Monday, May 30, 2011

The Hip Housewife is worried about one of her offspring

I've spent some time looking at information about Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  The symptoms include: 
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Excessive arguing with adults
  • Often questioning rules
  • Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
  • Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
  • Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
  • Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Frequent anger and resentment
  • Mean and hateful talking when upset
  • Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking
Will doesn't seek out revenge.  He only deliberately annoys his sister. 

But he will refuse to do a task when he's asked.  He'll look in your eyes and do exactly the opposite of what you tell him to do.  He does say he hates you when he's sent to time out.  He's a big time tantrum thrower. 

I think some of the issue is related to how much he eats.  When he gets cranky I try to get him to take a spoonful of peanut butter, hoping the protein will help his mood.  I've got this opinion because these things generally happen in the morning, before he's eaten or in the late afternoon. 

I haven't heard anything from his preschool regarding any of the above behaviors.  And he's different with other moms.  And then he can be the sweetest kid.  He makes friends everywhere he goes.  When he got up and saw that I'd hurt my knee, he got me a wet cloth to try and make it better.  I was taking them upstairs to put them to bed last night and he held my hand because he said I could walk better if he was holding my hand.

On bad days, Scott and I look at each other and wonder what it is he needs.  We've tried time outs.  We've tried taking things away.  We've tried spanking him. 

Now it's time to consult with a pro.  I'm going to call the child psychologist who worked with Zoe when she was first diagnosed with ADHD to set up an appointment.  Scott and I will both attend to speak our concerns and get a little advice. 

This is scaring both of us to death because of what we might find out.  But it's better than ignoring the problem and continuing to yell at the poor kid. 

Are you sure there's no instruction manual?

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  When selecting glasses frames, go with the opposite of your face shape.  If your face is angular, go with a rounder frame.  A round face will look best with angular frames. 

Okay.  he has friends.  He isn't in trouble at school.  He doesn't seek revenge

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hip Housewife hurt herself. Ow.

I'm still taking my exercise classes (when I first typed the word 'exercise' I actually typed 'sexercise', wonder what Dr. F would make of that?)  and I am exercising on the days I don't attend class.

Thursday I took the dogs out for a walk.  I like to walk after the kids go to bed since it's cooler.  We're tromping along the sidewalk, I even ran some of it. 

We took a left  and about half way down that block there was a seam in the sidewalk that was uneven by about half an inch.  I didn't see it.  It wasn't in my favor.  I caught the toe of my right, black and pink Nike Shox shoe on the higher patch of concrete and I went DOWN.

It happened slow enough that I was able to have the thought "I'm going to hit on my knee!"  Then. BuuuuuuuuuHAM!

I sat up and took a look at the damage.  I had a big scrape, maybe medium sized, about the size of a matchbook.  I'd caught myself on the heel of my right hand and it hurt too.  The dogs were worried and crowded me, licking my face and looking concerned. 

And I was half a mile from home.  Dammit.

I walked home with blood running down my leg and making a face.  After I walked in the door I showed The Hip Husband who paused his video game to examine my wound.  He was mostly thinking that I needed to get it clean so I wouldn't get an infection.  I got a wet washcloth while he and I quoted the movie "The Four Seasons" at each other.

It's a film about a group of friends who travel together, written and directed by Alan Alda.  At one point, he's gotten a big scrape on his knee after tackling a friend of his during a soccer game.  His wife, played by Carol Burnett, is unsympathetic.  In their hotel room he examines his knee. 

"Oh God.  Oh.  God. Really took off a lot of skin."  he glances up to see Carol applying lotion to her face.  "What are you doing?"

"I've been out in the cold all day and my skin is dry."  she tells him without looking away from the mirror. 

"I wonder if they have any ice down the hall?"

"Gee.  I don't know.  Why don't you go see?"  says Carol.

"Are you mad at me?"  he asks.

"You got it."

Then they have a big fight.  Scott and I quote the fight to each other a lot because it's funny. 

I got my boo-boo cleaned off a little then got in the bathtub to make sure all the dirt was gone. 

Yesterday, it felt okay so I went to my bootcamp class and carefully moved around with my trainer keeping a close eye on me to help with the modifications.  It was the last day of school and Zoe had her usual sleep over.  Parents brought their kids over, stayed for dinner and retreated to homes empty of kids.  I'd tried to be careful but by the end of the night I couldn't bend my left knee to go upstairs.  I really couldn't bend it much at all.  And it hurt.

I was really frustrated.  I'd booked a nanny job for Monday which would have paid over $100.  And I would have spent the day with some kids I know from my church nursery gig.  If I couldn't easily walk there was no way I could keep an eye on them all day in the way I needed to.  I emailed my boss to tell her I couldn't work either job. 

This morning, my knee was swelled up to double it's usual size.  Crap.

Scott's been very clear that I need to make sure I really take care of myself because if I don't let it heal correctly it can turn into something that will bother me regularly.  Part of me wants to say "Oh please."  But another part of my brain is telling me that if I have permanently messed up my knee I can kiss culinary school good-bye. 

Not taking these two work days to sit on my shrinking bum on the sofa and rest my knee over the long weekend is a small price to pay if I can preserve my ability to stand at the stove and the chopping board.  This is going to sound dramatic but $200 isn't enough for my future. 

I've minimized my movements today.  I'm drinking lots of water.  I'm icing every 3-4 hours.  I'm using ibuprofen for the ache, which has gone down quite a bit.  I took a long nap, which I thanked the family for.  These things combined have improved my mood considerably. 

If you need me, I'm the one on the sofa watching Netflix on my laptop.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day: If your scalp is itchy and you are near the beach, take a handful of fine sand and rub it in!  Rinse with the hose/beach shower outside before going in to wash and condition.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Hip Housewife needs a red tent.

