Thursday, June 23, 2011

...And that's why you don't take your 3.5 year old for a last minute haircut.

...picture to come..

Last Thursday my parents were meeting me and the 3 kids in Glens Falls so we could do a quick lunch and they could take Quinn to their house for the weekend. Yea, they're awesome like that, I know I'm blessed (read my previous post regarding going home my own self).

Anywho, Quinn was looooooooong overdue for his summer buzz cut. We do this because he has ridiculously thick and heavy hair (exactly like both of his parents) and you can almost see heat radiating from his head. I called my normal hair place (Contemporary Images- which ROCKS) and they didn't have any spots that morning. I contemplated sending him to his BeeDee and YeYe's house all scruffy, but when another hair place in town said they had an immediate opening, I immediately brought Quinn in.

Problem 1. Not giving Quinn enough notice. With most toddlers, but especially Quinn, great notice must be given when going to do something new or out of the ordinary. Such preparation usually puts off tantrums. Usually. We had little time for notice on this day.

Problem 2. Going somewhere new. This was a problem for both of us. Quinn has had his hair cut before, but not at this place- and I hadn't ever been there either. The place was kind of loud and cluttered and she told Quinn he could have a lollipop when he was done.

Problem 3. I didn't bring a lollipop with me for him.

Problem 4. I didn't tell the lady to shove it and give him one anyway.

Problem 5. He wanted to sit on my lap but didn't want to wear an apron and the lady was all anal about him getting covered with hair. I almost screamed "JUST CUT THE FUC*ING KIDS HAIR, I'LL VACUUM HIM OFF!" I told her I didn't care 900 times, then she calmed down- but I needed a Xanax.

Problem 6. He was figety and she clearly didn't cut kids' hair as often as she may have thought she did.

Problem 7. I didn't tell her to give him a lollipop.....again

Problem 8. The Coup d'├ętat. She finished the back and sides of his head and moved to the top, changing the guard on the clippers. She put the clippers down on his head. AT. WHICH. POINT. the guard FELL TO THE FUC*ING FLOOR and left a nearly BALD spot on the top of his head...a roughly 2.5 inch square.

She instinctively said "oh, he jumped!" forgetting that he was sitting on my lap and he, certainly, did not jump. He moved, but not enough to knock the guard off....And, if he had jumped, he wouldn't have a bald spot the size of a frog.

I took a deep breath and told her to finish normal and we'd deal with the bald spot later. I did not, in fact, lose my shit on her because, what would that do? The hair. was. gone. She felt horrible, insisting it would fill in in a week or two (we're on week 1 and there's almost a shadow).

She said she wasn't going to charge me and I wanted to say "damn straight, you should PAY ME!" but I said "thank you, it's ok, it's ok...." maybe I was trying to convince myself it was ok?

Either way it's over. And I doubt I'll go back.

Lessons to take away from this ill-fated mission?

1. Notice, notice notice.

2. In the absence of notice: lollipops, lollipops, lollipops

3. In the absence of both of these? Reschedule.


xo
andrea

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Family and Funny Stories

Hi Readers!

Let me say, first, that I am SO looking forward to this weekend. I will be heading- by MYSELF- to my parents' house for the weekend. Why, you might ask? BECAUSE! No, all kidding aside, I was supposed to go to the Cornell Reunion but that was going to cost a few hundred dollars that I don't have. This was going to be my birthday present, a weekend away- alone. Then I thought, why not go to my parents' house? I can actually RELAX there and get a free meal or two ;) (because parents are awesome like that).

This all started last Labor Day weekend. I was supposed to go to a friends baby shower, but she ended up having the baby VERY early (everyone is fine now). Since I had planned to go away anyway, I went to my parents' and had a BALL.

1. My parents are still together. They've been married for almost 31 years and have been together longer (since HIGH SCHOOL).

2. They're not idiots (despite how this blog may have read if blogs existed when I was in high school).

3. They're young, and awesome and I love them AND LIKE THEM EVEN! lol.

4. They live in the house I grew up in and there's a bed in my "old bedroom" that my mom now uses for her sewing room.

All kidding aside, there's nothing more comforting then going "home"and getting to be the kid for a weekend, even if you're 28. Bonus, my parents have awesome friends (like I've mentioned before) and I'll get to see some of them. AND GO TO TRADER JOE'S AND THE KICKASS FARMER'S MARKETS AROUND!

Moving on.

While I still don't understand Quinn- he's hilarious. He says things that make me laugh on a daily basis. This is what happens when you're learning a new language and you know no other language haha. We were outside yesterday and he was pointing out shapes. He pointed to the bedroom window and said (I'm going to type it exactly the way it came out of his mouth),

"That is the shape of a square....And there's the rocks...We have to jump over the stones to get the monkey away from the drum." (moving on to a stick in his hand) "This is like a saxaphone (twwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet tweeeeeeeet) oh, this look like a dog.......this look like a wide-mouth bullfrog (tweeeeeeeeeeeet tweeeeeeeeeeet)......."MOMMY! LOOK, THE FLYING DRAGONS!" (dragonflies)

The end.

xoxo
andrea

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boys oh Boys

Hey fellow readers!

