Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is WRONG with You?

Last week on WGN news there was this parenting "expert" on shaming me into becoming a better parent. Apprently, I am a big time rule breaker. Shock. AAAAND Awe.

He claimed that it's in poor taste to ask your children (when they do something they shouldn't) what's wrong with them. In my house, this phrase, "Oh my Gawd, what is wrong with you two" frequently is shouted loud enough for the neighbors to hear when the boys are doing their bone headed boy things. At this point it's a rhetorical question, and they look at me all puzzled and actually have answered, "What? We didn't do anything wrong. Barbie's all tied up because the army guys wanted to shoot at her."

To be fair, I'm not asking the question in regards to their lack of educational excellence, such as "Dude. You got a B. What is wrong with you?". I don't think that's cool.

But seriously, when your kid is outside in the middle of July in his snowboots carrying a foam dart loaded weapon pretending he is shooting nazi's and zombies, I feel that as a parent it's pretty much my civic duty to find out what, exactly is wrong with these kids.

Or, when we're sitting at the dinner table and it gets mentioned that the beets in their salads will make them have red poop, and you start hearing, "Well, I've had green poop, and black poop and brown poop" (sounding for all the world like Bubba talking about the damn shrimps) "and now I get to have red poop" you have to really consider that your children have an odd little social depravity component stuck up their sleeves-saving crap stories (literally and figuratively) for when the Parent gets to come in clean up whatever mess has been made and wonder out loud, "What the hell's the matter with that kid?"

My sister often calls me and hears the kids yelling like Wild Animals in the background, and even SHE has asked, "Dude. What the hell's the matter with your kids" and my response is always, "How much time have ya got?"

I don't think its a good idea to berate kids for trying their best and getting subpar results, like I just mentioned with the school reference. Or even in sports. "Hey, you missed a basket. Whats the matter with you?". That shit hurts their self esteem and makes them resentful towards their parents.

But, when Hello Kitty is being run over repeatedly by a tank carrying those weird looking Ben 10 dolls, and you decide to ask, "What's WRONG with you? You don't leave tread marks on your sister's toys!" and mutter under your breath 'dammit, these kids are going to be in juvy some day, I swear',
Well, when you ask, you may get a whole laundry list of answers, giving insight into a psyche you'd never had access to had you decided to be a "good" and "caring" parent and not ask.

So, What is WRONG with you?

Sunday, January 08, 2012


As I sit here typing, I am also simultaneously devouring my eggs over medium on toast with the gooey center dripping all over my plate, and some crispy turkey bacon while sipping piping hot cup of Trader Joe's coffee. I will be the first to inform you all that failure never tasted so good.

If you are a devoted follower (hah. I'm pretty sure that title is limited to my mom and dad) you will have seen in my last post that I was doing this 21 (or 19) day detox cleanse thing. I was pretty committed to it, until yesterday when I decided to read some online post-ers gloating about their detox success and it pissed me off.

NOWHERE is anyone writing about doing this with a FAMILY to prepare alternative meals for. Look, I know I do some kooky crap but I also know that putting my kids on a restrictive diet isn't very smart. Jack's diet is restrictive enough, what with no egg or dairy being allowed, so for the most part the entire family isn't eating that stuff. But, even so, everywhere online it's "my roommates and I prepared this together" and "my boyfriend and I" and "our office staff". And I was all like, "Where's the working mom spending 6 hours a day in the kitchen preparing family meals?"Strike 1

I also wasn't a big fan of the fact that every time I went up and down my staircases my legs felt weak. Not tired or fatigued. WEAK. Like they didn't want to do this anymore. I stayed on my iron pill regimen during the week, but I don't like feeling weak, ever. For any reason. I thought to myself, "Self, this CANNOT be good." And so again, in reading the Online Bible, I found that some people had these symptoms, and others blogged that they were crazy. Strike 2.

The last straw is that you can't really exercise on this plan. I AM an exerciser, and I was doubly pissed that I was getting cranky and couldn't go for a run in 56 degree January weather. This week promises to be equally as nice, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity. Strike 3. I'm out.

I also started to think about the food choices I make for our family in general. Once in a while we slip and slide, but mostly we DO eat clean, home made, prepared by me meals. I have $500 worth of cow meat in my freezer, hormone, antibiotic free grass fed cow that I split with my parents. (For the first time in my life I "purchased" a bullet, but I won't even ever lay eyes on it Thank God). Not eating it would be crazy, and I have a roast thawing right at this very minute.

