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A new year, a new you! More like, a same, slightly older and fatter you

Ugh. Stop it. It’s only January 7th and I’m already tired of all the frikkin’ diet articles and headlines on magazines.

Sure it’s US Weekly and In Touch or whatever, not Popular Mechanics or Golf Digest, but still, ENOUGH!

I admit, I like a juicy rag mag like the rest of us. What else would I read while sitting in the orthodontist’s office waiting for Emma to get her headgear adjusted?

It’s all WEIGHT WEIGHT WEIGHT.  And we’re buying this shit folks!

Or at least my orthodontist is.

We are so weight and image obsessed in this country that it’s forced me to write this post.

I could just go on my merry way eating donuts and making makeup tutorials, but NOOO, they have forced my hand. It must stop.

We need to just embrace who we are. We don’t need to be size 0 and having paparazzi snap our pics while vacationing in Cabo. That’s fantasy land.

So yeah, back to the New Year. Everyone wants to lose weight for the New Year. Me? Not so much. Nah. I’m good. I’ll lose some weight for St. Patrick’s day. Yeah. That sounds about right. This way, I’m almost on my way for getting ‘bikini ready’ for summer. Excuse me while I roll my eyes at the phrase ‘bikini ready’.

Basically people, this is the truth we are facing. The New Year hasn’t brought us a new you/ us. It’s just still – us. Totally the same. In fact, a few days older.  Nothing magic happened when the ball dropped from New Years Eve 2013 to New Years Day 2014.

Sorry. Hate to break it to you.

And sure, we’re feeling a little guilty about all that fruit cake and crockenbush we ate. No, that’s not a euphemism for something on HBO, that’s a Martha Stewart delicacy. What? You didn’t make a giant crockenbush for your family holiday gathering? What’s wrong with you?

So maybe I partook in too many donuts and rounds of cookie butter toast and coconut milk lattes with my new Nespresso machine I bought myself as a Black Friday gift to, well, myself. No one else is out there getting me Black Friday gifts! Somebody had to!

But right now, most of the country is deep in witch’s tit freezing cold temps. I mean, we’ve got #Chiberia going on people. When it’s 10 below zero and they are cancelling school because it’s that cold, you are going to be glad you had that extra spritz cookie. Maybe the fudge your best friend brings you every year seemed lonely in that cookie tin all by itself. Think of it as insulation now. You’re welcome.

You don’t need to drop those few extra pounds just yet. Give it awhile. How do we know if Snowmageddon ’14 isn’t finished yet? What if #Chiberia spreads into Chantarctica 2014? Be prepared.

So with that I leave you with my good wishes for 2014. Be healthy? Of course. Exercise? Definitely! Worry about bikinis? NO!

And gosh darn it, have another cookie. You’re looking cold.

 Frugie New Year slightly older you

Rejoicing in normal

Well folks. A lot has been happening. And I’ve been keeping it secret. Not because I wanted to not share with you, but because I didn’t want to get it ‘out there’ and then deal with it before I could deal with it. Make sense? No. Sorry.

This will explain things.

Last week I had a biopsy. My PAP a few weeks ago came back abnormal from my annual gyno visit. You know how I love those! And they used the term ‘glandular’ cells and said they needed to biopsy my cervix and my uterus to determine the reason. You know where my head went. Cancer.

I started to panic slightly. My heart beat faster, my gut churned, and I felt the need to go to the bathroom. I started to silently cry while driving in the car with Owen since my doctor called me on my cell phone and that’s where we were when I took the call.

I tried to play it cool and put on a poker face for him and Emma. I tried to talk myself into the fact that it’s just routine and lots and lots of women get abnormal PAP results and they don’t end up with cancer.

But let’s be honest. This is what was racing through my head- my mom is a uterine cancer survivor. You know that once there’s a history there’s a chance, right?

Also, the thought of a biopsy down in my tenders didn’t sound pleasant at all. It sounded downright scary. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of all things female down there. I’ve been to my gynecologist 5 times in the last 3 months. I’ve seen family members less than my doctor.

I had recently gotten the IUD a month ago. It’s going to help, we hope, with my ovary that is stuck to my uterus. They think it’s Endometriosis. So the tiny dose of Progesterone released from the IUD will suppress the Endometriosis and I will be pain free each month. Versus the opposite, which is spending my Aunt Flo time curled in a  ball with a hot pad.

Since the PAP was taken recently after the IUD insertion (which by the way was a little like getting a root canal without novacane, but more on that later) I was hoping that would be the explanation for the abnormal results.

So last week, I celebrated my birthday. Yay. And then the next day I went in for the test. Ew. I was so nervous. My mom knew and McSweetie knew. They were my support. I didn’t tell any girlfriends really, because life is crazy and what’s one more thing to worry about for them- right?