Boys are a funny species. What surprises me most about Aiden and Quinn is that, although I always wanted just 2 boys, it never occurred to me that 2 boys wouldn't be alike haha. And, if you've ever spent a millisecond in my house, you'd learn that Aiden and Quinn might just be polar opposites.

While Paige is the spitting personality image of Quinn at this age, Aiden is SO different and so-peaceful. Sure, he gets his fair share of toddler hair-pulling and poking in, but he has so much of his father's personality in him. He's so "whatever."

Now, Scott's dad tells me that Scott was a wild little boy, which helps to account for Quinn's insanity. However, Scott now is a giant teddy bear. EVERYONE who talks to me about him mentions how laid back and mellow he is for a large fella- and that's how Aiden is. Aiden doesn't get lots of attention in this blog or even in pictures because he likes to keep a low profile. He's a "fly under the radar" type of guy. It's just this type of personality that made me say to a friend, "Aiden requires the least physical maintenance of all my children, but he will likely require the most emotional maintenance." Aiden is, as I always mention, devastatingly sensitive. His huge brown eyes fill with tears at mention of the word "no" and he shrieks in terror when someone gets too close to his personal bubble. But , he gives the best hugs and will sit contently for long periods of time. Eons compared to "the other two" lol.


I used to say that Paige was our bonus child because I wanted 2 boys. However, it's clear to me that Aiden is the bonus, because he brings a bit of peace to my day and a snuggle when needed :)

I love you Aiden! Thanks for giving me a break- please don't wear black eyeliner and black lipstick in high school........

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's about time!

So I've been ridiculously off the blog radar. I don't understand how stay-at-home moms or even working moms have the time for full time blogging! I find myself oddly busy for someone who doesn't work outside the home!

Anywho, I will post tomorrow about kid stuff (including a ridiculous 3 year old). But tonight I want to blog about my 21 day cleanse. Today is day 7.

I decided to do this cleanse because my weight loss hit another plateau and I knew my body has had enough. I've been doing the same things I was doing the last time I had to lose weight (2003) and it wasn't working anymore. A lot about my body has changed since 2003. I have had 3 children. Including twins. My body, my hormones, and my metabolism don't know what they're supposed to do anymore!

Why Kathy Freston's 21 day cleanse? Well, as you may remember, I read her book "Veganist" and fell in love with Veganism again as an idea. For years I was a vegetarian but thought Veganism was ridiculous. However, something speaks to my spirit about Veganism now...Maybe because I'm a mother...something has changed.

Anyway, I wanted to choose a cleanse that seemed intense but realistic. For 21 days I've given up the following: caffeine, sugar, gluten, alcohol, and animal products. I figured alcohol and animal products would be a no-brainer, no problem, caffeine would be intermediately hard, and sugar and gluten would be tough- but for different reasons. I have a sugar addiction, which I didn't realize the extent of until Day 1, so I knew that would be at least challenging. Gluten, I assumed, would be tough because I know gluten is in EVERYTHING. It's used as a protein and a filler...It's extremely processed. It's the protein removed from wheat ('tis the gluten from wheat hehe)... More on the process of making gluten here.

Day 1: I woke up at 445 to head to the gym. Half way through the workout I realized I wouldn't have my after-shower cup of coffee. I instantly got annoyed. I only have one cup of coffee a day so I figured I'd get over it. I was wrong. I got home from the gym and half way through my brown rice, almond milk, and dried cranberry breakfast I was smashed with a nasty headache and a horrific attitude. That's when it hit me how addicting caffeine is. One measly cup a day was enough to keep my flesh happy.

I napped while the kids were napping that day. I don't know that I had any other choice. Anyone wanting to try the cleanse should start on a Saturday. That's my recommendation.

By evening on Day 1, a feeling of uneasiness and anxiety came over me. Then, again, it hit me- sugar. This is the time of day when I'd indulge in some plain graham crackers with nutella, a leftover cookie, or some other carby sugary delight. Not tonight. I felt like absolute crap and went to bed. "Fu*k this" I thought.

Day 2: Morning! When my alarm went off I realized that I didn't toss and turn at all the night before. Then I realized that I DIDN'T realize tossing and turning was something I had done. Could this have been from no sugar or caffeine to eff with my body? Time will tell. While I had the slightest hint of a headache left, the trainwreck in my brain had been cleaned up. Notice how Day 1 I didn't complain at all about gluten? Turns out gluten and sugar go together too often, and carbohydrates that are gluten free (like rice and beans) are more filling.

Day 3: More of the same but I started to do something that can only be described as awaken. I felt clear and energized. This was exciting.

Day 4: My birthday. Long story short. I worked at Mr. Mikes and ate NOTHING that they cook- which is good. My mom bought some ice cream to share for my birthday which I treated myself to, along with 2 pc of wonderful chocolate. The icecream was SO SO...wont get it again (red velvet cake by ben and jerrys) and....I SLEPT LIKE SHIT! That ice cream was the first sugar I had in 4 days and my body CLEARLY rejected it (thanks body!)