Look, for the most part John and I learned our lesson about food. We gave our livers a 1 week vacation. We got some good recipes and ideas out of the process. And now we're back to enjoying life, and not thinking about food all. the. time.

Failure is in fact, delicious.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Great Detox....2012

I decided on a whim (which is pretty much how I decide everything...big/small; major or minor decisions etc) after receiving the new Whole Living Magazine a few weeks ago to undertake their new 2012 commitment for Healthy/Clean eating and detoxing. I was also so moved by my gal Leslie's blog www.momontherocks.com and her commitment to an ENTIRE year of clean eating, that I thought...."Well, hell, I could stand to lose a few pounds. And I could stand to as they put it, "give my liver a VACAY". " Sure, why not. My liver could use a vacay. And while I'm on it the rest of me could too. But, well, if my liver is the only part of me that gets a vacation, then so be it.

Basically, this Whole Living Challenge (which you can find on their website www.wholeliving.com) takes you through 21 days of: NO Caffeine, NO dairy, NO meat, NO gluten, NO alcohol, NO added sugars, NO processed anything. I looked at the menus and thought, "Ohhhhhkay. I can totally do this. We eat relatively clean anyways. Every once in a while we have a snack that isn't the greatest. My guilty pleasure is a bleu cheese burger with fried onions on top and a nice cold beer. Yes on the fries ( I HATE people who eat burgers and then try and get all healthy and want "fruit on the side". What? You think you're going to be all healthy after that quarter pound monster that's sitting in the pit of your belly trying to digest for the next 4 days? Puhleeez. Keep it real people.

However....however. I did NOT anticipate how labor intensive this cleanse is. Made even more difficult by the fact that John has decided to be "supportive" and has decided to do this with me. By supportive I mean he is eating lunches and dinners that I have spent an exorbitant amount of time searching out ingredients for, chopping, and preparing, and cleaning up after. I am surprised that he has almost fully engaged though, because at the beginning he was all like, "Well, I can do everything except no caffeine. I can't work without it". But, he has quit the caffeine, and he's doing fine. Now he's trying to bastardize his dinners. He wants to do the cleanse for 2/3's of the day and I told him he was a quitter. Of course, he would never have brought it up if I wasn't damn near tears last night cursing my cauliflower and olive meal and saying how much I want to quit and how much I hate this.

I also did not anticipate the fact that apparently Day 3 of the cleanse is close to the worst day of your life. That's when the headache kicks in. That's when you're standing in front of the pantry taking in obligatory free smells from the box of spaghetti and lamenting your loss of morning coffee time. I swear to God and all that is Holy that last night I had dreams about fettuccine Alfredo and chocolate. I woke up really hungry and "eagerly" made my beet, mint, and apple smoothie for my cleansing breakfast. On day 3, I remember thinking as I was driving to work that if I died in a horrible car crash, right now, today at this very second, I would not have died happy. All I wanted was a candy bar. Or a cookie.

Yet, I have stuck with it, and am now nearing the end of day 5. No headache. No real hunger pains. I believe my chocolate dreams and feeling of deprivation stem from the fact that I may be harboring some serious food addictions. I'm even anticipating week 2 of the cleanse, when I get to add lean meats (fish) and beans into my diet, along with some tofu and edamame (soy proteins). John was gearing up for a different non-cleanse dinner ("happily" eating his roasted beet and garlic soup) when I told him I have lost FOUR POUNDS since Monday, and so I am sticking to it. He admitted he has lost FIVE POUNDS, but doesn't think it's legitimate. He thinks he weighed heavy with clothes on Monday, so maybe he has lost 3 pounds. We've also decided there's no way it's water weight. You have to drink a shit-ton of water on this cleanse, and to be honest, you're really not hungry, so you're not starving the pounds away.

Whatever he has lost, or whatever I have lost, it doesn't matter, I guess. Aside from giving our livers a "much needed vacay" we have learned a few things. Number one for him is that he always thought he needed meat to be filled up and give him a boost. This vegan veggie and fruit first week has proven otherwise, and he has been surprised that he hasn't been hungry.

I'm supposed to be keeping a food diary keeping track of my feelings about food, but I don't need to do that to learn that food is such a focal point in our daily living activities, whether it be for health or social reasons. Food is not a big priority in my daily life, but when I am deprived of my "favorites", it's easy to see how I start focusing on what I'm lacking.