I did however reach out to some internet friends. Sometimes it’s easier typing a question to people you are used to seeing in your computer than sharing things with childhood friends. Sorry, it just is. ANYWAY…. so many of them had gone through the SAME THING!!

They too had LEEPS and ECCs and all came back fine.

Once I was able to feel like I wasn’t the only woman on the planet who had a wonky cervix and uterus, I started to feel better.

Hearing that they survived the procedures, some even saying it was no big deal in terms of pain or discomfort, put me at ease.

So off I went to my appointment. Nervous as hell and feeling like I wanted to run out of there. But I didn’t. I did it and lived through it like a champ. I also felt like I deserved a brand new pair of Leboutins or a Marc Jacobs purse, but I didn’t splurge. I did, however, get a soy green tea frappaccino with whipped cream.

And then I waited…. and waited… and waited.  A whole week. A whole week of faking it on the outside and freaking out on the inside.

Biopsies are a modern day mind fuck. There’s cancer all around me with friends and family and I’m sick and tired of it. I thought, could I be next?

When my phone rang yesterday, and it was the doctor on my caller ID, I said a quick prayer, more like, “Help me Jesus”. Funny, I was driving, again! All this carpooling kids’ activities this summer is ridiculous.

It was the nurse calling me, (good news, right? Doctors only call with bad news, right?) and I heard this, “Your lab results from the Endometrium and Cervical biopsies of the blah blah blah blah blah blah (seriously, it was like a Peanuts cartoon, I couldn’t comprehend her words, she was speaking clearly, but my mind was racing) have all come back, NORMAL.”

Cue tears of joy.

And then my stomach dropped again, my heart raced, and I felt light-headed from the relief. I played it cool and thanked the nurse. She said to be glad and know that we’ll just do another PAP next year and not to worry.

Praise Jesus!!

Seriously. I said a million thank yous to God and called McSweetie and my mom. They both were so relieved.

So what is the moral of this story?

Get your PAPs done. That’s first and foremost. And if you need any followup procedures- do it. AND, you are not alone.

Once I shared with other women what I’d been through, so many of them had been through the same thing. Sure it’s personal and private and doesn’t feel like something you want to go blabbing about. But we talk about pushing children down our canals, surely we can talk about gynecological health and early detection, right? The same way we talk about self breast exams, we can talk about cervical biopsies.

Really ladies, you’re not alone. Speculum fist bumps all around. Damn things- if I see another one before next year, I swear to ……

Okay, peace out- my normal cervix and uterus and I are going shoe shopping.

 

 

 

 

My thighs are flabby, and I’m trying to love them anyway.

The other day on my Facebook wall I asked if people could have one wish, what would it be for. About 95% of you said you want to be skinnier, or be able to eat what you want and not gain weight.

I should also add that people wished to be richer too. I wouldn’t mind that either.

But as far as weight goes, let me try and help. Ladies listen up.

I want to tell you that you are just fine.

You want to fit in that swimsuit because online websites like E!Online post pictures like this one-

with a headline called ‘Bikini Body Wars’ and have viewers vote on which one looks better. Really? There’s mommy wars and now bikini body wars? Because I think it’s great to line up three women who look amazing all in their own way, and let the scrutinizing public pick which one ‘rocks a bikini’ the best.

Insert big eye roll. Oh wait, I just saw my brain.

The Girl made a comment to me in the car when I pointed out someone we know who has what I called, ‘a beer gut’ (he does like beer). She said, “well you have a mom gut.” Ouch.

That stung. I told her that I have a perfectly fine tummy that has squishy skin from having babies, but please don’t imply that I am fat.

I sat in the front seat facing forward and pouted a little. How am I to continue my own body love and try to encourage her to love herself, if she makes flippant remarks about my flab?

She apologized and said she was only joking. But it still hurt. Now this isn’t to get all down on Emma. She was just being a sarcastic teenager, which 90% of the time, we banter back and forth and have a good laugh afterwards.

But that particular moment, I wasn’t feeling it. I felt like crying instead. I felt like screaming, “I can’t be perfect, I can just be me!”

Later, she and I had a private exchange that ended in hugs and tears. She apologized again and told me how beautiful and chic I am. Which surprised me because I thought she thought I was a dork.

I told her that I’m always praising her wonderful body for the way it is. And it means a lot if she would do the same for me. That even though I’m older, my thighs are dimpled, my butt jiggles when I run, and my boobs look like sad, sad strawberries left in a food dehydrator too long, I still need acceptance. I work for how I look. I try to take care of myself and do things for my health, inside and out.

And then I realized, I need to stop describing myself with these words- flabby, jiggly, strawberries…

I think she saw me as a woman at that moment, and not just her mom. I’m hoping it was a breakthrough. This is when the tears came and we hugged it out.