Day 5-7: I had some chocolates left which I limited myself to 3 pc a day. Then I realized some cravings were returning. I put the chocolate in the freezer to save for when the cleanse is over- victory.

14 days to go!

I've been eating avocados nearly every day. Essentially it's the only fat I'm getting. Days like today, when I had no avocado ( sad face) I ate some extra almonds. Fat is insanely satisfying and fat doesn't make you fat- so that's that. hehe. Avocados on salads, in sandwiches (made with brown rice bread) or mashed up in guacamole to be eaten with gluten free rice crackers, or tortilla chips (corn tortilla chips like most are) are so great.

I encourage everyone to find a cleanse and try it.......I think I might have a gluten sensitivity, but that will only be determined at the end of the cleanse when I try to put it back in my body.

We shall see :)

xoxo
andrea

ps- I could very well stay vegan at this point. More on that later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Week

Happy Holy Week everyone!

This is the week before the holiest of Christian holidays- Easter. Some people think Christmas is the most important holiday and, while it's important, it's not THE most important. Easter is what makes Christians Christians. It was Jesus fulfilling the messianic prophecy, "proving" it by rising from the dead on.............Easter :)

*Like my last "church post," this comes from my notes taken from our Palm Sunday sermon.

Preparation of Easter is traditionally Lent, the 6 weeks preceding Easter, beginning with Ash Wednesday and lasting the symbolic 40 days and 40 nights.

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday celebrants Jesus' triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. He rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey (we'll get to that in a minute) and people laid cloaks and branches (palms) on the road in front of him as a celebration/ welcome. This event in Jesus' life is mentioned in all 4 Gospels. Luke 19 :28-38, John 12, Mark 11, and Matthew 21.

Our Palm Sunday sermon focused on the question, "How do we prepare for Easter?" The answer(s) are: Do. Feel. Tell.
1. Do what Jesus says
2. Feel what Jesus feels
3. Tell who Jesus is

1. Do what Jesus says. Obedience to God and His word is something every Christian struggles with. It's part of my daily back-and-forth with God. Ex: "God! I knoooowwww I shouuullddd do this...buuutt...etc" The Donkey I mentioned earlier comes in to play here. Jesus told 2 of his disciples to go and get a donkey...essentially steal a donkey..and bring it to him. He told them that if the owner asked what they were doing to tell them that Jesus sent them. The Bible is not a script that was followed, the disciples didn't know what would happen, but they just OBEYED and this stubborn donkey was transformed itself and went willingly and carried the King in to Jerusalem. **To prepare for Easter we must practice listening to the "little voice in the back of our head," "our 6th sense," "mother's intuition,"- all watered down versions of "God." Forgive someone you know you need to forgive, ease up on someone that needs a break, stop the gossip...Do what Jesus says.

2. Feel what Jesus feels. Luke 19: 41-44 shows us that amidst the peoples' celebration of Jesus entering Jerusalem, Jesus is weeping over the people. His words of sorrow and warning were drowned out. He was offering words of warning (to what ended up being Titus leveling Jerusalem) and he was heaving in sobs, and they ignored. As believers we need to feel this internal heaving for those who haven't experienced the forgiveness and life that Jesus offers. We have the key inside us....and that leads us to #3...

3. Tell who Jesus is. If we tell- the WHOLE of humanity will move. It is our RESPONSIBILITY as believers to share Jesus with those who don't believe or haven't heard (yes, there are people in the world who haven't even heard of Jesus). God has charged US with spreading the name of Jesus. We don't need to do this by "door to door." If people know you are a Christian, they are watching you. They watch your actions, they listen to your words. We preach the gospel daily- and are to use words when necessary.

In closing, there is nothing in our "want to" that will bring us to a place of "yes" with God. We are sinful by nature and need God's help to get from "want to" to "just do." We do need to forgive, we do need to obey, we do need to preach the Gospel through actions and words. We do need to use Holy Week to bring a friend to church who hasn't believed before, or who doesn't know.

Have a Blessed Holy Week!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things we said we'd never do...and a meatloaf recipe!

Good Evening everyone!

Let's start with the meatloaf recipe. A little background. I didn't like meatloaf as a kid. As most of you know, I rarely ate meat, and loaf form didn't fit the bill. However, as an adult I got to experiment with different flavors and I've come to enjoy it as a weekly staple in our household dinner menu. Always different, always good.

Yesterday's recipe was particularly excellent. Some ideas taken from an Ina Garten recipe. Mostly I just like to mix things up to see how they taste!

INGREDIENTS:
1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c Italian style breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 large white onion
5 baby portabella mushrooms, diced
1 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning (I actually have a similar Pampered Chef version, but this is similar- any course steak/meat seasoning will do depending on your taste).
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Sautee the onions in olive oil, with a pinch of Kosher salt until they're translucent, add the mushrooms and the Worcestershire sauce. Add another small pinch of Kosher salt and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Place ground turkey in a large bowl, add beaten egg, bread crumbs and steak seasoning.

