Monthly Archives: February 2013

Birthday Party Lament of a Working Mom

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I am currently in the middle of panic attack, OK panic is a bit strong, but I am agitated. The cause you ask, well first of all, thanks for caring that is why I like you, but I just realized it is February 26th, which means my daughter’s 10th birthday party is this Saturday and I have done nothing except invite a bunch of kids. Damn you February and your curious lack of days, if you had 30 days like all the other months we would have bumped her party to next weekend.

So here’s the situation, I have reserved the community pool and sent out invitations, but that’s it. It is shocking the amount of details that must be addressed for such an event and by the way, I still have clients who expect me to do the law thing all day.

My initial plan was to spend some time searching the Interweb to find beach totes which I would fill with flip flops, suntan lotion, beach balls and other swimming related bric a brac for the kids. Sounds great, right? Well it’s not happening since I totally forgot to do any of that.

I left the house early this morning and stopped at Meijers and Walmart desperately trying to find something to substitute for my fabulous tote idea. I did not have much luck since it is currently 30 degrees and apparently Meijers and Walmart don’t think it is swim appropriate weather.

Then I get to the office and switch to lawyer mode, dealing with the pressing legal issues of the day. Talking to clients on the phone while surfing the Target and Old Navy websites pricing out flip flops. Does anyone else have these kind of days?

At some point it dawns on me that I also need to send a birthday treat in on Friday for her class, and we will need plates, forks  and napkins for the cake, and drinks, oh God I forgot about drinks.  This is when the panic set in, please just shoot me now!

My husband has offered to help. In his defense he is not a slacker, but he has an uncanny way of creating chaos in these situations. For example, when my daughter was in preschool, I had purchased frosted cookies for her class, displayed them artfully on a glass platter and told him all he had to do was meet me at the school at 11:00 and bring the platter.

As my daughter was passing out the cookies I was doing a mental calculation and realized we were one cookie short. I looked at Mr. Mayhem and said, you ate a cookie didn’t you? He gave me his most aggrieved face and proceeded to make up some story about how one supposedly broke so he had to eat it. Yeah, you couldn’t possibly let it suffer.

Another time I dispatched him to a local retailer, known for their chocolate brownies, for Lil’ Mayhem to take to school. Everyone loves brownies, right? What could possibly go wrong? Well you could have a husband who chooses to buy German Chocolate Brownies for 5 year olds. Luckily, there were also some “normal” brownies which I was able to cut in half, but still c’mon man it is the rare young child that likes German Chocolate anything!

So this morning as I hastily bid him good-bye and he earnestly looked at me and said what can I do to help, I just looked at him and said “stay pretty.”

Cheers!

Dazey

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Oh Yoga Dork, you tickle me so…

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I love the blog, Yoga Dork.  It is an irreverent, but respectful look at the sometimes amusing world of Yoga. I believe they use the words “cheeky candor” to describe themselves. Today, as I was avoiding my work by checking in with my favorite web hangouts, I noticed they have re-organized their front page so that it now resembles a news aggregator like the Huffington Post.

But what set my heart a twitter is that I see they have added a section dedicated to Yoga in Sports.  I hope this is going to be a regular feature, as it combines my two loves.  If you have read my “about me” page, and frankly who hasn’t, you will note that I cop to an embarrassing addiction to ESPN, seriously I have a problem.  From Mike & Mike at 7:00am to Coach & Company at 5:00, I listen all day to ESPN radio, its kind of sad, and as I have been told, “weird for a chick.”

The other day my husband had Lithium on our Sirius radio in the kitchen while we were making dinner and I said “hey, that’s the bumper music for SVP & Russillo!”  I had no idea it was really a semi-popular song.  I could feel the eye roll across the room, as he said, you really need to get a life.

Anyways, today’s Yoga Dork post was on the Celtic’s power forward Kevin Garnett.  KG is 36 years old which, in basketball years, is practically elderly.  He is an amazing talent and physical specimen who credits his yoga practice for helping him with flexibility and mental control. What is unintentionally hilarious about this is that KG is his also known for his propensity to drop f-bombs in interviews and on the court in earshot of the general public.  He’s a pretty intense guy, so I can only imagine what a madman he would be without the benefits of yoga.