I want us all to have these breakthroughs. To be forgiving of each other and ourselves. To know that if you are doing what you can to eat reasonably well, get in some exercise and look after yourself- you don’t have to look like Gisele Bundchen or Jennifer Aniston or Kate Beckinsale. Do I try to improve how I look? You bet. Here’s one way I’ve done it- read here.

I want to be sinewy and sleek. Toned and taut. But hey, I’m okay if I’m not those things. Remember this post about me in my bikini? Am I Fat?  I’m a little soft and squishy, but I think I look damn good.

I want you to say that about yourself too. I want you to look in a mirror and realize that you look damn good. Whatever you’re trying to change- if it’s for your health and strength- keep doing it. Great! If it’s because you think you need to because of what 3% of other gals in this world look like, then pause, and tell yourself how good looking you are right now in THIS moment. Not tomorrow. Not after your diet. Now.

And dear sweet Emma; you are beautiful now and you will be beautiful in 30 years when you have the same stretch marks and cellulite that I have. And I hope you have a child that tells you that you are the most wonderful woman who is beautiful inside and out, just like you told me that night.

 

 

 

It Works wrap thingy. And yes, it works.

A reader recently contacted me to see if I wanted to try a wrap that melts fat. Uhm, ‘scuse me? YES!

I’d heard of these things. A special proprietary blend of ingredients that you adhere to your skin, leave on for a couple of hours, and then see the results of firmer, tighter skin.

Alicia Bozza is the representative from the It Works wrap company and here is her website- https://bozza.myitworks.com/Home

Yes, I bare my belly for the greater good. Sorry, the wrap doesn’t do anything for stretch marks I’m afraid.

Here is my video on the application and the before and after- It might not be so obvious in the video and pictures, but I do love the results! It’s so exciting! The muffin top is shrinking yo’. I lost an inch from my waist, and an inch and a half from my hips.

Watch it first then click on her website above to order products for yourself! If you order from Alicia and mention “Frugalista Blog” She will discount your first wrap to $25 from the regular price of $30. There’s also other products to order, you can check out.

 

 

Just shut the ef up about how my kid looks, okay?

If I get my kid a hair cut or not, it’s none of your gads dang beeswax.

Owen hasn’t had a buzz cut since he was 5 years old. He’s 9 now. He likes his hair a long short. It’s short, but it lays a good 5 inches from his scalp. He just likes it kind of moppy.

Every since the haystack hair of preschool days started bothering him, he wears it longer vs. shorter.

Who cares? Right?

Except every dang blessed person needs to point this out to him. Stop already.

First there’s the grandparents. “Well hey son, your hair is getting kinda long there, when are you going to get a hair cut? I can barely see your eyes.

Then Owen will make a tear filled plea, “I wish kids at school would stop talking about my hair”, he’ll cry.

“Why do they talk about your hair?”, I ask.

“They say I look like a girl!”, he’ll cry.

Huh? Ya look like a boy to me kid. What, with your sports jersey, high tops and all that fart talk! So I tell him to never mind and it will all be okay, like any mom does, right?

Then there’s the discussion about his weight-

Did I mention Owen is skinny? He is. His dad is really skinny. Always has been. I mean, like lanky lean Russell Brand skinny. But without the cocaine addiction and long hair.

Owen will grow up to be just like his dad I’m sure. A blond version of his dad. Healthy, tall, lean, a good runner, great at soccer, super coordination, good balance. Yeah, but what do people talk about- how skinny he is.

Thanks people. You know what that does to him? It makes him feel like he’s not good enough being just who he is. It makes him feel like he needs to change to conform to some other ‘normal’ that people seem to picture him in.

How many times I have to give him the pep talk because he’s standing on the scale wondering when he’ll gain 5 pounds. Sure, lots of kids at school are chubby. Do we talk about the chubby kids? No. That would be mean. But telling my kid he needs to eat a cheeseburger because he’s like a bean pole, is okay? No. It’s not.

Yes- this is my son we are talking about. Not my daughter. My daughter who is 12 and you would think would be obsessing over her body, isn’t like this. She’s petite as well but I think she’s learning to appreciate her size, thank God!

Owen is only 9. He’s still getting there.

I tell him, when he stands on the bathroom scale and asks me if he can have a steak so he’ll gain some weight, “Owen, do you know how great it is that you are so lean and light? You know when you do a breakaway in soccer and you run with that ball like the wind? Remember that. That is what you are made for. Not how you look, not how big your muscles are, or a number on the scale. You just keep being you.”

And then he sighs and says, “okay, can I have ice cream?” Yes, son, after your dinner.

