Monday, January 31, 2011

Life is not Fair AT ALL

Being one is hard.

Things that frustrate Spencer almost to tears (over and over):

* When he goes to the effort to bring two pairs of his shoes to me, back and forth, back and forth from the hall, and I only put one pair on him (at a time. He wants four shoes on his two feet, please.)

* When he gives us his sippy cup because he's thirsty and we take it and walk away with it. Sure, we may be walking toward the kitchen and saying things like, "You want a drink? Come on, I'll get you some water." but obviously we're actually just stealing the cup (which he just handed us) and not only NOT going to get him a drink but will probably never give the cup back at all. (hence the flopping on the floor and the accompanying wails of devastation)

* Wooden toys that will NOT stick to the heater (radiator), no matter how many times he puts them against it. Such stubborn, stubborn blocks. If the refrigerator magnets can do it, why can't they?

I hope he makes it through these trials okay, poor thing.
p.s. I'm in the running for most tacky/obnoxious blog background. Think I'll win? What? You're already gone and not coming back after being bombarded with hearts. Oh. Sorry. But Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In which I Gush

(Consider yourself duly warned, although the title may sound more gruesome than this post is meant to be. Some titles write themselves and will not be changed.)

I have this blogging friend. I love reading her blog. 2 1/2 years ago hers was one of the first I chose off of the MMB website because the first post I read was like something straight out of a Sophie Kinsella book.

Since then I have gotten to know her through her blog. I have read about her awesome life in the OC and her previous life in Louisiana with her deaf parents and a fine-cooking Pawpaw. She has a colorful existence that she writes about with humor and straightforwardness (two things I love).

In 2009 I had the chance to break bread with her (well, split a dulce de leche crepe -- still, division of a starchy food) . I have eaten her delicious mint fudge and have a recipe recommended by her on my regular rotation (corn chowder).

Things we have in common:
  • love of food
  • height (just under 5'6")
  • amazing husbands (plural! Not a common husband. Separate husbands. Both awesome, in different ways.)
Ways we differ:
  • she has fashion sense (mine went missing after college and has not been seen since)
  • her baby's a girl (mine's a boy)
  • her second-to-last child throws up sometimes (mine doesn't, really)
  • she writes books and they get published (I don't write any and they never get published)
On her blog, Write Stuff, she was once Melanie J but then she became Melanie Jacobson, because she is now a (soon to be) published author and authors have complete last names that they don't mind people knowing about.

Her first book comes out in March and I'm so excited. I've been excited about it since I mentioned it on my blog back when she was still writing it. That was exactly two years before it will be published (!!! Check out this post wherein I mention it at the beginning and end). And I can't wait to get my hands on it. In March. I mean, just look at this:

Until her book graces us we will get by on a few posts of hers that I LOVE.

First: A funny one. Very funny. Melanie is pretty secure in her awesomeness (and well she should be!) and describes a time when it backfired.

Second: A moral one. A story of an exasperated mother at her snapping point and a stranger who rescued her. One that makes you want to be a better and more understanding person.

Third: A moving one. This is one of my new all-time favorite posts. The sad story of true love and dying from the daughter of the lovers. I bawled. (I love every post about her parents).

She is a seriously great writer and awesome person and I'm so glad to call her a friend. If you haven't already, please read those posts!! And then pick up her book in March!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Fruits (Vegetables) of Procrastination

(Herbs are vegetables, right? Or vegetable-like, anyway? Good.)
Greg's parents are here this week. This is a wonderful thing. I hardly ever have to wash dishes and apart from meeting some very basic needs of the little ones, the only thing I have to do is remind Aaron to let babcia breathe now and again.

The night they drove in I decided to make chicken noodle soup. I'm a bad soup maker. Yes, I tend to point out flaws in everything I create but with soup I am not being overly critical when I say I really am Very Bad at it (i.e. whipping it up without a recipe).

Actually I think that was sort of beside the point, but I had to mention it in case anybody might think I make delicious soups. I can't have people thinking that.

So I only had chicken, broth, carrots and some spices. I really wanted parsley, but we didn't have any.

