Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have so many more calories than my lifestyle forces me to use that I must exercise and limit calories.
I have hot water and soap. I have been known to use them to excess.

Aside from moderate lactose intolerance in two of them, my kids are healthy. Mentally and physically and intellectually. They have truly compassionate, generous hearts. This is a blessing that even money can't buy.

I have a husband who loves me, and friends who would drop anything for me ( and have).

I have a wonderful church community that is Spirit filled and dedicated to being God's hands and feet in the world.

I live in an area with more natural beauty than anywhere else, incredible rainfall, and too many free or inexpensive cultural opportunitites for us to take advantage of.

My kids have paper and books and schoolbooks that threaten to take over our house. While children in kenya learn to spell by making letters in the ground with goat dung, my kids will keep recycling drawing paper until their picture is "perfect".

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear World (a few little pet peeves)

Dear World,
Just because I am an "at home" (insert insane laughter) mom, I do not have some amazing wellspring of free time that those of you with a "real" ( more insane laughter) don't have. I don't. I just don't. I do things like knitting, watching TV, reading novels and making homemade cakes when you do- after supper chores, or even after the kids are in bed.

People like myself, who eschew frivolity and will never really "cut loose", do not have something wrong with us that needs an intervention. We are HAPPY being the humourless drudges that we are and despite what books, TV, and movies tell you, are not just waiting for someone to come along and set our inner children free.

Please do not confuse lactose intolerance for vegetarianism. This usually results in food I can't eat.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Digging the Smith, for two generations.

Originally uploaded by gojirama aka romanylass
When I was a little girl, living my boring little life in my small Pennsylvania town, I knew exactly who i wanted to be. Sarah Jane Smith. While I had plenty of other sci fi sheroes to admire, it was exactly what Sarah Jane wasn't that made her so awesome. She didn't need to be a princess, a fighter pilot from a long lost off shoot of humanity, or from the future to rock. She was a regular old 20th century human woman, diminutive like I knew I would turn out to be, who had the balls of the UNIT soldiers she rubbed shoulders with and the brains to hold her own with the centuries old alien she traveled with. What little girl *wouldn't* want to be her.
But Sarah left the Doctor and I grew up.
Then Russell T Davies showed his true brilliance by putting my favorite actress in the world back where she belongs, in the spotlight, dealing with aliens. Like me, she's a mum. And my youngest wants to be her son, Luke. While Andrew's life is busy, it's the same dull normal life Sarah Jane keeps telling Luke she wants him to live- suburbia, schoolwork, sports practice, cleaning his room. Of course he wants to be Luke. Wouldn't the Slitheen, or the Bane, make all that more exciting/
And you know what? I still want to be Sarah Jane. Look at her. She's 64! May I look that good at 54! And I wouldn't mind if my mini van's destination was occasionally investigating alien incursion...

Update: Today, April 19 2011, we have learned that Elisabeth Sladen has passed away. I'm not sure I have anything eloquent to add to all that will be said about her, I just want to say thank you, Liz, for being so much to so many. Godspeed.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Poor does not equal fat

Pretty much all of us know by now that the obesity epidemic in our country has hit the poorest the hardest, and we hear many reasons for this. While all these reasons have some level of validity, I find it really frustrating to hear someone say they "can't afford" to get in shape. Since I am almost always the least well off person in any group I am in, it's especially frustrating.
You don't need money to get in shape. Here I will take you through a few common agruments and tell you how I did it without spending very much money

Healthy food is more expensive . This is very true if you're comparing prepared foods ( as most Americans are). Cooking from scratch more is a good idea even if you have a great food budget, but it's a must of you're making do with less. Dried beans, large bags of brown rice, ...these kind of foods are way cheaper by the pound than mac and cheese and frozen dinners. But aren't fresh produce and real meat more expensive? They can be ( though not always). And here is an important in North America most of us take in way, way too many calories. CUT DOWN YOUR PORTIONS!!!! and you will be able to afford better food.

I can't afford to exercise A very real concern for the poor is they have more dangerous neighborhoods than the well off, so they cannot walk as easily ( while the rich drive to the gym...) That is not the only way to exercise. Check your local library's website- there is a wide range of exercise vidoes you can access for free, that will match your fitness level and interests. I exersice barefoot at home, so you can even get started without outlay for shoes. However, I got brand new (with tags) Nike Air running shoes at the Deseret store for $3, so that is not much of a barrier. Pick up some handweights at the thrift store to maximize your workouts. If your neighborhood is safe, walk everywhere you possibly can. And for Pete's sake, take the stairs instead of the elevator and don't waste gas looking for a parking space close to the store.

I don't have time to cook It takes no more time to start boiling water for whole wheat pasta while you throw a can of tomatos, and some garlic, salt and oregano into your blender, than it does to make Mac and cheese. It takes no more time to ask the fast food teller for a salad than a bacon cheeseburger. Quesadillas ( with whole wheat or sprouted grain tortillas) are fast and my kids were making their own by the age of 4.

Everyone deserves fitness, and it's within everyone's reach. Take care of yourself!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

On being a bad basketball mom

Until this February, none of my kids have ever played a sport. Maybe surprising, because I have always striven to have them in multiple activities, especially since joining up with a virtual charter school that will pay for them. Neither Brian or I really played sports- to be accurate, I played one year of Pony League baseball, just as the law started making them let girls play. Needless to say, it scarred me away from sports pretty much forever. Add to that, we live in the Pacific Northwest, which means whatever season you play in, you have a chance of doing it in the rain. I am not mom enough to sit in the rain, pretending to cheer my kid on in an endeavour that bores me to death. A friend, whose sons play soccer whether they like to or not ( I don't agree in that- except for swimming, which I consider a lifesaving skill, activities are by choice) has told me for years that if it was my kid playing, I would become interested. I never believed him, but didn't say so.
So, last fall Andrew noticed a sign for basketball sign-ups at the Centre at Norpoint, where he takes swimming and homeschool PE. He wanted to to that. I thought about that...a sport? One of my geekspawn?'s indoors. I won't have to sit in the rain. We can do this.
Practice started. Andrew has some skills, but has never played team sports before. NO. CLUE. about team play. After one practice and one scrimmage...first game. We get home, and Andrew says "We won!" Brian asks me what the score was. I say "I don't really think they keep score at their level". Brian "You didn't pay attention, you just sat there knitting". Despite Andrew's defense of me, I was guilty as charged.
I think I'm a pretty good mom, but like all of us, I have limits. Olivia has never done Girl Scouts because I don't like having cookies sold at me, and I don't want to try to sell them to other people. My kids have never done outdoor sports because I refuse to sit in the rain. And while I will faithfully drive Andrew to every practise and game, I just can't drum up an interest in the the game itself. I do glance up enough to know that he flits between concern for players on both sides and his own "7 year old boy ADOS" (Attention Deficit....Oooooh, Shiny!) tendency to be doing anything but play the game. In a way, it's less painful to have my knitting at hand. And you know what? As long as I support my kids, it's OK not to find it entertaining.