• Following the Herd

    • RT @hclib: Minnesota finally gets an African-American museum, thanks to two visionary women strib.mn/2zCMewh 1 year ago
    • RT @MARIADAHVANA: Gonna talk for a moment here. Watching these hearings today, flashing back to watching the Clarence Thomas hearings, to w… 1 year ago
    • RT @Nika_Howard: Instead of saying "lazy days", I'm going to start saying "cozy days". The first seems negative and makes me feel bad for t… 1 year ago
  • Pages

  • Awesome Digital Scrapbooking site

    Digital Scrapbooking at Pixel Scrapper

Jagged little pill

Last year before we left for Europe, like several months before, I finally owned up to the fact that my social anxiety could no longer be attributed to “quirky shyness”. My anxiety also comes with a best friend who’s named Depression. They’re both selfish bitches. Neither of them understands that the world does not revolve around them and sometimes the host body needs to, y’know, socialize. When I confessed to a friend that I was worrying about my level of worry and whether other people worry this much and maybe I’m just over-reacting but what if my level of worry is higher than others and I’m ignoring a Bigger Problem, she kindly responded, “Yeah, you need drugs.”

I went to a couple therapy sessions that helped get me on the plane to Europe but, frankly, I didn’t really learn that much. I know how to talk myself back into reality when I find myself slipping. I suspected it was the pills that did most of the work.

Well, guess what! It has been confirmed! These past few weeks I forgot to take one of the two daily doses a few times. I thought, “Oh, it’s just one pill. I’m sure the other one can pick up the slack. I’m fine.” Last week my prescription ran out altogether and I didn’t get it filled until two days ago. “Oh, it’s just a few days. I’ll be fine.” I went about a week without these little pills and Hello, Darkness, my old friend! The past few weeks I’ve found myself snapping at my husband, short with the children, and shrinking from social events. Not all social events. That’s the fun part: who knows when I’m going to be struck by the “No, please, go without me, I’m just going to sit at home in my jammies and read” bug? Sure as hell not me!

So, yeah, pills+me=BFF

I’m not exactly thrilled about this. No one wants to have to remember to take pills every day (see: IUD) but no one wants to sit at home in their little cocoon all the time either. Ok, yeah, I do want that. But I also want to be able to go out with my actual real life human BFF without stressing over the decision of “Should I or shouldn’t I go?” It’s a simple question and I have no real reason for not going out other than those selfish bitches that have set up roost in my little brain. Every other day I see my husband going out with his friends and it baffles me how he does it. I’ve agonized for three days over whether or not I should take advantage of a free sitter and a night out with a friend. He doesn’t hesitate any longer than it takes to ask me if I had any plans. I never do but he always asks me.

And I so want to have plans.

Fighting Genetics

The flooring is done! And that’s really all that’s “done”. The rest of the house is very reminiscent of the days shortly after we moved into the house. Living room and dining room furniture is in the kids’ bedrooms. Those same rooms have clothes all over the place, both clean and dirty. The basement, which is now a fully working family home theatre complete with stained loveseat and housing several piles and baskets of clothes in varying states of cleanliness.

**Side Note**

I keep thinking that some magical day I will become a responsible grown up parent who always folds the clothes straight out of the dryer and puts them away instead of letting the clothes sit in a basket for a week before sorting them into “owner” piles before folding them and putting the now folded piles of clothes back into the baskets and placing each basket into the proper room where they will be rifled through each morning in a frantic attempt to piece together a matching outfit.

So far that day hasn’t happened. But my fingers retain a tenuous grasp on that thin ledge of hope.

**End Side Note**

The kitchen, well, honestly, the kitchen looks the most normal. Unfortunately “normal” in our house means “cluttered beyond belief” with piles of papers and bags and pencils and pens and scissors and empty beer bottles that need to be brought to the basement to be stored until the next brewing session, random socks and hoodies (yes, there are even clothes in the kitchen. Just assume that any room I ever talk about ever for the past and remaining life of this blog until the above mentioned Magical Day of Organization finally comes around has at least one article of clothing that doesn’t belong there.) and probably there are some dishes and empty frozen veggie bags somewhere. “Abnormal” is that 2 hour window between “SPARKLING CLEAN!” and the above mentioned state of things. Only THIS time, add in a new stove that’s hooked up to the gas line but not pushed up against the wall because the Anti-tilt bracket things need to be installed.