Then, when I heard the kids playing out back I remembered something. In the middle of November, before it had snowed I went out into our teeny tiny garden (foot-wide strips in the shape of an L maybe 8 feet and 20 feet long) and tried to dig up everything that should have been dug up months before. It was way too hard (I didn't use any tools because I didn't see how they could help. I'm an idiot.) so I left most everything there. Especially the parsley. We had a lot of parsley and it was stubbornly stuck in the ground. I planned to try again later (meaning tell Greg that it was Man's Work and he should really do it).

Before we had the chance to procrastinate for more than three days it snowed and everything was covered in a foot or three of snow for two months. Last week all that snow melted and what was underneath it? Beautiful, green, fresh looking (albeit smashed flat on the ground) parsley.

That parsley was just exactly what the soup needed to make it approximately as unimpressive as every other pot of soup I've ever made. Hooray for procrastination!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mea Culpa

You know how you sometimes do something you shouldn't and then, soon after, something bad happens and you are sure it's your fault for having been so evil?

Well. I have a tale to tell.

It's a good thing Greg has seen On the Way Home so many hundreds of times because today while we were. . . On our Way Home from church we got a flat. Greg was able to change it in his suit and dress coat, (his stylish scarf blowing in the breeze) on the side of a very busy freeway between Katowice and Krakow. I'm sure this is because of his having seen that girl (the one who says "Maybe she's WRONG!!") change that flat tire so many times. However, we did not have great 90's music playing in the background while he did it. I guess that is not built into the process.

So I know why Greg was able to change the flat so quickly and efficiently but I wish I didn't know why we got the flat in the first place.

I was not aware that I had committed a sin until last night. As a matter of fact, even then, I thought it was just funny.

At the hotel, just after turning off my light, I hit "random scripture" on my scripture app. As is often the case when I read by this method, the scripture was incredibly relevant to my current situation.

It was Proverbs 13:24 "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." That is a good one, but it was the one right after, and the last one in the chapter that hit home:

"The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want."

With my stomach growling from want of carbohydrates I laughed out loud and read it to Greg. I decided to repent and quit my diet the next morning.

But then we went to breakfast and I skipped the DELICIOUS crusty rolls that I usually eat two of with 4 or 6 helpings of butter and had cottage cheese and a slice of ham instead.

Sinner am I. Which, of course, is why we got a flat tire.

We were safe and everything. I mean, if it had happened a half an hour later it would have been dark and very difficult to change. If it had happened last week it would have been below freezing and snowy. It could have been much worse. No thanks to me, though. It wouldn't have happened at all if I had satisfied my soul with those peanut butter brownies last week, making me righteous again.

At least Greg's righteousness (i.e. having church videos memorized) saved the day! Thank goodness we really do balance each other out with our strengths and weaknesses in marriage and make up for what our spouse lacks. (Although, come to think of it, I wouldn't be on this diet if it wasn't for him, since he succeeded at it and set the example, wicked man.)

I think I will print out that scripture and post it on the fridge.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brownies for Lisa (a Charity)

People who give up on their diet three days in deserve congratulations too, don't they? I mean, that was a hellish three days. Sure they may be quitting and showing a serious lack of stick-to-itiveness, but do you realize what that person went through?

For example, she (let's assume it's a girl) may have not had any starchy foods at all that whole time, even when she went to a local bakery and bought a drożdżówka z serem (yeast roll with sweet (cream) cheese) and broke it up and fed it to her little boys. By hand. Not even a crumb! H-E-double-hockey-sticks, I tell you.

She may have made regular dinners for the rest of the family containing things like pasta and homemade bread dough (for pigs in a blanket. Said dieter may not be very strongly opposed to good quality hot dogs (making the resisting of the pigs harder than you might expect). In fact she and her birthday brother may have requested them every year for their birthday dinner growing up.)

She may have been deprived of sweets. Sure she could possibly have used sweetner (ICK!) in more than a few cups of fat-free hot cocoa. And maybe she's allowed diet coke (which she doesn't care for but drinks because it's something resembling something sugar-sweet.)