3. Add sauteed onions and mushrooms to the bowl and mix with a fork (mixing with a fork is actually important, it keeps the loaf light)

4. With clean hands form the meat in to a loaf and place on to foil on a baking sheet.

5. Put 1/4 c of Ketchup on top (if desired) and spread with a spatula.

6. Cook at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. and enjoy.



**Sooooo....Things we thought we'd never do as parents! What are some things you do, or did, that you thought you'd never do? Or, maybe, some things you don't do, that you thought you might?

1. Bed sharing. We didn't do this at all with Quinn. However, when you have 2 newborns- a whole ton of sh*t goes out the window. While nursing the twins, they weren't waking up at the same time in the middle of the night always....So if I had already been up with Paige at midnight, aiden at 1..Paige at 2, Aiden at 3....Aiden got to nurse while I slept. He then fell asleep and would go back to sleep after Paige ate (a spouse is helpful in this case- to go fetch the crying child hehe).

2. Pacifiers. Quinn used his until my hormones while pregnant with the twins got annoyed when he was 16 months old. I threw them in the trash and that was that. With the twins I HONESTLY DON'T GIVE A DAMN! Why? Here's why. 1. They ONLY use them in their cribs. By only I mean we don't even let them use them in the car for long trips, they don't use them during the day (except once or twice when they've been sick). It's really only at night which is less than thumb suckers. I just don't care and it makes them happy and it's not a battle I choose to fight with now- I like sleep, so do they, win win. They'll be rid of them by the time their 2...or not ;) Again- I don't care. And I wouldn't care if a mom of a 3 year old told me their kid used one at night. Promise.

3. TV. I actually never had a rule for myself about this. Some days they hardly watch TV and some days it babysits them for long periods of time. There. I said it. If people watch responsible programming (like PBS or other age appropriate shows) then theres not a problem for me. But you better be reading to your kids at least 20 minutes a day :)

4. Food. This is actually something I stick to my guns on, with some relaxed days or minutes. They eat good food, junk food is a treat, not a staple, and it's all good.


So, what things do you do, or not do?


xoxo,
andrea

Monday, March 21, 2011

Faith...and doubt

This post is strictly about our sermon at church on Sunday (3/20). It affected me so deeply, I wanted to share what was preached, and open it up for discussion. Let me say that this isn't intended to become a theological debate between believers and non-believers. I would, however, appreciate a thoughtful and helpful discussion regarding the huge topic of Faith.....disclaimer over.... ;)

The sermon was based on the book of Joshua, Chapter 2, Verses 1-11. Anyone with a Bible handy, that's in the Old Testament, between Deuteronomy and Judges (ugh, Judges....). This portion of scripture introduces us to a most unlikely "Faith Giant" (discussed again in Hebrews 11 and in the genealogy discussed in Matthew)- Rahab the prostitute. Yep. There she is. An unlikely woman of Faith living among heathens. I won't get in to the whole story because it's best if you read it, but we focused in on Joshua 2:11: Rahab states (and please read the whole story for context) "When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." There, just like that, fact. The spies from Joshua's camp came and Rahab hid them, protecting them from certain death if they were found within the walls of Jericho.

Without "knowing for certain." Rahab lied and hid spies- she "knew" within her soul, that their God was GOD.

This lengthy background led to our "modern" discussion of Faith in general. And, in light of recent natural and man-made disasters and protests, and uprisings of the last several months, this is really important. I took notes during the sermon so I'll just write down things that were said, that I wrote down, and you can think about them in your own way.

*People choose to blame God when it suits them. How can you blame bad things on God if you don't believe in Him? If there is no God in your life, then you don't know what good/bad are.

*The presence of Evil doesn't NEGATE Good, it is a departure from Good. It PROVES that Goodness exists. If Goodness remains, so does God, and he is still in control. (Yea, Ill get to that in control of the bad stuff in a minute...)

*We (humanity) invited Evil in to the world. WE rejected God. He STILL came in Jesus because he LOVES us. We, again, rejected Him, killing Jesus. He came that he might know human suffering and pain. He knows pain, He gets it, he understands Evil and deals with it every second of every day. He doesn't see highlights of the news- he sees the billions of hurtful things that happen around the world EVERY DAY.

*Suffering is temporary. Goodness exists and always will prevail. It just makes sense to TRUST God because he is in control.

If He is in control- what of suffering? Let's take the almost obvious points first. There is man made suffering. We were given Free Will. We were given the opportunity, the invitation, to listen to God...we are also able to hear Satan as he pushes our buttons and whispers bullying words in to our ears. We make decisions. Satan is not omniscient- he can't pull the trigger, he can only tell us where the gun is.....

Now...if God is in control- what of the "senseless" suffering....Natural Disasters, cancer, illness in children, hunger, disease, etc?
....Folks, there is no answer. It stinks, and it's really hard for me to understand and accept. But he orchestrates it all....There is just no answer on this Earth. Our human brains couldn't process it if there was. The answer, and all other answers, WILL be revealed in grandeur on the Last Day....And, while I don't have all the answers, I know The One who does. I choose to have faith (belief without sight) that all things will work out for good- even if they don't seem good.