The only “clean” part of the house is the newly floored living room and it looks FABULOUS but is missing the new rug and coffee table we just ordered today.

Ok, so now that you have this mental image of garbage house firmly fixed in your mind, let me tell you this very short Jaden anecdote that I will undoubtedly draw out far too long.

Today is April 20, 2011 and this morning the entire state of MN woke to find a nice layer of snow (of varying depth dependent upon where its residents slept last night.) on the ground. The majority of us have packed away all the winter gear because we figured by mid-April we’re in the clear.

We ALWAYS think we’re in the clear. Even I, who refused to be duped this year, put away the winter gear. However, I maintain it was in an effort to add SOME organization to my life.

Every year. EVERY. DAMN. YEAR. DARN YOU, MIDWEST!!

So this morning I dug out the snow pants and winter coats and boots and Matt dug out the gloves and hats. I packed the snow pants into Jaden’s back pack; she put on her boots, coat, and hat. Jonas put on his rain boots (refusing to wear his winter boots because, well, he’s Jonas and he’s stubborn about odd things.) and coat and put on his little golf hat that looks like Daddy’s. (He’s taken a shine to that little hat and sweaters over the last few weeks. It’s adorable and also oddly prophetic in that his sweater fixation started right at the Spring Solstice. It’s as if he KNEW consistently warm weather was a long time coming.) We said goodbye to Matt, I dropped the kids off at the in-laws and got to work where I diligently performed my job until around 11 when I got a call from the school nurse.

“Hi, I have Jaden here in my office.”

“Oh, no.” I said, fearing an ear infection or a sore throat to go with that cough she’s had for a couple weeks.

“Well, she said she was wearing her snow pants when she went out for recess but somehow her pants and underpants got wet. She’s soaked.”

“Oh no!”

“Yeah, I’m not sure how** but she’s completely wet and we have no extra clothes here. Would someone be able to bring her a change of clothes?”

Frantically I think of a solution and the only one that will work comes out of my mouth:

“I’ll ask her grandma to bring some over.”

“Ok, great! Jaden will be here in my office waiting.”

“Great thanks!”

**I still don’t know how she got soaked through her snow pants that had just a couple weeks ago worked fine. It’s Jaden. For all I know she found a drain spout, held open her pants and let the water pour on in.**

Then the call to my wonderful, beautiful, saintly mother in law:

“Hi! Are the flooring guys there?”

“Oh, yeah, they’re here.”

“Good good! Say, listen, could I ask a huge favor of you?”

“Sure…”

“Jaden’s pants and underpants got soaked at recess and needs a change of clothes. Could you possibly go to our house and get some clothes and bring them to her?”

“Oh, sure, not a problem!”

“Oh, it will be,” I think, “You don’t know how bad our house is.”

“Great! Ok, here’s the thing. Our house is sort of all kinds of falling apart and we haven’t put it back together again after the flooring got installed. SO! There should be some underpants in Jaden’s dresser and there should be some pants on her floor. Actually there are probably several pairs. Just find a pair you think will fit. If there aren’t any, there are some clothes in the dryer.” Please please please don’t be forced to go downstairs.

“Ok, I’ll find something.”

“Great! Thanks!”

Then I die of embarrassment. See, I can navigate the labyrinth that is our laundry situation but the thought of anyone else trying? Here’s how it would go if I tried to explain the FULL process I go through every morning:

“First, check the dresser. Nothing there? Check Jaden’s floor. There are some for-sure-clean clothes in the little moses basket that used to be Jonas’ bassinet before it became the cat’s bed, then it was housed under Jaden’s bed and now it’s out again and has some clothes in it for some reason. Yeah, there. Ok, only shirts and jammies? No, don’t bother looking in the closet. You won’t find anything useful there. Go downstairs. Yeah, sorry about the toys. Ok, over by the love seat you’ll see a few small piles of clothes. Jaden’s are not in any of those. Hers are in one of the baskets. I can’t remember which one. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think she’s got any there. Go to the laundry room. I KNOW she’s got some in the dryer and in the giant pile on the folding table and there are some socks and underwear in the clothes basket there. Good luck and godspeed!”