Remember what you say to a child. Even a child that is not your own. The words you say to them stay in their little minds and create a truth, a reality that might not be necessary for them to even know or hear. I remember everything said to me growing up about how I looked. And it’s still etched in my brain looking at my 40 year old self. The good and the bad.

This isn’t a, Woe is Me My son Is So Sensitive, post. It’s a, Think of the Words You Choose Towards Children post.

 

 

Comfort in the Mundane

Who would have thought I would want a day doing laundry, dishes and PTA activities?

Well, when life throws a curve ball at you, the ordinary and dull become comforting.

My dad had an emergency heart procedure on Friday and it freaked the hell out of me. Sitting in the uncomfortable, unfashionable hospital, made me homesick for the cat box.

You probably know already that my parents mean the world to me. They are my favorite people. Other than my spouse and offspring, they are my rock. As Emma said to my mom, “Oma, you are the cup to my tea.” Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

My father is 81 years old and healthy as a horse. Well, he’s even healthier now that two of his arteries are cleared and working properly! He never complained of pain. We don’t have a history of heart disease. All of a sudden he felt fatigue sooner in the day than normal. Trips to the mail box winded him. The man never sits still and still climbs a ladder to the roof, despite my mother’s protests. But lately, he just didn’t have his zip.

Thank goodness he went to the doctor. My parents are very proactive about their health. They know these things after going through a lot with my sister, who is disabled and in their care. And they know from experience having their own health glitches along the way of life.

Last week I even blogged how thankful I was things were looking well for my folks and their ‘old people’ tests they had. At first, all seemed well with my dad.

Then Thursday, after a battery of tests, my mom called me at 4 in the afternoon as I’m driving Owen to soccer practice. I knew something was wrong. You know these things by your loved one’s voice. Her voice quavered as she told me dad needed to go first thing in the morning to the hospital for a stent procedure and because of the severity, possible bypass.

Whoa.

Hold. the. phone. I did not expect this.

So that night I made arrangements to change my PTA volunteer duties. Delegating is a beautiful thing people. I sent emails and kind souls offered to pitch in for our Book Fair to cover the cash register and supervise the kids.

Friends came to my call for help with Owen after school.

McSweetie had interviews and meetings or I know he would’ve worked from home. Emma came along with me because she wears her heart on her sleeve and couldn’t manage being in school not knowing what was going on. Being near to her Oma was what she needed. And my mom was grateful to have our company.

Hospitals are weird, horrible, wonderful places. Miracles happen in them. Doctors perform acts of God in them. But then, they can be awful, pain-filled places of death and sadness.

When I got off the elevator with Emma and we walked around the corner, I saw my dad and his shiny bald head sitting in one of the waiting room chairs. He was cool as a cucumber. Takes a lot to rattle this guy. Those English have a way of staying calm. We got some good hugs, and then the nurse came in to get him ready.

They moved the procedure back a couple hours to the afternoon. I hate that. You’ve already fasted for a procedure at a certain time, then you have to wait even longer? That is always so messed up.

The doctor came around and talked to us. We went to lunch and then waited.

Several hours later, the doctor returned after he was done and said the words, “everything went well.”

I love those words in a hospital. He explained the severity of the situation, that there were two blockages instead of one and that the angioplasty worked in the first one, and a stent was put in place in the second. Blood flow was back to normal and everything looked fine.

AHHHHH.

Serious sighs of relief and hugs and praises to God between my mom and I.

We started making our Thanksgiving plans and being so happy for the status quo to return.

And that’s when I thought how much I love the ordinary. I don’t like events that rattle my world. That shake up my routine. Routine is good. Creatures of habit we are.

We saw my dad soon after. He was awake and sipping juice. He looked pink and healthy. He was tired, but pleased.

He will, I’m sure, be glad to be home tomorrow to get back in his routine. To do what he does every day. The little things, how grateful we are to just get up in the morning, make the tea and oatmeal and go about our day.

When Emma and I were on our way home, it had been just over 24 hours my mom had called me with the news. How grateful I was for the turn of events.

And then I went home to do what I do. Make tea, dinner and put the load of clothes from the washer to the dryer. And scoop the blessed cat box.

RTLF #23 – So many things!

This week is chock full of things to be grateful for. Remember, this is my list. If it doesn’t coincide with yours, just kindly move along. I’m grateful we can agree to disagree. There.

Big election week. Duh. So I’m grateful for some outcomes. But most in particular is the Washington State referendum that allows same sex couples to marry. It doesn’t redefine marriage. It allows all people to have the same civil rights when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, we need to get over the definition of marriage. Over the centuries it has meant many different things. Such as:

In the Old Testament men had many wives. Women were property. Even in the 1800s women couldn’t own property, yet they were married off like it. In the south, first cousins married each other in arranged marriages.