I'll take a bad day with Jesus over an eternity without Him.......He has shown his hand at work over and over and over in my life, in both Good and Bad...

People sometimes marvel at my apparent mental stability in having 3 toddlers. I think they think I'm kidding when I say I pray constantly. It's not even a joke..I am praying constantly, giving Thanks where Thanks is due and trying to learn and grow in the word so I can continue to be an example of what his Love can do for us. I'm not just a "mellow" person- anyone who's known me for long enough knows that. And the addition of children doesn't typically calm people down- but the addition of Jesus does...

xo
andrea

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Naptime

A meaningful naptime has returned to the Randall Household. Let me explain...

At some point during Paige and Aiden's first year, we got to the point where They would nap at 8am and 12pm, and Quinn was napping at 12pm as well. The twins' nap at 12 was of decent length, but never longer than 1.5 hours. Within that 1.5 hours I would scramble to eat lunch, clean the house, and sit for a second, before I had to nursing babies waking up.

A few months ago, Paige and Aiden decided they were old enough to drop a nap, and become a one nap a day team. This nap would be between 2-3 hours long. Usually 2.5. This nap, however, did not magically occur at noon, which would have been a convenient time for me, but they would take it at 9........meaning they would be up just in time for Quinn to go down for his nap. I no longer had any time where everyone was asleep, and the twins would surely melt down in the late afternoon after having been up for so long.

Over the last couple of weeks I've conditioned the twins toward a 12:00 nap and it has finally worked- AMEN, PRAISE GOD! (some of you might think I'm kidding about this praise, but I mean it as sure as I'm sitting here.) This week has been consistent, lunch around 11:00, everyone in bed at noon. Quinn usually sleeps till about 3 (bless his heart). And Paige and Aiden have been getting longer and longer, and they're hovering around 2.5 hours at this point- which is dandy for me.

What does this mean for me? It means I get to CATCH UP ON 18 MONTHS OF SLEEP! Yea, that's right, I'll say it, here's a HUGE FRIGGEN BENEFIT of being a stay at home mom. I can take a damn nap and feel good about it :) So the past few days I've gotten them all down, eaten some lunch, cleaned up a bit, and lay my little head down on a pillow. One day it was about 20 minutes and I felt fine. One day it was over an hour and a half.

Today was sweet. I thought I only had about a half hour till they woke up, so I laid down. Quinn woke up 45 min later. I brought him in to my bed with me (which we never do because he doesn't sit still) and he watched Dora while I dozed a little longer. I wasn't sound asleep, but it gave us some cuddle time we never get anymore.

So, I won't maintain my personal nap schedule, but I feel relieved during the day knowing it's available. And, it makes those days where I wake up at 4:50 to go to the gym less dreadful, knowing I will likely be able to take a quick snooze later if I need to :)

xo
andrea

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Resolution Check-In

It's Gut-Check time. Here is my list of resolutions and an update (in a different color).


1. Read "Blue Like Jazz"- Almost near the end. I am LOVING it and suggest you get a copy. I'll do a blog post solely on this book later.
2. Read "The Happiness Project"-This will be my next book.
3. Read something every day-check
4. Scrapbook at least one page a week-Not always. However, when I get a chance to scrap, I've always done MORE than one page to make up for the weeks that I can't.
5. Take more pictures- This is a serious ebb and flow, I need to get back on the take and post horse
6. Take at least one yoga class a month- January, check..February, NO! eek! I'll take 2 this month.
7. Journal every day, include prayers and gratitude-I've done this in one fashion or another. I'm writing more.
8. Continue minimizing the material things-check.
9. Pay off the last of the credit cards this year (we haven't used them in several months!)-HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE CHECK!
10. Read some of the Bible every day. Actual goal is 3 chapters a day, but I just need to read SOME of it EVERY day. period.-This had been ebbing and flowing, but the days I didn't read, I'd read more the next. I'm back to reading some of it every day for the last few days.
11. Make more plans with friends that I don't usually make plans with-This hasn't happened.
12. Increase intake from the Earth. This includes: water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Thanks, God, for making all the stuff I need ;)-Check
13. Less...Is...More (stole this directly from Amy ;) )-Check
14........And this is a tough one........Wake up 30 minutes, at least, before the kids get up, to have some quiet time to ease in to the day with prayer and a cup of tea or coffee.-Big Fail here. I forgot what a benefit this actually is. I did it randomly the other day and it gave me a chance to have coffee and prayer! duh..like I said.......
15. Go to bed by 10:00 pm at the LATEST. This will give me 7.5 hours of sleep at the least, if I wake up at 5:30. On nights before my early morning gym sessions I will go to bed earlier.-This has been going well. Except for Tuesdays, because Parenthood is on NBC at 10:00. I DON'T get in bed then because I'm afraid I'll fall asleep! hehe
16. Get at least 4 massages this year. It's necessary in my line of work ;)- Scheduling one this month to fulfill my quarterly quota ;)
17.............start tossing around my book ideas................ ;)
18. Blog at least once a week

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I don't get you...