EVERY MORNING! With both kids and myself! And then Matt asks where his socks are and I throw a basket of socks at his head.

***

Added today, April 21.

I had a nice chat with my mom yesterday. “Mommy,” I said in a whimpery kind of tone, “I have such hopes and dreams of being organized. I swear every time I go to do laundry that THIS time I will fold the clothes straight out of the dryer and put them away. THIS time I will put the shoes away as soon as we get home. THIS time I will lead by example and throw my clothes down the chute and NOT on the floor.” She laughed sympathetically and said, “Oh, honey. You’re fighting genetics. I have the same hopes and dreams. Whenever I get really frustrated, I remember my parents and feel a little better. You can only fight nature so far, y’know.”

Well! I sure showed her. Sort of. Instead of going shopping with friends last night (yes. I have friends!) (Ok, they were the ladies from work and they’re all over 45. But still!) I went home and cleaned! And Matt cleaned! There is still a long way to go but at least you can see the fancy new floors and the old bedroom floors in the kids’ rooms now.

Tonight, I will surrender to my genetic code and ignore the laundry some more and play my game.

Don’t you judge me!

Oh, suppose you’d like to see the flooring (just double click the images to get a full size view).

           Dining Room Before

 

                             After
            

                               Before

                                            After
 
Sorry, I don’t have a “before” handy

Garbanzo Bean Curry



Not to go off on a rant on weather but let me just say this: This Winter has been the LONGEST winter in the history of all winters. With the exception that Ice Age with the Mammoths and stuff. It arrived early and it just won’t leave. It’s been snowy snowy snowy and cold cold cold and I’m sick sick sick of it. All us Minnesotans are, I think. The meal plans in our house over the last couple weeks have really shown it. Meaning, there is no plan. Matt and I are both tired of cooking and tired of the dirty kitchen that won’t stay clean and tired of the lack of veggies that make Spring and Summer eating so enjoyable. Last weekend I had this thought as I was turning away from the cupboard: “For a house that doesn’t have snacks in it, we sure have a lot of snacks. Man, I can wait for spring and the yummy fruits and vegetables.” I glanced at the window and did a double take. The ground that had been clear of snow just two hours prior was now covered with a good half inch of the evil white stuff. Then I laughed like a maniac at the timing and injustice of it all.

In short: we’ve been eating really poorly lately. And I blame winter. However, last night I couldn’t bring myself to make my kids another “thrown together” “kid friendly” meal, I didn’t care how unmotivated I was. They’d had pizza the night before, hot dogs and veggies the night before that and grilled cheese with veggies and sweet potato fries the night before that. See? CRAPPY EATING! Bad Mommy!

I looked in my cupboard and saw a can of garbanzo beans and three cans of coconut milk and some rice. I checked the freezer for veggies and found a little less than half a bag of cut green beans and an opened bag of cubed hash browns.

Then I created this.

Garbanzo Bean Curry

Heat a couple table spoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat then add half a bag of frozen southern style hash brown potatoes (a.k.a. the cubed kind, not the shredded kind), some onion powder (the only onion I found was the source of the weird smell in our kitchen. Please use real onions if you have them.) and three cloves of garlic, minced. Sauté those up for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to brown the potatoes, just cook them. Add a cup or so of frozen cut green beans and season with some salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes and beans for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dump a can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans into the skillet along with a can of coconut milk. Stir it up until everything is well combined, then add a tablespoon of curry powder (you can add more if you like but that was quite literally all I had.) and little more salt and pepper, if desired. At this point I considered adding some sriachi (red chili sauce) but then I remembered the kids had to eat this so I held off. If you have some on hand and like your curry zippy, add it now. Bring the whole thing to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice.

Unfortunately, the only picture I took was of my leftovers this morning at my desk with the camera on my phone. Am not a professional food blogger.

The leftovers were yummy, too.

The leftovers were yummy, too.

 

This was not bad for using whatever I had on hand. Matt and I really enjoyed it and as I said, the kids ate it without complaint so I consider that a success.

(secret: you can’t really screw up a curry. Don’t tell my ego that. She’s fragile.)

