Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Strawberry Picking

Last Saturday we had unbelievably nice weather. Cloudless sunny skies, 73 degrees, and breezy. I may have tweeted "this is why I live in Florida suckers" at some point.

Since hubby works on Saturdays, my sister and I took the the kids strawberry picking. I kinda feel bad we have never done it before, the place is less than 5 miles from my house! We had a great time and the strawberries are the best berries I have ever eaten. By MILES.
I am hoping we can go back this weekend. Yum!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

22 days

I went 22 days without eating crappy food. In those days, I felt better. I hadn't been sick to my stomach after eating. I felt less depressed. I felt healthier.

Then I fell of the wagon. I didn't break my no McDonalds or Burger King rule, but I had a cheeseburger and fries from Steak and Shake. I thought it wouldn't be too bad since they don't put sugar in their fries or ammonia in the burgers.

Holy hell was I wrong.

Don't get me wrong, it tasted pretty yummy, but I knew it was a mistake within 20 minutes. The horrible stomach pains were back. I was sick all night. Also, not sure if it was a coincidence or not, but I had my first panic attack in a few weeks.

After feeling better for weeks this was a wake up call. It's not even about losing weight anymore (though I need to). It's about feeling better.

So it's back on the wagon for me. And Steak and Shake is added to the list of places I am not going to eat.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Ahh This is Florida

Remember the ice pictures last week? Well the Florida I know and love is back!

Also how cute is this kid?

Monday, January 18, 2010

We Are Family: Photo Challenge

I love this picture of my dad and my littlest.

Check out the other awesome family pictures at I Heart Faces.

That is Just NOT Me

I really would have thought by my thirties I would know who I was a little better but here I am, rapidly approaching 32, still wondering about all those things.

A few years ago I "found God" again. I was struggling with depression after losing Kai, my marriage was rocky (mostly because I was batshit crazy), and I found solace in faith. So, I joined an online group, Above Rubies. And I tried. I really tried to fit in. But I failed, I found myself screaming at my computer screen at the blind stupidity of some of the women in the Rubies group. There many times I was involved in emotionally draining arguments with women from the site, on topics as volatile as gay marriage and abortion all the way to topics as lame as "Harry Potter is Devil worship". The final nail in the coffin of my rubidom came with the last presidential election. I was committing the HUGE sin of voting for a democrat (you know, the baby killing party). I was shocked and saddened to realize many of these "christian" women were racist as hell (thank God most of them never saw my family pics). I was also surprised at the unfounded, absolute vile, hatred they spewed. Eventually it was suggested I leave the group, I wasn't "christian" enough and clearly not ruby material. So I packed up my denim jumpers and moved on. I kid, I kid. I never actually bought those.

Later that month, I was also asked to leave a democratic message board for being too conservative. I was winning all around the interweb.

I stopped talking about politics and religion all together. It just was not worth the pain and frustration.

When I first found Rubies I read tons of material, among the many books I read, the book called, "Destined to be his Help-meet" stood out the most. I will say that a FEW of the principles in the book saved my marriage, but the rest of it was utter bullshit. I learned to let Neil parent his own way, to trust him more, to lean on him when I needed it. I spent the first part of my marriage trying to be the man and the woman and ignoring his thoughts and opinions. Let me tell you, that doesn't work out well. That is all I gleaned from the book. The rest terrified me. The books was written by the Pearls who run a freaky cult ministry. *Don't click on that unless you want your head to explode or unless you think whipping kids with a leather paddle is great parenting.* The more I read into the the thinking of of the group I belonged too, the more I realized I just didn't belong, but I still tried. I tried because I wanted so badly to belong.

Even after all that, I didn't lose faith in God. I still had faith and held on to it tightly through all my miscarriages, troubles with Noah's autism, and financial struggles. Now? I am struggling. I don't really fit in with any particular organized religion and I don't know where that leaves me.

So to make a long story short (too late!). I am not evangelical christian material. Also I am not liberal enough for most liberals. I am awesome like that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday:The Big Chill

Snow, Sleet, Wind Chill Warnings, Hard Freezes? Did I move to Canada and miss it? It has been unreasonably cold here in the sunshine state. Bring back the warmth please!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Best Face

The weekly challenge at I Heart Faces is the Best Face Photo. This is my first go at it! This was an easy choice, because who wouldn't love that face?

I have spent the better part of my day looking at all the other awesome entries. You can check them out here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting off the smack

The older I get the more I learn to loathe New Years, all the reflecting and goal making, blah, blah, blah. Nothing like listing to skinny biotches making resolutions to lose weight when you are a fat ass, to make you even more depressed.

But of course they do get you thinking. So I decided in addition to my resolutions post, I would add one more...I am TRYING to give up McDonalds and Burger King. Like TOTALLY give them up. I am not sure what it says about the "food" at these places, but I am going through withdrawals. Is it wrong to drool when driving by them?

Here's the thing, I don't even like the food. You know I love to cook and as someone who cooks, I know the food tastes BAD. Even worse is, it makes me sick. Literally sick. Every. Single. Time. I eat there. Yet? I still was eating it wayyyy too much. I am ashamed to admit just how much. Let just say more than twice a week.