Quinlan is silly. He has a silly heart, a beautiful, quarky spirit, and is-in general-"spirited." He "lives life with gusto," as his daycare provider calls it. As you can imagine, his silliness confuses me. It's not the silliness of the toddler that confuses me, it's the evident and deeply ingrained silliness of his soul. He is empathetic, which is difficult for a toddler. However, if he were in an adult body, he would be certifiably insane.

I don't remember being silly when I was a child. I had a fantastic and deep imagination (including a long-standing imaginary friend, named Katie) and I could play by myself for hours- I still could. But, I don't ever remember embodying silliness. Paige is like this- I get her.

Aiden has a third personality altogether that is tough for me as well. He plays, relatively quietly, has bursts of silliness (especially around dawn), but is devastatingly sensitive. Mid- laugh he could fall on his butt and cry for 5 minutes. The same fall would have Quinlan rolling on the ground laughing, and Paige would sigh, purse her lips and get up and on her way.

I'm grateful that my children have very distinct personalities. They are all very loving, and while in their silliness they act the same, but they are VERY different.

The fact that I "get" Paige terrifies me to my core, and delights my mom because, well......she will one day be a teenager- and that's frightening if she is anything like I was. :)

So, when people look at Quinn in the midst of his silly explosions and cock their head to the side like a puppy watching a butterfly, I want to nod and say, "I know. I don't get it either...." But, I'm his mom, so I don't think I'm supposed to do that. Instead I smile and nod, shrug my shoulders and say, "that's Quinn."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Soul Food

Sadly, I finished Kathy Freston's "Veganist" today. I say sadly because, as any reader knows, a good book becomes a friend, and turning the last page means saying goodbye. This is why it's not uncommon for avid readers to read some of their favorites over and over again. Of Note: I've only read one book twice in my life and it was, "Rats Saw God" by Rob Thomas. I read it in High School and again in college. Not sure why I capitalized H and S in high school, but we'll leave it ;)

Anyway- this book opened me up and spoke directly to my soul. I fell like Kathy knew me, and wrote it for me. For the person on a spiritual journey. This isn't about Christianity singularly, it's about MY spirit and YOUR spirit, and all of the things we do, places we go, people we meet, and the things we eat that serve our spirit. The condition of our spirit defines the condition of our emotions, which defines how we life our lives with other people.

Eating is, has been, and always SHOULD be a spiritual experience. To eat mindfully is to realize what you're putting in your mouth will affect your hunger now, and your health later. To eat from...the...earth connects you with the beginning of time, the very plants (and animals if you go that route) that God provided FOR US back in Eden. Our spirits should always dwell in Eden, should always dwell before "The Fall."

I don't mean to get heady about it, but so many of the words in her book felt like a gut punch, in the best way a gut punch could feel. I suddenly looked at my kitchen-in my fridge, freezer, and pantry- and studied what they all said about me, my family, how we live our lives, how we choose to live our future.

Now, I don't know where my spiritual path with food will take me. I don't know if I will ever "become" a card-carrying Vegan. However, I know that I will forever make choices based on the world. In no other country than the U.S.A. does what we eat say so much about how we view ourselves, our place in the world, and the place of others in the world. My kitchen is now more a place of ingredients. A place to make food, not store food that others have made that can last an odd amount of time on a shelf. Grab and Go food around here is in the form of fruits, vegetables, and homemade bread.

On this road I can certainly say I will never again eat as much meat as I have been. That is for certain. I can envision myself not eating flesh ever again. Not so much because I think it's wrong to eat animals and everyone should be ashamed- it's just not currently sitting right with me for a host of reasons better saved for an entirely different post. I've gone YEARS without eating meat before, only to forget in a split second bite of a burger why I ever made that choice in the first place.

If my journey to "eating nirvana," if you will, DOES lead me to Veganism, I can also say with certainty that bacon and cheese will be the last things to go- and likely in that order. I don't drink cow's milk now as it is (I just dont- I drink almond milk mostly...again, that could be another post) so that part of dairy won't be difficult to part with. However bacon and cheese are spiritual experiences on their own. And, I've tried fake bacon..........once........it's just insulting ;) I can't say I've ever tried fake cheese. I've used vegan grated "parmesan cheese" before but it's more for salt than taste anyway, and I didn't notice much difference.

This post wasn't entirely spawned by "Veganist." I also, this week, watched "Food, Inc." Due to reading "Veganist" at the same time, and having spent several years as a vegetarian for a number of reasons, AND frequenting the PETA site, not a TON in that movie was shocking- but it was very cerebral. It tied in the slaughter house snuff that PETA shows with the food industry molestation, portrayed by "Fast Food Nation" or "Supersize Me." It ties it together in an eloquent package and doesn't get in your face Michael Moore style. It's educated, it's well thought out, and should be viewed by everyone, including the a-holes at Monsanto :)

Can you all vow to check out some of the resources I've mentioned to see how you can make your dinner table a symbol for how you choose to live your life, treat your planet, and provide for your descendants?

xo

andrea

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Veggie Loaf and other food things...