I encourage you to try creating a curry of your own. You can use this recipe as a base or another recipe you find or just start from scratch. Feel free to post your recipes in the comments.

It Happened One Night (and will keep happening for 6 more months.)

You may have heard that the mid-west has had some crazy strong winds the past few days, starting Tuesday. You’ve also had more than a few updates from those living in the mid-west describing just how crazy strong the winds were.
I won’t repeat them here. I’m just going to use them as a back drop for the craziness that was my Tuesday Evening/Wednesday morning. The whole 16 hour period was something of such epically stupid proportions that I just have to sum up with (several dozen) bullet points:
1. Matt and I both leave work at 4 Tuesday in order to meet each other at home so he can write a check for me to bring to Jaden’s martial arts class because I don’t know where I put my new check book. In hind-sight, we could’ve driven together but we forgot about the stupid check.
2. Matt calls me around 5 to say he is almost out of gas and is stuck on the new bridge roughly 10 minutes (in normal traffic) from home and is really worried he is going to run out of gas and screw up traffic even more than it is as there are no shoulders on the bridge.
3. Matt calls me at 5:10 to tell me to take another way because he hasn’t moved in 20 minutes.
4. I take a detour.
5. Detour has its own detour.
6. I call Matt to see where he’s at because if he’s closer, he can bring Jaden to martial arts. (we switch off weeks so we both can go.)
7. He’s not closer. He’s nearly lost his mind as he’s STILL on the bridge and has been for nearly an hour. It is now 5:35. Jaden’s class starts at 5:45.
8. I text Matt when I arrive at the cause of the traffic jam both North and South: a stop light is out.
9. I call my in-laws at 5:38 and ask to talk to Jaden. Father-in-Law tries to tease me and I snap, “REALLY, Bob? Do you REALLY want to start with me?” He sheepishly puts Jaden on the phone. I tell her I’ll be there in 30 seconds and if she wants to go to her class, she needs to be at the door with her jacket on.
10. Pick up Jaden and assure Jonas that Daddy will be picking him up really soon. Leave crying child behind while pushing the other one to move faster and ignore the wind!
11. I stop home hoping against hopes that my checkbook is by the phone.
12. IT IS!!!!!!
13. Drive to the school and call Matt who is pulling into a gas station (YAY!).
14. Arrive at class with 30 seconds to spare (yay!). Jaden sits in her line while I fill out the check and put it in the box.
15. Fun class: the kids have their first sparring session and it’s with their parents. Jaden’s highlight is sitting in my lap while waiting our turn. (awwwwww) I never get over the weird feeling “parents, choke your child” gives me.
16. Get home to Matt cooking dinner. While he finishes, I give Jaden the fastest bath EVER.
17. Matt learns a valuable cooking lesson and goes out for pizza.
18. We end up having a very enjoyable late pizza family dinner at the coffee table watching Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.
19. BED TIME!
20. I wake up around 2:45 to someone saying: “It’s not fair.” I open my eyes and see Jaden sitting at the foot of the bed glaring at me, wind howling outside and the light from her bedroom night light peeking through our door way. I look to my side and see Jonas sleeping in the crook of my arm. I am confused.
21. “What? What’s going on? Jonas, what are you doing here? Jaden, what?”
22. “It’s not fair.”
23. “What’s not fair?”
24. “I wanted to sleep next to you.”
25. “Ok, I’ll just move Jonas over.” Jonas is sound asleep but I try to push him over.
26. Matt falls out of bed.
27. I lose it: “That’s it! Everyone is going back to their beds, now!”
28. I bring both kids back to their rooms while Matt tries to gather his wits and get back into bed. Pretty sure he’s more confused than I was.
29. Jaden bursts into tears. I get her a glass of water. She’s soothed and I tell her, “Good night, sweetie, I’ll see you in the morning.”
30. Crawl back into bed.
31. The next morning dawned, for lack of a gentler term, fricken cold. It was now sleeting, as in snow mixed with rain (We are not even two weeks into Autumn. THIS is MN weather. It always ALWAYS lulls you into a false sense of security with warm weather (80 this year! Except when, y’know, I want to do anything special outside like create special apple orchard memories. )the first half of October and then SLEETING two weeks later.).
32. I dig through the winter stuff looking for a hat for Jaden. I find TWO! And they both fit! I also find a coat her gramma bought her over the summer that is double layered. I take out the fleecy inside and put it inside her rain jacket. I am feeling pretty awesome, mom-wise.
33. Before I head back into the bathroom to get myself ready, I peak at her weekly class schedule out of curiosity, wondering what kind of fun counting related activity she’ll be doing today.
34. “Fall Party. Students will put their costumes on at 2:30.”
35. Fuck. Serves me right for being so cocky about the winter gear solution.
36. Run into Jaden’s closet to piece together her Power Puff Girl costume from last year because this year’s fairy costume includes wings Matt fabricated that have actual LED lights in them. Not something we want her putting on around 20 other kindergartners unsupervised.
37. Manage to find most of the costume (only missing one little shoe cover) and then spend the next 10 minutes trying to find an outfit she can easily change out of that can also be used for under the costume. Oh, also, white socks to wear with her black mary janes since, y’know, one boot cover thing was missing.
38. Jaden ends up wearing tan corduroy pants and a brown t-shirt with grey leggings and a white turtle neck underneath to be worn under her costume (Note: She ended up taking off BOTH shirts before putting on her costume and I’m surprised she didn’t catch pneumonia when it was time to go home because the “dress” is, literally, made from craft felt. I totally felt like George Bailey when he yells at Zsu-Zsu’s teacher for letting her go out into the snow with her jacket open because she didn’t want to crush her award flower. Only I didn’t go off on the teacher.)
39. Out we merrily stagger to the car where Matt reminds me we need to make sure Jaden brings a note to her teacher saying it’s ok that his sister brings her home.
40. “Fuck!” (out of earshot of the kids, don’t worry.)
41. He says not to worry, his mom has the note and he’s already signed it. I put said note in her snack bag where she would be sure to see it and give it to her teacher. (Note: The kids didn’t HAVE a snack that day because of the party and so Jaden never opened her bag, thus forgot about the note and I got a call from the school asking if it was ok that her aunt bring her home.)
42. After dropping the kids off, we go to the gas station where the wind and sleet whip my skirt and scarf around and nearly blow the hat off my head.
43. Traffic doesn’t move. I’m 30 minutes late to work.
44. I sigh and think, “And so the winter season begins.”

