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Monday, January 28, 2013


Today we celebrate the two year anniversary of officially/legally adopting Kayliana into our family!   I’ll never forget what the judge said.  As we stood there before the bench, he looked us over and said, “I can tell that she’ll bless you as much as you’ll bless her.”  So true.
Last week, we went through an adoption process of a slightly (OK, VERY) different nature…from our local Humane Society, I brought home our first family pet since Mistletoe – our Christmas kitty who had to be put down the day AFTER Christmas, 2006.  Little 3 month old Lop bunny rabbit – “Scout” – is the perfect little fluff ball for us!  I’ll openly admit that I’ve been dealing with some doggie desires for a while now.  Mike is SOooo not ready and really, especially with my ZERO dog-ownership experience, it would be better for us to wait until – obviously – he’s 100% pumped AND if our animal-loving, kind of injury-prone wild-child, Kayli, is a tad bit older.  So for now all our pet-loving-caring energy can go to this adorable little fluffer-nutter bunny.  Currently, he lives in the cage we got for him and we let him out several times a day to hop around the kitchen (blocked off so he can’t escape to the rest of the non-bunny-proofed house).  We’re working on litterbox training though so far he seems to prefer his litterbox for sleeping in and the rest of his cage for pooping in.  Oye.  We’ll get there; it may just take time and lots of poop-practice!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nutritarian?!!! Wha...?

Well, shoooot, only a few weeks into 2013 and I’m already struggling with one of my resolutions (#1 even!!): No guilt.  I’ve experienced a ginormous shift in my understanding of my resolution #4 (health) which has caused some issues with resolution #1 (no guilt).  I just finished reading the book Disease-Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Furhman.  It has pretty much just completely verified everything I already knew (a primarily veggie-fruit based diet is based) and has also added a side-serving of guilt regarding all the foods I’ve been feeding my kids (and myself) for years.  Now, we ate fairly well.  Really, we did.  The boys still don’t like soda – thank goodness – we typically only had desserts on the weekend.  They only have juice a few times a week.  We drank fat-free milk.  We usually only ate lean meats and even then it wasn’t every single lunch or dinner…but still.  Basically I was already planning on cutting out all processed foods of which we can’t pronounce all the ingredients…but Dr. Furhman takes it to a whole new level.  You can see his ideal food pyramid here:  On paper it really doesn’t seem THAT different from what we were already attempting to do but putting it into practice is a whole other story.  Obviously this is the ideal and it’s what we’re working towards, but holy dooty, no-to-little cheese is going to be the toughest one especially for the kiddos where adding cheese to a veggie-filled pasta or quinoa or veggie-stuffed whole wheat tortilla was kind of the way to get them to really eat it.  Our kids do well with some veggies – they’re actually awesome with carrots, steamed broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, etc.  Basically the standard vegetables, but getting them (and us) on board with eating basically 75% vegetables (‘the salad as the main dish’) will be an adjustment.  See how even the whole grains are way higher up on the pyramid?!  As carbivores – granted healthy ones, you know whole grains, whole wheat, etc. – this is a change for sure.

Anyway, so, we’re working on eating this way.  I was already working through all of this when my bestie, Rebecca, heard some upsetting news and did some pretty extensive research.  It SHOULD seem off topic to go from discussing food and eating well to aborted fetuses, right?!  Startling segue, yes?  Sadly, no.  Thanks to her research and helpful links on HER blog: I’ve recently learned that MANY food companies (including Pepsi, Nabisco, Kraft, Cadbury and Nestle) use aborted fetal cells in their food testing or manufacturing.  Yet another startling and sickening discovery and reason to seriously avoid processed foods that are made out of weird man-made chemicals and things that you can’t pronounce.  The list was provided on  Kinda freakin’ me out!  My days of daily Diet Pepsi ended on January 1st and boy, am I ever glad! 