Until now I have steered away from food posts because I feel the blog world is thoroughly oversaturated with them. However, the past few weeks has brought some exciting new food things in to my life.

It all started with an episode of Oprah, that featured Kathy Freston and her new book. While I'm not about to bodly state that I'll be going vegan, the book has given me a lot to think about, health-wise and ethically. I'm about half way through the book and I HIGHLY recommend it. It is very well written and she has clearly done her research-which I respect.

I have wanted to try making a Veggie Loaf for years. Many recipes call it "vegetarian meatloaf," but oxymoron's annoy me. As does most fake meat. I didn't want to use the fake "ground meat" either, I wanted to use beans, grains, and veggies. Cheap, easy, delicious. The recipe below makes a loaf that fills a loaf pan to the top, 6 servings, and each serving is 7 points plus on the new WW program. Its a solid meal in itself and you'll see why.

INGREDIENTS
1c dry Quinoa
1c dry lentils
2 eggs
1c shredded cheese
1c fresh breadcrumbs
1/3c onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2c baby spinach, wilted
1/2 plum tomato, diced (left over from a different meal)
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Freeze Dried Basil
1 tsp. Freeze Dried Chives

*Cook Quinoa and lentils according to individual package directions. Drain, rinse. Mash cooked lentils slightly and combine with Quinoa in a large bowl, setting aside to cool.

*
Preheat oven to 350. I put this 2nd only because it will take roughly 30 min. to cook the lentils.

*Heat a skillet with some cooking spray or a little oil (1tsp) and wilt spinach, place in medium bowl.

*
Dice all vegetables and place in bowl with spinach. I gave you the vegetables I used, which were what I happened to have around, use whatever you like. Maybe some peas or corn too, if you like that.

*
Combine vegetables with Quinoa and Lentils, and add in fresh breadcrumbs. I didn't add them when I made mine, because I didn't think it would need it- but it didn't hold together as well as I would have liked...so add them :)

*Add in the spices. TASTE NOW BEFORE YOU ADD THE EGGS so you can add more seasoning as needed.

*Beat eggs and cheese together lightly, add to mixture

*Work mixture with clean hands and press in to a lightly greased loaf pan.

*Bake at 350 for 45min-1 hr.

enjoy!

**You could easily make this dish Vegan by omitting eggs and cheese, and using a vegan substitute.

Fun fact. The next day I heated up one "slice" then broke it apart and used it as a filling on a "Smart Wraps"tortilla....IT was VERY FILLING!

If you try it, let me know how you like it!

xo
andrea

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Potty Training........and Weight Watchers.

Like the period at the end of "Potty Training"? That's the little space in which I wish to curl up and die.......

There needs to be some place for parents to send their toddlers for 2 weeks, overnights, to potty train them. Not every parent is cut out for it I'm sure. I am sure of this because I can handle a lot. I had twins when Quinn was 20 months old for God's sake- I don't scare easily......But day #2 of potty training has my hair standing on end......Very few wetting accidents, but 3 poops in his pants. It's such a ridiculous mess to clean up poopy underwear....Just picture it- I'm not typing about it. I'm too overwhelmed to write more...so, on to Weight Watchers.

I've toyed with the idea of re-joining Weight Watchers since the twins were born. Technically I joined shortly after they were born, but their nursing mothers program was not designed for those mothers nursing twins...Losing weight was honestly the furthest thing from my mind at that point.

HOWEVER, yesterday was the day. After 2 very inspirational Oprah episodes (If you hate Oprah don't bother reading my blog at all, lol) I felt ready to re join...That and a plateau to end all plateaus....no weight loss since SEPTEMBER! Anyway, they have re done their program and I can feel the difference. I certainly ate less today than I have in recent days, but not so much less that I am ready to eat the keyboard. I actually feel great. I had room for these cookies to boot!

Today I was able to get to the gym and run a mile on the treadmill and do 20 minutes on the elliptical. I felt good about that. I felt even better about these noodles, that are 1 pt for 8oz.

Anyway, today calls for a gigantic glass of whine wine.....

xo
andrea

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Quinn!



Dear Quinlan:



Oh my Quinn. My little Q-ball. Tonight I put a 2 year-old to bed, and I will wake up to a 3-year-old. Tomorrow is your 3rd birthday. I'm surprised we all made it! Especially surprised that your father and I made it. There were times throughout this year that I surely thought I would die of frustration- turns out that doesn't happen. I usually have a pretty realistic sense of time, but I HONESTLY feel like we just had your 2nd birthday party here, complete with the SpongeBob cake!


Tomorrow I will no longer have 1 2-year-old and 2 1-year-olds, which is fun to say. However, tomorrow I will have a 3 year old, which makes me sound very grown up, I think.

You're a beautiful boy and you're growing and learning every day. You're passionate and compassionate-and for you I hope that never changes. You love Paige and Aiden dearly, and while you're sometimes a bit “in their face” about it- they squeal in delight whenever they see you first thing in the morning, and that melts my heart!


This year will hold new challenges for us- such as potty training. Let's make that quick, ok?

I love you Buddy and I hope you keep your silly spirit a while longer

Love,

Mom


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Plateaus...