Inter racial marriages were illegal up until the 1960s. Slavery had been outlawed for a hundred years but folks couldn’t marry outside their race. And it’s pretty obvious, you couldn’t marry a slave either, it says so in the Bible.

Let’s include all the non religious people have weddings all the time. Nobody makes a stink about that. So to say it’s a religious, biblical sacrament, just isn’t cutting it for me.

I have many gay friends. Some don’t want to get married. Hey, I get that. But those that do, now can. I think it’s wonderful. They aren’t clamoring for rights to kill puppies people. They are fighting for rights to love openly. How can that be bad?

I’m grateful for my mommy and daddy being well. They are getting old. We all are. But this week they had more Old People tests than normal. Mom had to have a second mammogram to check things out. Dad had some heart tests to confirm a few things.

But the news at the end of the week was good and all their tests came back clear. So I can breathe a little easier. And they can too. Which makes me happy knowing they are happy.

I love that my husband works his butt off for this family. We both do. But his working butt gets a paycheck. You could say my butt spends it. Okay, that was weird. But yeah, I’m so very grateful for the two checks a month we get to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe even a little extra for some treats. Not much extra. But that’s okay.

With the holidays coming it’s always stressful stretching the paycheck out over extra extra stuff. I love the festivity, I love feeling generous and grabbing as many giving tree tags as I can. But then I need to remember to budget myself. I’m grateful for the ability to take some of those giving tree tags to help other people in what little way I can.

So there you go. My list, my gratitude. My cup runneth over not just with tea, but with so much warm fuzzy love. I know, it’s disgusting.

Namaste.

Am I Fat?

Well I’ll save you the trouble of answering that. No, I’m not.

But I still struggle with how I look, as does 99 % of the females in this country do too. I want to focus on my inner beauty. I do. But most of the time I’m a little distracted by the outer train wreck that is my aging self and I forget these important things.

I need to tell myself,  I’m okay. You need to tell YOURSELF that you’re okay. But some things in the media have been bothering me and I will get them off my chest.

Sports Illustrated swim suit model, Kate Upton, has been called fat. Fat?  Hmm, here’s a picture of her-

I’m sorry, who’s complaining?

and here-

How many folks would let her eat crackers in their bed? Show of hands please.

And here’s a blog about what the hell is wrong with people out there calling her fat. I knew about ProAna, (how-to Anorexia website) but I didn’t know about Thinspirational lingo. Gag me. And not in the Bulimia way folks.

 

So when I ask, Am I fat? the answer is still no. But I would be considered a plus size model in the industry. Plus size!  I waver around a solid size 6. My jeans are sometimes an 8, because they’re jeans people!  So Plus size? I don’t even shop at Lane Bryant. Why would I be Plus size if I don’t wear Plus size?  I’m an average size 5’6″ , one hundred and firthnmumpteen pounds.  Even my feet are an average size 8.

My BMI is healthy, my proportions are right- I’m like 34, 27, 38. Okay, I’m 32, 28,39. Whatever. It depends on the time of the month. However, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can help with the dimples, dots, divets, veins, stretch marks and pimply pale skin that is me. Between the barnacles, skin tags, 3rd nipples…did I just say that? I mean, my dermatologist says it’s just my skin overactive in the mammalian variety, whatever.. ANYWAY, it’s not pretty.

 

I am not a plus-sized, woman. I am a healthy, 40 year old, soft and squishy mom of 2!

Comments from people on Kate Upton article read,  ‘oh, she’s pretty, but she could tone up a bit’. Really people? You are going to knock a woman for being a bit, uhm, womanly? Reading fashion magazines and beauty magazines is dumbing down our senses. We are conditioned to see size zero perfectly airbrushed models that DON’T EXIST in the real world! Nit picking over every fold, inch, pudge or dimple is dangerous. Stop seeing just the hole when there’s the entire donut to focus on! A donut with chocolate icing and extra sprinkles that is so wonderful, you forget there’s a hole.

So here- tell me I’m fat. Go on, I dare ya. (Okay, please don’t. Yeah, thanks.)

Would it be fun to be a svelte, tone, size 2? Yes.  But I’m glad I’m HEALTHY, STRONG, and HAPPY!

I’m 40 and freaking fantastic!

Take that stupid magazines- you can suck my 3rd nipple. (DID I JUST SAY THAT?)

Feed your kids right dammit!

Okay- disclaimer alert- I am no Martha Stewart. Pfft. THAT’s been established.  I do not make my own canned vegetables from my garden. I am not Alicia Silverstone who only feeds prechewed all organic purified food to her children either! But then I’m not as bad as say, Roseanne or Peg Bundy, who I just picture making tater tot casserole and chicken wings for their families each night. I like tater tot casserole- but not EVERY night. So this is MY rant. MY blog, MY opinion. I’m just putting it out there. Yes, everyone has their own story. Yes, not everyone can afford fresh, organic groceries. But in my little head, here’s the thoughts that go rattling around and around. I’m not saying to be perfect. I’m saying to just take ownership.