Eventually I would like to give up all fast food, for now I am weaning off a few at a time. I will still allow myself chicken tacos from Taco Hell (hold the gooey stuff), Chick-fil-a sandwiches, and the occasional pizza.

I eat fairly well at home. In the last year I have switched the family away from premade processed crap, to more real whole foods. I don't drink alcohol, coffee, or soda so I dont have to give that up. It's this one thing, one HUGE keeping me from being healthy.

Let's see if my will power is stronger than whatever smack they put in those fries.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunday Nom: Blueberry Waffles

My sister gave me a Cuisinart Belgium Waffle Maker for Christmas and I am in love! I makes four perfect HUGE waffles every time. I really love the alarm that lets you know when they are done*. I have been playing with waffle recipes for the last 2 weeks and this is the best so far.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar + 1tbsp
2 eggs (separated)
1 2/3 cups warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint blueberries

As always I am using my Kitchen Aid mixer, but you can easily adapt for a hand mixer.

1. In a bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking power. Set aside.
2. In mixer whip egg whites until soft peaks form. (if you are lucky enough to have two mixer bowls switch bowls, if not, scoop the fluffy egg whites into another bowl)
3. Mix egg yolks, milk, butter, vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients. Mix well.
5. Fold in egg whites.
6. Sprinkle remain sugar on blueberries, then fold them into batter.
7. Now you are ready to pour into your waffle iron. I don't actually measure how much per waffle.(you will find out how much is too much when it pours out the sides)

Serve with whatever topping you like. We used Smuckers Blueberry Syrup.

I usually double this recipe so we have left overs to throw in the toaster in the next day. Or for random family members who show up when they hear I am making waffles.

Don't like blueberries? Leave them out. This is an awesome waffle recipe on it's own.

*the love rant about the Waffle Iron was all my own, you know I am not cool enough to be paid to say anything.

Out of Ideas

My parental well of ideas has been tapped dry. I have tried tough love, I have tried paying him special attention, I have tried a mix of the two, all to no avail.

If you would have told me two years ago, that the child stressing me out would be Jordan and not Noah, I would have laughed like a loon.

Jordan is perfectly behaved at school and 99% of the time, he is perfect out in public. At home? Is another story completely. He is a bully to his little brother, has temper tantrums, and cries at the drop of a hat. None of these behaviors is acceptable for an almost seven year old.

My first instinct is to break bad, and no I don't mean spankings (though we have on rare occasions spanked). By break bad, I mean zero tolerance, privileges and possessions taken away for breaking rules. This plan seemed to back fire, it caused him to cry more and not just about the thing taken away, but for hours, about everything.

I ranted on twitter the other day about whimpy parents, afraid to discipline for fear it hurts their kids feelings. This is different. Because Noah needs more attention with his special needs and people naturally pay more attention to Isaiah, because he is the baby, I worry Jordan genuinely feels unloved.

I have tried talking to him, paying special attention to him, even coddling him. Thinking he just needs to know he IS loved. And while he does suck it up, there is no change in the other behaviors.

Right now, we are working on a combo of the two, but he still cries and has tantrums. When I say we have tried something, I am talking about months at time, not switching up on him on a daily basis. I know how important consistency is.

Is this normal for his age? Even though I have a nine year old, he hasn't gone through the usual milestones.

In his defense, there are a few reasons for him to be more emotional than the average seven year old boy. #1 He has been on an almost continuous flow of steroids since he was eight months old, because of his asthma. I was on steroids for a week, when I had the swine flu, and thought I was going to go bat shit crazy. #2 There is an weird dynamic in our house, Jordan is the middle child in age, but the oldest in maturity because of Noah's Autism. He has more responsibility than all of his friends(like keeping an eye on Noah in the lunch room, helping him wait in car line, talking for Noah in situations where he freezes, ect). These are all things no one asked him to do, he does them on his own, but feels like he has too. While I understand this struggle for him, it's the lot our family was given and in the long run? I think it will make him a better person.

So that leads us to now. Me banging my head in frustration, him crying. AGAIN.

Has anyone else dealt with an extremely emotional, higher tempered child?

Is this a phase? Please God, tell me it will end.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

This was the view at my sisters wedding. So pretty.

Also my cute men!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Compliment Chart

I am totally biting this idea from my son's first grade teacher, so thanks Mr. E! At open house Mr E. told the parents about the "compliment pond" and I fell in love with the idea.

In the classroom there is a board with a fish pond and 12 fish on the outside of the pond. As the class transitions from one room to another, like going to specials, lunch or library, if they are given a compliment by another teacher or staff member they move a fish into the pond. When all the fish are in the pond the class gets a party.

So I decided to help motivate the boys to be on their best behavior in public, I would borrow this idea. Only I am just using a chart, because I don't have the motivation to make a fish pond. I am excited to say, it is WORKING. If they are so well behaved in public that someone comments on it, even if it is just daddy or an aunt they get a point. When they have 12 points they get a special treat. They are even reminding each other to behave to earn points!