Another fun feature of Yoga Dork is their find your yogi name chart.  Mine is Summer Apple Sprout, here is the link if you want to know yours http://yogadork.com/news/what-is-your-yogi-name-read-this-chart-and-find-out/.    I really wish my name was Sophia Yvette White because that would make me Feather Sparkle Parsnip and that would be AWESOME!

Cheers!

Dazey

It’s a hard knock life.

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This is GG, she is the latest addition to our domestic zoo.  I know you are thinking, oh God, not a story about how much this lunatic loves her cat, but I think you will find her story inspirational, or at least be glad this happened to her and not you.

GG’s story is a classic rags to riches, fish out of water irony rich tale.  GG was a “hood cat” living on the mean streets in a seedy part of town.  My husband’s fire station was in this neighborhood and GG (then going under the handle, Princess) found her way to their door begging for food and attention.

She was small, skinny and pathetic but exceedingly friendly.  My husband, being the big softy that he is, took pity on her and gave her food and water so she stayed.   I serve on the board of a low-cost spay neuter clinic, so he decided to get her spayed, because we are responsible people and that’s what we do.

This is the point in the story where my daughter, Lil’ Mayhem gets involved. They go to the station, package up Princess and take her to the clinic.  We thought she was a kitten, turns out she is 4 years old, has had several litters of kittens, survived broken ribs and is full of worms.  In short, she’s the total package.

Because our intent was to take her back to the ‘hood, they took the tip of her ear off, this is how they mark wild cats as spayed.  But, since they took her in on a Friday they made my husband promise to keep her in overnight before he released her in order to let her get her faculties back in order.   This is where I enter the story.

I get home from work to find this pathetic creature in my garage.  She was a mess scrawny, bloody ear, drunk as a sailor on shore leave.  But even in her stupor she found the quiet dignity to use the tiny litter box in her pen.  I could totally relate.

Of course, I could not allow this cat to go back to the ‘hood, she had clearly used up at least 6 of her alloted lives so I and Lil’ double team the husband and convince him to let her stay and be our outside cat.  He reluctantly agrees, silently hoping she runs away as soon as we open the garage door.  His only request is that the name has to change, so we rename her GG which stands for Ghetto Gato.

It didn’t take long for GG to take up residence on our front porch, I suspect the pillows, blanket and endless supply of canned cat food had something to do with it.  Before you knew it she was part of the family, following us around, stalking our chickens and bringing home dead animals and hiding them under her pillow.

All was well until one day when GG was missing.  That night I found her in the shed and clearly something was wrong.  She was in shock and holding her front leg awkwardly.  We rushed her to the 24 hour vet clinic to be told her leg was broken and because of the nature of the break she will probably have to have it amputated.  YIKES!

Luckily, our regular vet just happens to be the only vet in the state who is a specialist in orthopaedic surgery.  What are the odds.  So $1,200.00 later GG still has her leg although she walks with a limp and of course she now lives in our house. She does not comprehend the concept of free choice food and eats until the bowl is clean, therefore GG now stands for Gordo Gato.

The cause of the broken leg you may ask, she was shot.  So to summarize, we take a cat from the mean streets and relocate her to our suburban home as an act of kindness.  Over the course of the next six months she proceeds to lose her ovaries, part of an ear and full use of a limb.  Oh the irony!

Cheers,

Dazey

I like my yoga cool, thank you.

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I love yoga, I take it, I teach it, I think it is great. But one version I cannot get behind is Bikram or “hot” yoga. My reasons are three-fold.

First, I don’t really like to be sweaty. If it happens naturally, over the course of a bike ride or a workout fine, but I strip out of those wet clothes as soon as it is socially acceptable.

There used to be a commercial for OFF!, you know the bug repellent, where this guy sticks his arm in a glass case full of mosquitoes and his arm gets sweaty, presumably to show the OFF! doesn’t sweat off, but all I can think of is how hot do you have to get in order for your forearm to sweat. Being heat adverse and highly allergic to mosquitoes, the whole scenario gives me the schimmies just thinking about it.