I was watching The View at the gym while on the glider thingy. Not the elliptical, not a stairmaster, just something like the two combined. I’m usually there during LIVE with Kelly, but I was a little dawdly and got their late. If I’m not listening to Kelly Ripa, I’m mesmerized by the Brazilian Butt Lift infommercial that is always playing on one of the other screens. The gal that raised her butt up 1 1/2 inches is a hero in my book.

Okay, where was I? The View. I never watch this show. If I was on this show myself, I would just punch Elizabeth out, shake Barbara by the shoulders, get Joy an ice pack for her hot flashes and crawl in to Whoopi’s lap. She is usually the one I agree with the most. And low and behold, I agreed with Elizabeth today too. I blame the Super Moon. The topic was banning bake sales in schools to fight childhood obesity. I couldn’t believe that when Elizabeth started yammering, I was agreeing with her. She thinks it’s the parent’s job to feed their kids right. Eureka! But my speed sure increased on the glidey thingy since I was getting all fired up about their discussion. Schools banning bake sales isn’t what’s going to solve our country’s childhood obesity. How about the government banning crap in our foods? Or just let’s not ban anything and be responsible for our bodies.

Okay, I know. I seriously don’t have  the nutritional expertise, or the statistical chops to fight this argument but let me just get on my soap box for a minute here.

Americans are fat. We are. Go to other countries. They are less large. They talk about fat Americans in Europe. Now there’s fat people everywhere. But here, we’re fat. Why? Because we frickin’ invented fast food people!!! Wake UP!! This isn’t rocket science. Taco Bell’s 4th meal isn’t the most brilliant thing as a society we have come up with. Now I like me some Doritos. Not EVERY day. But I do like them. Does the taco shell made from a Dorito intrigue me? Hmm, maybe. Does it also disgust me? Hmm, you could say so.

There has got to be something better out there to spend $2 on.

Public Education is not doing so great in our country. Funding is cut every year. Because let’s face it, as a strong western civilization, it makes the most sense to balance our budget on the backs of our future even if it’s our children’s learning that’s at stake. (insert sarcasm here please,  thank you.)

I’m a member of the PTA. I have like a laminated gold card to the PTA. I drive a minivan for gosh sakes. Fundraiser is my middle name. We don’t do bake sales much any more. And yes, schools discourage sugary sweets brought in to class. Some teachers have banned cupcakes even on birthdays for your kid to bring in and share with the students. I had a summer birthday, so I never got that day to bring fancy cupcakes to school. I always wanted to though. There’s no soda in vending machines anymore. Good, soda is evil anyway. Juice and water are just fine. Energy drinks are banned too. That’s good, who knows what lab-created crap is in those things. But parents selling baked goods at a carnival, probably sponsored by the PTA to raise money for the school, gosh darn it, doesn’t seem like devil spawn to me.

There was a parent at my daughter’s school last year petitioning during the Walk A Thon to have a teacher stop giving Jolly Ranchers to the kids to reward good behavior, work turned in, keeping their mouth shut, who knows? Just whatever the teacher’s preogative is to hand out a Jolly Rancher here and there as a motivator! This petition was stupid. She had asked the teacher to not give her child any candy. This though creates an awkward situation where the kid is left not getting any candy while her classmates get candy. Okay, she can have a sticker. Nope, still not enough for this mom. So she doesn’t go to the principal, she doesn’t talk to the teacher again, she gets a petition going! How about just let your kid have a piece of candy?? Or if they don’t get a piece of candy, why do you have to spoil it for the rest?? I know candy isn’t necessary in schools. But just go with me here. We keep making such forbidden fruit out of everything for our kids. Ha, see what I did there?

We are denying them so many things like one piece of candy, yet we’ll drive through McDonalds for pink slime nuggets, or get ammonia ground hamburger at WalMart.  One of these days the children will rebel and there will be a coup and everyone will be reveling in Fritos and Ding Dongs while the parents look on in horror! Stop confusing our kids. Treats are treats- they should be used less often, on occasion.  So one piece of candy during the school day isn’t harmful. Maybe if everyone stopped feeding their kids modified crap for breakfast and dinner at home in the first place, behavior would be better and they wouldn’t need to bribe the little monsters with candy. (claps hand over mouth- I did NOT just say that!)

So, I guess what this brings me back to, is basic parenting and nutrition. Where did we disconnect from battling over breast vs. bottle to making it everyone else’s problem how our kids eat?