So here's what's up.
I'm on the longest weight-loss plateau EVERRRR. I'm not even being dramatic. Through last summer I lost roughly 18 pounds or so that brought me steadily to my pre-getting pregnant with twins- weight. However, I still have TOTAL 60 pounds I'd LIKE to lose....40 to get to where I was before I got pregnant with Quinn and another 20 for vanity's sake ;)

Back to that 18 pounds...Since then NADA. Maybe a pound...I'll weigh myself tomorrow. Over the last month I've been doing the 30-day shred (massively intense) and I have been HONESTLY cleaning up my eating (I'll show you food diaries if you want). But the scale, that cruel bit*h, HASN'T MOVED! I don't doubt that I'm gaining muscle due to the intensity of the strength training provided in the 30-day shred, but given the amount I have to lose- shouldn't I be losing?!

I'm buying a tape measure tomorrow to start there.........

HELP!

xo
andrea

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Reflection

This time of year in this part of the country gets me down and batty all at the same time. Up here in Saranac Lake, NY (that has been on the national news for the last 2 days with record LOW temps) has such a LOOOOOOOOOONG winter that January feels like it's only the beginning. It's tough to take the kids outside when it's below 20 degrees. And, when it's below 20 degrees so frequently, we all get a little pent up!

Quinn is especially pent up. Since the twins just started walking, they spend their days wandering. But not our Quinn. Alas, we'll be getting him an exercise trampoline for his birthday. That's right, a mini trampoline that he can use in the house. They use one at his daycare on snowy/rainy days and it's the perfect mechanism to get the sillies out. My parent's are getting him a larger one with netting for outside, but it will be late April before that's operational.

I am looking forward to heading to Massachusetts for Quinn's 3rd (YES THIRD!) birthday in 2 weeks. We're having 2 parties, essentially. On Friday the 4th we're having an "adult" party after all the kids are in bed to celebrate 3 years of parenting for me and Scott. Basically this is an excuse to be able to hear adult conversation over some adult beverages. Then, on Saturday the 5th we'll have his actual party with family members.

My friend Amy and I have been doing Jillian Michael's 30-day shred. Last week we started Level 2. I have done it (level 2) 3 times (well 4 including the aerobics class I took Friday that was almost identical to the JM workout- ouch). I will need to do it for another full week before moving on to Level 3. Level 2 is a cruel bitch.

How are everyone's resolutions going?

If you're not a follower, please follow, and comment!

xo
andrea

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some new things.

My friend, "Texas Kim" reminded me that I'm blowing a resolution to blog at least once a week. So here I am! haha.

I just wanted to point out some things that are new and fresh.

1. ON the right side of this page, around the "About Me" box, you'll see some fun stuff. You'll find some blogs that I follow fairly regularly (or at least have found interest in) and some favorite links of mine. These will expand, take a look!

2. You now have the option to "share" my blog. PLEASE DO!

3. Also, become a follower, leave comments, this is how I know that SOMEONE is reading this stuff!!!

What are some of your favorite blogs and links? Maybe I'll add them to mine!


More later


xo
andrea

Sunday, January 2, 2011

525600 Minutes

2011 is MY year. I mean that introspectively, rather than selfishly.

I'm going to list my "resolutions" in no particular order. Some will be books I want to read. Some might be foods I want to try, dates I want to keep, plans I want to make, or personal goals.

This isn't meant to be a "check list" for 2011 or even a lifetime "bucket list." Because many of the things I'm listing are going to be processes of personal development. They aren't ever going to be "done" in order to check off any list. These things I resolve to pay specific attention to this year, in order to develop myself for my l-i-f-e. These things will likely ebb and flow in their importance throughout this year, and throughout my life...But they are skills or character traits I want to develop and carry throughout my life.

*I love the freshness and promise of a new year


*Bold items are more standard "resolutions" for 2011

1. Read "Blue Like Jazz"
2. Read "The Happiness Project"
3. Read something every day
4. Scrapbook at least one page a week
5. Take more pictures
6. Take at least one yoga class a month
7. Journal every day, include prayers and gratitude
8. Continue minimizing the material things
9. Pay off the last of the credit cards this year (we haven't used them in several months!)
10. Read some of the Bible every day. Actual goal is 3 chapters a day, but I just need to read SOME of it EVERY day. period.
11. Make more plans with friends that I don't usually make plans with
12. Increase intake from the Earth. This includes: water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Thanks, God, for making all the stuff I need ;)
13. Less...Is...More (stole this directly from Amy ;) )
14........And this is a tough one........Wake up 30 minutes, at least, before the kids get up, to have some quiet time to ease in to the day with prayer and a cup of tea or coffee.
15. Go to bed by 10:00 pm at the LATEST. This will give me 7.5 hours of sleep at the least, if I wake up at 5:30. On nights before my early morning gym sessions I will go to bed earlier.
16. Get at least 4 massages this year. It's necessary in my line of work ;)
17.............start tossing around my book ideas................ ;)
18. Blog at least once a week

I'll add to this as the month goes on :)

xo

andrea