In Bikram yoga, they keep the room at 100+ degrees, I would be sweating before the class begins. Plus such heat encourages people to wear clothes they simply should not wear. Ever notice how on really hot days all social contracts regarding appropriate clothing seems to go out the window, even the most normal people seem to say “screw it!,” I know my thighs look like tubes of bread dough but I’m hot, so deal with it.

Second, the class is 90 minutes long. All the classes I teach and take are 60 minutes and I have to say, as much as I love it, by the 45 minute mark I am looking forward to final relaxation. Imagine being hot, sweaty and the 45 minute mark comes and you are only at the half way point. I consider myself to be in fairly good shape, but I am concerned I may simply pass out in a pool of my own sweat.

Finally, I have read the Bikram yoga book and I have to say I am concerned about one particular pose. It is called “wind releasing pose.” Everyone who has ever taken a yoga class knows that “wind release happens” and frankly it brings out the second grader in all of us. For the most part I stifle my giggles unless the perpetrator is especially loud or malodorous because I know it is generally unintentional.

Now, imagine if you will, trapped in a room for 90 minutes at 104 degrees with strangers in which such behavior is actually encouraged. Nothing about that is appealing to me. Nope, I am sure Bikram yoga is the great and beneficial exercise everyone tells me it is, but until they deal with these three particular issues, I am keeping my yoga cool.
Cheers!
Dazey

Meat Muffins (a working title)

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pretty, no but very very tasty!

pretty, no but very very tasty!

Meatloaf, beatloaf, double bubble beatloaf, unlike Randy in A Christmas Story, we love meatloaf. In my effort to cut down on calories and meat in my diet, meatloaf has gone by the wayside, which is sad because there is little else that satisfies like it during an Ohio winter.

I have researched my light recipe resources and come up with this amalgam of several diet meatloaf recipes. This one makes individual “loafs” in a jumbo cupcake/muffin pan. If you don’t have one, and don’t want to commit the dinero in purchasing one, I bought the disposable version in the tin foil aisle at the grocery store. You know, the place you visit once a year for the disposable turkey roaster. It’s amazing what they have done with disposable bake wear, it’s not just for Thanksgiving anymore.

Anyways, I call them meat muffins, which I am told “just sounds wrong.”  Whatever you want to call them they go great with Crashed Potatoes which is more a technique rather than a recipe.  I have seen them in a lot of books, but I tend to follow the version in the Pioneer Woman’s second cookbook.  I love her recipes they are delicious an easy to follow, but I spend my day working clients instead of cattle, so they don’t really match my life’s daily caloric expenditure.

The nutrition information is an estimate, averaged from the ingredients used.  It should be pretty close, but when in doubt add 20 calories just to be safe.

Meat Muffins

Makes 6- takes about 50 minutes start to finish

1 pkg. ground turkey (19 oz) 93% lean

½ medium onion (chopped fine)

½ red bell pepper (chopped fine)

1 cup old fashion oats

3/4 cup shredded carrots (chopped)

2 eggs (beaten)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp cumin

2 tbsp chili sauce (or substitute 1 ½  tbsp of ketchup & ½ tbsp hot sauce)

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsps ketchup

6 slices turkey bacon

Preheat oven to 350.        Mix all ingredients except ketchup and bacon in large bowl until combined. Spray jumbo cupcake/muffin tin with cooking spray, line 6 muffin holes with bacon slices.  Spoon 3/4 cup of meat mixture in holes, press lightly.  Brush ketchup sparingly over meat mixture.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Nutrition information: 235 calories each, 9 grams fat, 17 carbohydrates and 20 grams protein.

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Crashed Potatoes

1 1/2 pound small red or fingerling potatoes

olive oil

4 cloves garlic chopped fine

3 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped fine

Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in large saucepan covered in 3 inches of salted water bring to a boil and continue to cook 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes and place on baking sheet. Gently smash potatoes (I use a tiny saucepan) until the skins break and the potatoes flatten slightly.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle garlic and rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, then bake for 20 minutes until crispy.

Nutrition information: 94 calories, 4 grams fat, 14 carbohydrates and 2 grams protein

Too close for missles. I’m switching to guns….