So I guess we're bettering ourselves and our outlook, and of course our livers. I will caveat this by saying we are planning on this cleanse lasting only 19 days, as we're planning on taking a weekend ski trip for our Christmas present to each other. This cleanse won't cut it on the slopes. Until then though, I am going to try really hard to stick to it. It's no coincidence that in my 2 Yoga classes this week the focus was doing a lot of "cleansing' twists to help the digestive system. I feel like that is a higher power and serendipity telling me to keep going.

Not to mention that come January 19th I'm already looking forward to that celebratory glass of wine.....

Sunday, January 01, 2012

It's 2012...So Now What? Time for a Better ME! YEAY!

Look. I am NOT by definition a very vain person. I very rarely wear lipstick, the latest fashions are mostly lost on me (I maintain that skinny jeans were thought of by sadists, and the latest loose flowing styles make anyone who isn't stick thin look like they're pregnant), I don't have time to give a shit about my hair, and the BEST part of it all is, even if I DID dance with any of the above, my HUSBAND of 11 years takes no notice. It took him 3 and 1/2 weeks to notice this last time I cut my hair (almost 4 inches came off. That's alot). And he still hasn't noticed that I put caramel highlights in it. Before Thanksgiving. Granted, I put in, like 5 highlights and they look like the ones I already naturally have, but he really takes no notice of that stuff. And I am lazy enough to know a sweet deal when I see one. What? You prefer me without make-up? YES!

However, I am superficial and vain enough to realize I'm backsliding into 40. I am, for the most part a-okay with my age. I'm healthy. I'm fun. I have an incredible friend base. I am, for lack of better wording, very comfortable in my skin.

Except lately, there's a bit too much of my skin for my liking. See, I've always had these AWESOME dark circles under my eyes. They are, apparently, genetic. My sister has them. My mom has them. My mom's brother has them. We look like owls on heroin when we're pissed off. But as the years have gone on, these circles are getting darker. I thought taking iron pills as prescribed by my kids' doctor would fix it. No. I tried the allergy eye drops that the opthalmologist suggested- he thought I've had allergies in my eyeballs my whole life and never noticed. Well, Mr. MD doctor dude, you were wrong. My eyes still look like I was bitch slapped at a roadie bar. And NOW!!! I am getting wrinkles under the left eye. Look, this goes back to the vanity statement. I could handle symmetrical wrinkles under both eyes. I'm aging gracefully. But under one eye makes me look like a freak. And while I am not vain enough to wear the latest fashion or even makeup, there are 2 things I can't stand. One is smelling bad. The other, looking like a freak.

I had a deep and intimate conversation about my eye wrinkle with my esthetician. She is a friend and said she can't help me. Great. So this is something for me to discuss with the dermo when I go to get my freckle scan. So I will get this all under control. Maybe.

This segues nicely into what my New Year's Resolution is. Which is nothing. Resolution to me sounds too much like Revolution which means fighting and I think that a resolution is more or less fighting with yourself. So I've decided to just try and be better. Take time out for better skin care...that's number one, and I've already accomplished that. Sweet.

I'm also starting this bullshit liver detox diet thingy tomorrow. 21 days of no alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy, etc. You eat whole grains, do a lot of smoothies, and basically give your body time to rid itself of toxins that have been building up during the year. I told John to do this with me, and he is all on board except for the no caffeine. Apparently, he is an addict, and can't solve his multi-billion dollar problems without coffee when he gets calls at 3 a.m. to chat up China. Whatever. I figure if I blog about it, I will be held accountable and stick to it for 3 weeks. Or less. John and I may be taking a long weekend away from the kids at the end of the month so this 21 day detox may really turn into a 19 day detox for me.

So, no resolutions here, and I am only slightly disturbed that my 8 year olds resolution is to 'get in shape and run five miles' while the 6 year old wants to get better at his video games. Mads wants to get in shape too. Guess I'm glad 2/3's of them want to live a healthy and active lifestyle....

I have suggestions for other people though. They should try to resolve to be not such big assholes like they've been all year. You know who you are. If you are judgemental, bitter, unforgiving, the "victim", or having a superiority complex, knock it off. And you should probably know that behind your back, people think you're an asshole. There. The cat is out of the proverbial bag. And it feels good to call a spade a spade. I don't have time to sit around and think about the fact that you're an asshole and that treat everyone around you like shit. So I don't. But YOU should resolve to make yourself more like able. I'm just saying.

So happy new year. Happy 21 day detox to me...which starts as soon as I finish this last glass of wine (I can see my dad's eye roll now... "She's drunk. And blogging again"...but I'm not. Just 'relaxing'. )

Besides...as someone so wisely put it to me tonight...you can't detox your liver if there's nothing in there TO detox....