I’m really not sure we’re going to survive this one.

X is for Anxiety Medication

Since I used fancy check boxes, I had to PDF this one. Sorry, folks!

X is for Anxiety Medication

Broke(n) Record

I thought I’d try this fancy new technological feature called “Publish to Blog” in microsoft word that I found. But it didn’t work. Dammit, I put all that work into formatting the pictures and writing it so here’s a PDF of it.

Broke(n) Record

As I mentioned, there are pictures but since this is a blog, they come after some whining and a parenting tale.

(Remember when I cared about this thing and wrote GOOD posts? Me, neither.)

Body Image

I worked out 9 days ago on the wii fit plus.

The body test said I needed to GAIN 22 pounds to reach a healthy BMI.

People.

20 pounds of muscle on this frame:

Seriously?

Then I got a cold. Kept eating because, dude, yay food, right?

Today, I worked out again. Took the body test again.

I lost 3.1 pounds.

You can see why I laughed so very hard when I was first told to gain 22 pounds in order to be “healthy”. I don’t gain weight, ok. Please don’t hate me. It’s who I am. The only way I’m going to gain 22 pounds is by getting knocked up again.

And THAT

Is

NOT

Going

to

Happen.

So, I got all “GOD! It’s like high school all over again! I’ll never gain any weight and everyone will think I’m anorexic! WAH!”

Then I wrote a big whiny post.

Then I deleted it because ya’ll don’t want to read that. (Speaking of “high school all over again.” There’s a reason no one reads blogs written by 15 year olds. Christ.)

Keeping this short:

I’m thin.

It’s who I am.

I got body image issues, too.

We all do.

So let’s all just accept everyone and stop pointing out the little thin girl whenever talking about healthy because just cuz she’s thin doesn’t mean she can walk up the stairs without panting.

Or that she doesn’t NOT want to have non-stick arms and legs.

Wait, what?

Stop looking at me!