Now, I will continue to work on making my kids the “weird” ones at school who pull out their lunch of tofu, quinoa and steamed veggies! Kale-beet juice anyone?!  But the good news is there ARE ways of making eating this way appetizing to kids, and trust me, I’m trying my best, but honestly, what I learned from Dr. Furhman, is that as long as kids regularly eat garbage (I’m not talking chicken nuggets every day, I’m talking about the way we were eating: whole wheat Ritz crackers, maybe a healthy-seeming granola bar for snack, the occasional Oreo cookie, maybe a frozen cheese pizza for family movie night, etc.) this transition will be WAY harder.  We’re not in any position to just throw out the ‘evil’ foods still lurking in our pantry (and that’d be wasteful anyway), but I am hoping that – without too much guilt and torture – I can transition us all to being “Nutritarians.” (If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book that I read or Dr. Furhman’s other book Eat to Live or Super Immunity.  Another great way to access some more info is getting on YouTube and watching his videos there; just search for Dr. Furhman). 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Sunday, January 06, 2013

2013, baby!

It’s official: Christmas has come and gone.  Even New Year’s is already over.  Sniff sniff.  I have to say – without exaggeration – that this holiday season was the best one I’ve ever had.  On Christmas morning, I’d set my alarm for 7:15 so that I could get up, start coffee, start breakfast and be ‘in place’ for the children’s appearance at the top of the stairs at 8am.  Well, I was so eager and excited, I woke up before the arlarm and hopped out of bed.  The kids actually managed to sleep until about 8:15 which was surprising considering the amount of happy anticipation filling their heads.  And as rarely happens with me, my expectations were surprisingly exceeded by reality.  So often I have such lofty dreams of what a certain event or day will be like that there’s no way that reality can live up to it.  But not this time, friends.  Christmas was magical.  I was moved on many occasions with the overwhelming knowledge of how blessed we are.  We really could’ve had nothing under the Christmas tree and I still would’ve been happy.  But, let’s face it: the stuff under the tree was pretty great too.  I’m proud of us though as I don’t feel like we go crazy overboard.  The kids did a couple of the bigger items they wanted (for Zachary: a castle-thingy and a Playmobil pirate ship; for Matthew: a Star Wars lego; for Kayliana: a backpack – that she now wears when we take the boys to and from the bus stop – she also got a few other great toys that she loves).  Santa also brought us a sled which is genius seeing as we live on the top of a pretty friggin’ ginormous hill now.  Yay! Santa’s SO clever (AND shops for things second hand on Craigslist).
So, Christmas was wonderful and the remaining few days of winter vacation were mostly relaxing and quiet…until our best friends moved in for “Camp Christmas.”  Then the days were just crazy-awesome.  They came: Jason, Rebecca, Jason’s 15 year old daughter Adrienne, their two boys Joshua and Noah, their 1 ½ year old daughter Veronica and their Australian Shepherd puppy Kahlua; it was a full house and we loved every single fun-packed minute of it.  From Saturday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon we ate, we drank, we played games; we never got enough of each other.  Sunday evening we went to “Celebration Lane” – the fun-stivities at the local mall where over 100 drummers dressed as toy soldiers parade out every evening and rock out.  There’s fake snow.  There are noise makers.  We brought hot buttered rum.  I think we may have actually had more fun than the kids!  Monday night was New Year’s Eve and that was one for the books.  Adrienne babysat the kiddos so that the grown-ups could go out.  Rebecca’s parents had rented a party bus to take 25 of us around downtown Seattle for the night.  It. Was. SO. Much. Fun.  We danced on the bus.  We took over a bar near Pike Place Market.  We went to Kerry Park (with hundreds of others with the same idea) and watched the Space Needle lit up in fireworks as we counted down to midnight.  After that we partied our way to Dick’s Drive In for delicious greasy fries, burgers and shakes.  Mike’s butt accidentally dialed my parents at 1am – waking them from their slumber – ruh roh!  We fell into our beds exhausted, elated and not too drunk, thank you very much, sometime after 3. 
