sorry.

I learned something this week.

Something about myself.

I always thought I was very transparent.

And, I am.

I learned, though, that there are somethings I'm not sharing.

Well, at least one thing.

And, I was busy with that this week.

So, sorry I wasn't here.

We're good.

All is well.