Friday, January 17, 2014

Sweet Surrender

On January 1st, my kids took a bet to eschew sugar for the entire year. (Yes, I realize that eschew is not Greek for "chomp with teeth," although that would certainly make this deal easier on everyone.)

I approved their decision-- which was motivated by money, of course-- until awareness struck: I'm the cook around here. I buy the food. I make the food. I eat the food. I love sugar.

In an attempt to walk with them on their journey, however, I decided to forgo sweets for the month of January. You know, to help them navigate these uncharted waters. And it has been a challenge to satisfy our sugar cravings during what I now refer to as "The Withdrawal." (I'm told it'll take about a month before we don't feel like dying anymore.)

Tonight we had an intense need for chocolate, so I found a Paleo fudge cake recipe. I think if I'd dusted cocoa powder over a deflated balloon and gnawed on it for a while, I might have had a similar result but with much less effort and expense.

But after two weeks without sugar, the cake tasted like weeknight decadence. On a non-sugar-fast day my kids would have given me the "you're kidding, right?" glare. But tonight they asked for seconds. Desperate times....

I'm already wondering where else I can leverage this new-found psychology. ("Hey kids, we're going to go without wi-fi for an entire year, but check out this dial-up modem!") The possibilities are endless.

Friday, January 10, 2014

13 Things I Learned In 2013

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I think this family photo adequately displays lesson #11
1.     I prefer to gain weight rather than lose it. This must be true because I ended the year heavier than I started it. (2014 took care of that when it gave me its version of a New Year’s weight-loss plan called “The Diarrhea Diet.” Thank you 2014, for helping me lose 2013’s excess pounds! Should be at least a month before I put them back on again.)
2.     My dog has some sort of mutant gene that causes her to never die. Seriously, I'm sure every year will be her last, and yet…she’s still here. Shedding more stupid fur than ever. And forgetting that we feed her, then begging like a half-starved orphan puppy until we relent and feed her again, because imagined or not, the poor thing is hungry!
3.     My life can suddenly change direction without my express permission. When did this sort of disregard for my authority become okay? I think it’s high-time Life and I had a little chat about this.
4.     I’m a complete hypocrite about health. My grocery cart is one big contradiction and testifies against me every time I shop. And yet, I continue to buy my organic fruit and non-GMO corn and eat it alongside the processed lunch-meat and decidedly GMO white bread. I refuse to use food coloring, but Jelly Bellies are somehow exempt. And on and on and on.
5.     I enjoy reading my kids’ YA fiction as much or more than they do. In fact, now when I read an actual meant-for-adults book I'm irritated that I have to decipher covert symbolism, and remain confused as to whether I’m sympathetic to the complex protagonist or not. Makes my brain hurt! YA is the refined sugar of the reading world, and we all know how much I like sugar.
6.     No matter what my husband says (and you need to trust me on this one) I do not snore. He’s never been able to prove it, and I have witnesses who will corroborate my claim. It’s called “breathing heavily,” for those who’d like to know the scientific term.
7.     I don’t enjoy housework. Oh wait, I didn’t learn that in 2013—I’ve known that my entire life. Moving on….
8.     The pet store betta fish I was sure we'd be free of within a month has somehow survived the last six. Just like the wild frog that was supposed to kick the bucket when my daughter surreptitiously brought it home from a field trip. We were told, on good authority, that the creature would croak (no pun intended) within weeks of domesticity. We’re going on year 3 now. Lord, why? Why do our pets have such freakishly long lives?
9.     I can still sleep in like an adolescent. I'm not as skilled as a college student, mind you, but I give a pretty respectable teenage effort nonetheless.
10. After reading “Divergent” I decided my fear landscape would look something like driving a stick-shift in San Francisco rush hour traffic, followed by keeping a time log of my activities throughout the day, followed by being forced to wear belly-shirts, followed by eating Monsanto corn, and ending with “The Diarrhea Diet.”
11. The happiest place on earth really IS Disney World. I know this for a fact now. (Which leads to lesson 11A: This 30-something can still ride teacups like a boss!)
12. I’m strangely addicted to reading the comments at the end of internet news stories even though the human depravity reflected therein is almost enough to drive me to drink. (Why are people so mean? Why?)
13. And finally, due to homeschooling, I’ve rediscovered all sorts of elementary school knowledge that I’d forgotten long ago (probably shortly after I took the test on said information). Thus proving that there really is a lot of stuff you won’t use later in life. (But I kinda feel smart knowing it again.)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dustin' Off

Aack! Looks like this ol' blog hasn't been used for a while-- it's pretty dusty.

What I thought was a month or two off to ponder the next phase of blogging turned into a year-plus hiatus. Oops. It's not that our crazy train has derailed, trust me. It's just that...I learned I need to change my approach when sharing about the ride. My kids are getting older, see, and more prone to embarrassment at the hands of their dear mother (who happens to lack a certain amount of discretion).

The days of posting quotes are probably gone (sigh). Not only for the fact that someday my kids will read this blog and possibly disown me, but also because most of my son's musings are no longer appropriate for public consumption. I can't go posting about his pre-teen, Aspie-direct thoughts on female anatomy now, can I? (Hilarious as they are.) Oh, you may wish I would, but you see my quandary, don't you?

A new era has dawned.

Some of you wonder what I will write about in the absence of LM quotes and other slightly inappropriate kid scenarios. Ye of little faith! I suppose you'll just have to come back and see then, won't you?

(Truth is, I haven't the faintest clue what I will post about next, but we should all pretend I have something brilliant in mind. Brilliant, I tell you!)

Until then....