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Week 3 with no progress on the weight loss front. The needle on the scale is definitely to the left of the one in 140 but not enough to actually declare it to be 139.  At this point in the process every pound is coming off agonizingly slow, therefore, in the immortal words of Maverick in Top Gun,  I’m switching to guns.

This is a familiar theme in my weight loss career, get down to my regular weight and then all south bound progress ceases.  Now I know what you are going to say, I have heard it a million times, this is the right body weight for you.  And to that, I ask, who is in charge here?  Well, that answer is painfully obvious.

I am aware complaining that I cannot lose 5 pounds may sound, to those who have much greater challenges, like complaining that my diamond shoes are too tight, but this is my personal white whale.  I would like my weight to vary between 135-140 instead of 140-150.  Therefore, I want to get down to 135 and then let the swinging begin.  It is not as if I am asking to be a size 2, I am perfectly happy in an 8 that doesn’t leave lines on my belly.

Which, by the way, have you ever read a weight loss story and seen someone say they lost 30 pounds and now they are a size 0 (which frankly is not a size if you ask me), then you look at the picture and say no way.  I am sorry lady, but you are a size 8, maybe a 6, but no way in Hades are you wearing a 0, who are you trying to kid.  Be happy you lost those 30 pounds, rejoice in the fact you feel better and can chase your kids without losing your breath, but don’t try to over sell it by telling me you are a size 0, I have eyes, I’m gonna know.

After taking a brutally honest look at the situation, I know I am not cheating the diet, so it has to be the exercise element.  Since my Iphone has become to be the center of my universe I turned to it for answers. A while back, my daughter and I decided we wanted to overcome our hatred of running (well, I decided and convinced her it would be “fun” she’s 9 she still falls for that).  I downloaded the Couch to 5K app (C25K), I read about in an article about Jamie Curtis overcoming the same aversion to running.

We did it for about 3 weeks, but because we started in November, the weather and early darkness of day light savings time made us cut it off short of finishing the program.  I am not going to say it was fun, but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would and we both felt a sense of accomplishment.

So yesterday I starting the program over again, this time on the treadmill in my garage. The bad news is the garage smells weird because the rabbit has her winter condo in there (sorry Butterscotch, but rabbits can be kind of smelly).  The good news is I am working my way through my Gilmore Girls complete series DVD kit, so even if I don’t break the 5 pound barrier, I will have some sharp-witted quips with which to express my frustrations.

Cheers,

Dazey

Applebees, you’re killing me here

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Applebees, may I ask you what’s up? What is it that I have done to you to make you hate me so. Let me fill you in, I am meeting my M.O.M. (which of course stands for Mother of all Mayhem) tonight for dinner to hand off about a pallet of Girl Scout cookies which she sold on my daughter’s behalf. Since she lives over two hours away, we generally meet at a midway point for dinner and Applebees fits the bill.

Now I have always been of the opinion that Applebees is a fine establishment, serving tasty American fare at fairly reasonable prices. All of that may still be true but, has anyone taken the time to read the nutritional information on their food?

I fancy myself a bit of an amateur chef so I am hip to fact that restaurants make their food taste great by adding copious amounts of salt, butter or both. That does not shock me, but the effect it has on the caloric output of the food has given me a case of the vapors.

As chronicled here, I am alloted 1300ish calories in a day. That total day allotment is eclipsed by one serving of Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad (1320), Hand-Battered Fish & Chips (1570) or Three Cheese Penne (1300). Even the Oriental Chicken Salad, an Applebees best seller weighs in at 1390, if you get it will grilled chicken it only brings it down to 1290. Outrageous.

I see that they have a Weight Watchers section that has 7 options.  Since I don’t eat shrimp or mushrooms (it’s a texture thing) that takes it down to 3 for me and even those are in the 500 range.  Of those 3 options the sodium count averages 1926. Yikes, can’t use the butter, so I guess you double up on the salt it’s low cal!

No wonder we all need to lose weight in this country, we don’t have a chance. Unless you win the genetic lottery or are an in-training, professional athlete, there is no way you can eat out and not blimp up.

What’s a girl to do? I know I am being a total Debbie Downer here, but this is depressing.  Applebees, I like you but c’mon man you gotta work with me here this is simply not cool.

Cheers,

Dazey