But if this is a person who has spent years living on baked goods, doing away with starch and sugar and fat is literally HELL. (just kidding. I DO know what hell is and what literally means. I'm using hell as a metaphor so therefore I don't actually mean it literally.)

So, yeah. I totally feel like giving up! But I won't! See, I fooled you into thinking I'd quit, but no. Not me! Especially since I lost half the weight I want to lose in the first three days of the diet. I'd be stupid to stop now!

The thing is, I REALLY need some peanut butter brownies. I absolutely must make these ones, which are good, chewy, brownie textured brownies that are deliciously peanut buttery. Simple but fabulous (if you cook them the right length of time). Or maybe these ones. A bit more involved and with a different texture but completely addicting. I've made them both many times and I need to make them right now.

Unless someone would be so good as to do it for me? Maybe someone who's not on a diet (oh, who am I kidding, it's the week after New Years: everyone is dieting.) Please bake a batch of one or the other and eat it for me, would you?

See, this is exactly my problem. Sure I am excited about getting down to my ideal weight; who doesn't love sweaters to look better on them? And sure I hope to have amazingly beautiful skin like Greg's, but mostly I want to cut back on baked goods.

I am, apparently, incapable of just plain cutting back. I can't bake something and then not snack on it all day. It is lame. (and I can't just not bake, either) Knowing quite a bit about the Dukan diet, and having seen Greg and both his mother and sister benefit greatly from it, I thought it was the perfect way to completely break away from my eating habits. I needed an actual list of foods I cannot eat if I want the diet to work. And brownies had to be on that list.

So here I am, not eating cookies or brownies for three days in a row. And I'm not even dying! Almost, but not all the way. This extreme phase will be very short for me and then I'll be allowed a splurge twice a week (eating a completely regular meal or even a dessert. Of course I will choose dessert). When the diet is over I will only allow myself to bake dessert one night a week and have to make it last two or three nights for dessert. The other nights I'll buy exotic fruits or give the kids chips or some other treat we don't eat a lot of.

I can do this. And I will! Especially if you'll go and bake and eat that batch of peanut butter brownies on my behalf!

P.S. I never thought I would do a "fad diet" like this. I have never dieted, but I feel like this one makes sense, especially for what I need it to do for me. Also, I apologize for all the swear words in this post.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

This post should probably have some sort of title but it's not really about anything

*I had a dream in which I saw a lot of people doing different things. I don't really remember details, it was mostly just regular life stuff, but some people would talk about one or another of the others saying that they were "a good Christian". They were all from different religions. This dream caused me to think for days about whether or not anyone would ever even wonder of think about whether or not I was Christian just based on what I say and do (and especially do). I am still thinking about it.

*Aaron (who will be 4 in April) threw up for the first time last week. It was a gag reflex thing because Greg made him try an orange. What a bad father.

*It should come as no surprise that we had Christmas dinner with our holiday friends. I ate one of the best meals I've ever eaten (she did all the cooking) and between that and all the holiday treats we've been making and eating (I've been a little out of control) I am really in need of some serious reigning-it-in. May try the diet Greg used.

*I love the New Year and made a good list of things I want to change/improve about myself in general, goals for the year, monthly and daily goals and plans etc. It is rather depressing to realize how much I need to change to be (even half) the person (mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend) I want to be. Could someone please just zap me and make me perfect? Thanks in advance.

*Finally went sledding today for the first time. Can you spot all four kids?

(hints: one is sweeping snow off the stairs, one's blending into the neighbors' fence and doing nothing, as usual, one's about to throw a snowball and one is trying to grab my phone)

*Kind of a bummer that the snow suit that Greg's parents gave Spencer for his birthday doesn't fit him -- at all. This was the second and last time he will be wearing it. (Greg's glad, as he thinks it is embarrassingly ugly. I think it's fine with the matching hat from an uncle and gloves from grandma, but I do feel like adjusting my own pants every time I look at this.)

*I hope everyone is ready for a wonderful new year in which to become perfect! (no, I'm kidding. I do plan on choosing the most important/doable things for now and worrying about the impossible stuff later. I'm sick of the impossible stuff.)

*So actually just HAPPY NEW YEAR!!