It all came to an end way too soon.  But now we’re here, several days of 2013 already behind us.  It’s clean slate time.  Christmas got packed up and put away yesterday (I’m still working through the grieving process).  But I’ll admit it’s nice to get the house cleaned up. It’s actually pretty exciting as we packed up yesterday as LAST year, post-Christmas we were starting to pack the house for staging, selling and moving.  So, a lot of our framed photos and decorative stuff just got packed up with Christmas and stayed there.  I haven’t seen some of it in nearly a year, so it was fun to get it back out again. 
Anyway, New Year’s Resolution time.  As someone who LOVES goal-setting, calendars and list-making, resolutions are more of a few-times a year thing for me, but it’s refreshing at New Year’s since everybody is on board the let’s-better-ourselves train.  I’m pretty pumped with my list. I feel like it’s do-able and I’m well on my way to making them a permanent part of my life.
In no particular order:
1. NO GUILT.  I’m pretty excited about this.  I came up with it a couple of months ago when I was feeling guilty about something totally stupid that I needn’t have felt guilty about and yet GUILTY has kinda just been a permament part of my vibe.  I ALWAYS feel (FELT) guilty about something, and I suffer from a variety of forms of guilt: mom’s guilt (not playing enough with the kids, general sucky in my job at raising humanoids); Catholic guilt (since Day 1 this has been a part of my existence.  Without murdering anyone or becoming a terrible person I plan on continuing the Catholic part but ditching the guilt).  Blogger’s guilt (I don’t do it nearly as much as I’d like to.  It started out daily – easy when you consider that I was trapped in a hospital on bedrest, but eventually went to twice a week and now is, on average every 7-12 days or so.  I’d LOVE to blog more; I’d LOVE to write more, but I need to not feel guilty when it doesn’t happen because instead of writing about my life, I’m busy livin’ it).  Recycler’s guilt (Yup, we live in Seattle.  It’s not easy being Green).  Runner’s guilt (if I don’t run three times a week, the guilt starts to add up).  Anyway, you could see the list is endless.  But not anymore, friends, 2013, I am 100% GUILT FREE!
2. HEALTH.  Yeah, yeah, everyone puts “lose x amount of pounds” down for a New Year’s resolution.  And I hate to be cliché, but as someone who has always struggled with my weight (despite the occasional Marathon, Half Marathon and weekly spin classes at the gym), I’ve realized that my health/weight goals need to be more about the lifestyle change and self-acceptance than about the number on the scale.  I’m going to continue my 3 morning a week runs with my neighbors from the old ‘hood.  (Unless it’s icey up here and I can’t make it).  I’ll continue my Tuesday morning indoor cycling class (my weekly Spin class is a sacred space that I RARELY let anything get in the way of).  We – Mike and I – are also going to start the p90X DVD workout series.  So, yeah, we’re pretty much going to be completely ripped and out of control buff…BUT the general goal is overall health.  We’re beginning to eat cleaner – more ‘whole’ foods (like how they were in nature, not all processed with ingredients that can’t be pronounced) and continuing to make sure that the kids eat this way (and LOVE it, darn it)!  As for the kids, I’ve been taking the boys out for walk/jogs with me.  It’s amazing how the second we’re outside, they just open their mouths and talk the whole time.  It’s such a great bonding time and obviously a healthy habit to form.  We have tons of trails that we can access from our house, so it’s silly not to take advantage of them.  The boys have been in swim lessons; in a few weeks that’ll wrap up and Zachary will do basketball for a couple months followed by Matthew’s baseball season.  Kayli gets daily exercise walking to and from the boys’ bus stop (that adds up to over a half mile every day).  Plus, she’s nonstop ripping around the house, running up and down the stairs, trying to climb most objects, doing chin-ups and swinging under the kitchen counter, etc.  I feel good about where we’re at with health, and more importantly about where we’re headed!
3. MY TIME: I’m going to be smarter with it.  Less pointless time on the internet, screens (TV, computer) will be turned off by 10pm every night so I get to sleep earlier, AND I will have more time for reading.  I’ve been reading a a couple of really good books lately, so I’m definitely on the right track with that.
4. MY FAVE: I’m going to have bubble baths!!! Like ideally once a week!  This is the best New Year’s Resolution EVER. 
Here’s to 2013!

[photo upload thingy isn't working right now.  grrr. pictures to come...]