My kids DO NOT have the world’s most healthiest lunches. And yes, they have a metabolism that is Speedy Gonzalez fast. They could eat queso and pork rinds for a month and probably not gain weight. Would they be irritable sons of bitches because they’re going through vitamin deficiencies? Uh, YEAH!  But I buy real food at the store. I make dinner. We eat organic as much as possible. We eat fresh too. Do they always eat their vegetables? No. Do I give them their Gummi vitamins like crazy to make up for this? Yes!  Sometimes we eat out. Do we eat drive thru? Hardly ever. The other day my daughter and I had a cast meeting to go to right at dinner time. I had just finished making a batch of enchiladas. Seriously easy people, tortillas, cheese, sauce and beans with some sour cream. She didn’t have time to eat it before we left. I put it on a plate, grabbed a kitchen towel and a fork and she ate it in the car. No drive-thru needed. And yes- I had come home earlier from whatever else we had been doing and had 30 minutes to throw dinner together. I don’t always put my super cape on in the kitchen. Sometimes I order pizza. Sometimes we pick up Mexican from the family mom and pop restaurant down the street.

And if your kid doesn’t like a food that you’ve given them. Fine. Move on. Try something else. Introduce it another month prepared a different way. I hated mushrooms and zucchini when I was a kid. I love them now. Who would think lentils would grow on me? Kids have heightened taste buds, their senses are more sensitive than ours. Some things are gross. But their appreciation can change over time. My kids like edamame pods but hate green beans. They like black beans but not kidney beans. Sweet potato but not beets. You know, whatever works.

I just wish people would stop super sizing, stop drive-thruing, stop taking short cuts. Turn off the TV, get your kid outside to play and MAKE a meal.

Why, why in this country do we have so many food allergies and intolerances? Why in this country is Autism 1 in 88 children? Why in this country do we have the highest rate of MS? Why in this country are we dying from diabetes and heart disease?

WAKE UP PEOPLE! Maybe it’s your food. Stop stuffing your faces and actually find out where your food comes from. Be an advocate for yourself, and your kids. I realize that this isn’t the easy answer when it comes to all matters. Autism being one of them. I have many folks, I know that take wonderful care of their children with Autism and it isn’t because they fed them junk food. I’m not being cruel here people. But I’m trying to make a point for our generation and the generations to come.

I’m just saying start at home. Don’t rely on the schools, the government or anyone else for that matter to make sure your kid eats healthy. I live in suburbia. I wish I had my own goat, chickens and garden. But I don’t. So I shop locally, produce markets, butchers, wherever I can. I try anyway. Sure I buy some of the big brands like Kraft or Kellogg’s. But the more I read about GMOs, the more I reach for the alternative- organic, smaller brands.

Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to clear your plate because there’s kids starving in Africa? And then you thought, how does me clearing my plate help feed a kid in Africa? It’s called gratitude, portion, and awareness. There’s still kids in Africa that are starving. There’s kids here starving. Money spent on wasted food doesn’t get donated to food pantries, food banks, churches… are you eating to live, or living to eat? Oh, god, don’t answer that. I live to eat, plain and simple. Okay, how about this-

Live simply, so others can simply live. My point is, take ownership of your food. Buy what you need. Buy what is wholesome and healthy. Treat yourself now and then. Don’t banish things. My house is loaded with candy, ice cream, snacks, chips. Do my kids eat it all the time? Heck no! I’m throwing out last year’s Halloween candy. And I don’t feel guilty about that. I’m kind of happy. Wasted candy doesn’t make me lose sleep. But also, it shows me that I’ve taught my children restraint. They know what’s good for them. I’ve nurtured them, I’ve educated them, and I guess I’ve set a good example. I don’t see treats as a threat, and I haven’t taught them that either.

Okay, see what I mean? I ramble, I don’t have any facts, it’s purely my own speculation. Well, hey, ask yourself, ‘what was the last thing I ate and do I know where it came from?’ <<steps off soap box, quietly walks out of room>>

Yoga gabba gabba

I went to yoga last week and again this week. First time in years. To a class, that is. I do yoga stretches at home all the time. Apparently, not like this instructor does though. She worked me, and worked me good. This must be how taffy feels in Atlantic City getting pulled all over the place while people watch for fun.  The best part-  I didn’t pass any gas. Whew!!

Yoga is such tricky shit. You are trying to get your body to look like Jennifer Aniston, but in the meantime, you know that you really should be there to get your heart and your mind like Ghandi. Then you feel kinda bad thinking to yourself, ‘how many of these sessions will it take to look hot in that LBD I saw at Nordstrom?” Because really, we want to feel good, but we want to look good too. Is that so wrong? Not only do I think of Little Black Dresses, or cute new sandals, my mind trails to all kinds of thinking while in Ohm pose. Like, ‘what’s for dinner, what does Rick Astley look like these days, did Joanie really love Chachi’. You know, important stuff like that.

I carry a lot of tension, pain, hormones, whatever, in my lower back. Carry it like a pack mule down to the Grand Canyon. Geeze, what is the matter down there?? Yogi Nancy really s t r e t c h e d  it out of me. I love it when I’m downward dogging and she comes over and just pulls at my hips a little more to the ceiling. Oh sure- cuz that’s so much easier now!!  I’ve been sore for a couple days, but in a good way. My back felt great the next day. I know now that stretching is probably going to be key to my quality of life even more so than running or strength training. How in the heck do I get so wound up down there? I mean, I’m not doing any heavy lifting, I wonder if it’s my posture, the way I sit when I’m driving in my pimpwagon (minivan)?  Oh wait, I know- it’s this damn couch I’m sinking into while blogging and on Facebook all the time!! Anyway- my hips are tight. Super tight. Like I need Maksim Chmerkovskiy on Dancing With the Stars to Samba the knots out – kinda tight.

At the beginning of class our Yogi said something to us that really stood out to me. She was talking about a term- I have no idea the Indian name for it- but it means ‘non grasping’. She talked about not holding our pain. Not grasping at things in life.  When we grasp, our hands are closed, and they aren’t open and ready for the next thing.

Huh.

I am always trying to grip so hard on to things to hold them dear to me. I never thought of the idea of ‘not grasping’. She says when you are grasping constantly, you don’t appreciate the ‘now’, what this moment has for you. You are grasping and it traps you in the past. Let me explain. Like a dog that is happy to go on a walk. Dog isn’t thinking on the walk how dog needs to go home and do chores, cook dinner, or write blog, dog is just happy to smell stuff and watch squirrels. Dogs don’t grasp apparently.

I thought of what I’m grasping.

Maybe I am grasping pain. We always reference something to our past. “Gosh, last year when I ran that 5k, my hips didn’t hurt the way they do now.” OR “Last time I went out late with friends and danced on the  bar, I didn’t get so tired so quickly”.

I grasp onto my parent’s aging.

I don’t want them to get older. I don’t like when I hear my mom talk about how she is slowing down, or my dad is slowing down. I’m grasping on to the time in their lives before cancers, before hip replacements, before they were too tired to get on the floor and play with the kids. Thankfully, my kids are older now- we don’t play on the floor- much. Owen likes to hang out with Oma sewing or reading. And both kids always like to sit at the table to enjoy a cup of tea and a jam butty with their Odaddy. So really, no one needs to be moving much. Right?

I grasp on the times when my children were little and sweet and innocent. When their cheeks were pudgy and their knuckles had little fat indents.

I grasp on to the early courting days of my relationship with my husband. He used to bring me flowers every month. We used to go antiquing on weekends.

People say kids today are so busy texting and on Facebook. They are grasping on to the past of when there were no cell phones, no computers, no XBOX, no Kindles, no GPS.

Yeah- that might be true. I make sure my kids ‘unplug’ from time to time.  I am NOT a strict no TV mommy. Don’t give me too much credit.  But here’s what is cool today in the here and now- kids can treasure hunt using satellites, they can text their mom that they will be late for dinner since their coach kept them late at practice, they can strategize through puzzles on Portal 2 in case they work for the CIA when they grow up (okay, I threw that last part in, but I can’t do diddly squat on Portal 2 and my 8 year old has it mastered.) I can’t even fold a map these days- so thank GOD for GPS. Right?? Our state can issue an Amber Alert that can be spread through social media outlets within minutes. Kids have the chance to be found the same day. Not to be lost forever with their picture on a milk carton.

I will try to open my hand and not grasp but think of the following:

  • my parents are here, they are wonderful people that sit and listen and make me feel important, special and loved. I don’t necessarily have to DO anything with them to enjoy them.
  • my children are humorous, independent and growing up to be pleasant people. Actual persons. Just like I intended. They will one day leave the nest, I want them ready to fly. I can’t have them stay sweet and peachy fuzzy chubby forever. Which makes me break down in sobs sometimes and want to climb in their bed when they are off at school and stick my nose in their blankets to just get their sweet smell.
  • maybe my husband doesn’t bring me flowers hardly ever. But I was living in an apartment in those days. We didn’t have our babies yet. The future seemed so vast and daunting. Now I know where I am meant to be.  I wouldn’t change today for anything and where we are now. And we don’t need any more antiques.

Hold your hands open to what is. To the now my friends. Oh SNAP! I am turning into Gandhi. Maybe my enlightened self will just accept my body as it is and go get that dress at Nordstrom anyway….

Namaste.