For the last three days I've been wandering around with a sour look on my face.  It's the same look one of my mom's crazy aunts usually had on her face whenever I saw her.

My mom had two crazy aunts.  One, Melba, was kooky, endearing crazy.  She introduced herself to Scott as the crazy aunt.  If you ever watch the movie "Home for the Holidays", Geraldine Chaplin's character is my Auntie Melba, no exaggeration.  When you dropped her off at home she'd go into her house for random things she thought you'd like and give it to you.  And I always liked what she gave me!  It was a gift she had. 

Her other aunt is mean crazy.  The look on her face has been described as if she has a turd under her nose. 

I've had that look on my face the last few days as my ladies time is due any second now.  While my medications keep me sane 27 days of the month, the other three are a little weird.  Not crazy, just weird.  I get weepy.  I take things personally.  I retain water.  The water retention makes the numbers on the scale go up which makes me weepy. 

I tend to be overly self critical during this week of my hormones being little shits.  For example,  I took the kids to the Girl Scout end-of-the-year party.  It was held at the home of a fellow Girl Scout.  The house is gorgeous, predictably gorgeous, but gorgeous nonetheless.  (That's the other thing, I get a little judgmental.  Yes, the house is nice, but I couldn't tell you anything that's particularly unique about it.  It looks just like a whole bunch of other nice homes decorated in taupe, burgundy and gold.) 
After we attend this gathering I was being really critical of my house, the way it looks and the generally ratty condition we live in. 

Nothing I can do about the other family, but I can clean my house up, which I will be doing tonight and tomorrow.

Along with all of this I want to eat a whoooooooole bunch of salt.  Yum yum yum yum yum.  Like poutine gravy on salted fries salty.  Like asking the person behind the counter to put salt on your $18 bucket of popcorn salty.  Like Lipton Onion Soup Mix salty.  Saaaaallllllty!  Mmmm-mmm-mm!

This morning, The Hip Husband noticed that I was kind of off and asked me what was wrong.  I explained that my cycle, my friend, my Aunt Flo, my curse was due.  I was going to be menstruating, riding the cotton pony, on the rag, having my period any second now.

He said 'Oh, so, do I need to go set up a red tent and push food through a flap?'   And that sounded great! 

In Biblical times, when a woman was *insert euphemism of your choice here* she went into a red tent with other women whose bodies were doing the same thing for a few days.  They kept themselves clean, sewed, ate, slept and talked.  You were sent to the red tent!  I'm sure there were some cat fights in those tents.  Probably good ones!

But it would be nice to be absolved of all responsibilities for the days the female body is causing mischief.  I'd take my laptop and movie theatre popcorn with me. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Keep your cycle calendared so that you can step up your blemish prevention the week before. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, that was anti-climatic

In case you hadn't heard, the Rapture was supposed to take place on Saturday.  Only 3% of the population were estimated to be on the list for the first shuttle, which wouldn't make a huge difference in the day to day of most people I know.  There were also supposed to be earthquakes starting at 6 p.m.  Wherever it was 6 p.m. there would be a really big earthquake, starting near Pago Pago and American Samoa. 

Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and other electronically driven information we were all able to keep abreast of the potential destruction in real time.  Anthony Bourdain of "No Reservations" was in Australia on Saturday.  He tweeted:  In Australia for The Rapture.  It's happening, man!  And they're giving out swag bags!

People went outdoors to lay out empty clothes on sidewalks. threw parties and made jokes. There was an air of silliness around this particular prediction, or maybe, I was involved in the silliness this time.

I actively posted on a Facebook page called "Post Rapture Looting" where people were putting in dibs on what they were going to be claiming in the post Rapture world.  I laid claim to Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and Fry's.  Someone asked me about firearms and where I would get them.  I explained that I live in Texas and just need to get into the neighbor's houses to get my guns, easier than making the journey to Wal-Mart. 

Although there is that hardware store run by the hard-core libertarians nearby, where they sell hunting gear, paint and guns.  They're really nice!  You can walk in and tell them what you need and they'll help you out with parts and instructions. You should give them your custom to support local business.  It's the Ace Hardware next to the Dollar General at 183 South and Spicewood Springs in the same shopping center as Big Lots.  While you're there, go get a cupcake at Cupprimo. 

And there were people who quit their jobs and, in some cases, left their families to go try to save the non-believers.   I have to say that I don't have that kind of faith.  Especially when the end of the world is predicted about every ten years.

Zoe came to us last year asking what the 2012 prediction about the end of the world meant. We explained that the end of the world has been predicted a lot.  At least four times in my lifetime, probably more and I was too busy putting together outfits to notice. 

We had a post-rapture gathering on Sunday.  Well, not officially, we'd made the plan to have friends over before the news of the Rapture broke, but I was thinking of it as a 'whoo-hoo!  No earthquakes!' shindig.  Saturday night I had a babysitting job where the parents came home drunk (they'd taken a cab, so no worries) and tipped me almost 40%. 

But before that, I got myself a brand-spanking new Samsung Galaxy phone!  Check it out here:  My swell, new phone!  The kids have been playing with it as much as Scott has and have already figured out how to watch Youtube videos. 

All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend.  Hope yours was too! 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you're going to be swimming a lot this summer, don't forget that your skin will dry out.  Invest in a good body lotion. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Once again, the Hip Housewife spews her opinion

I'm not a regular viewer of The View.  I like Whoopi but, the show just isn't my cup of tea.  However, I must admit that I agree with Sherri Shepherd when she says "This is the dumbest ass momma I've ever seen in my life!" 

Who is she talking about?  Allow me to explain!

Not that long ago,  a woman appeared on Good Morning America (our morning news program of choice) stating that she had injected her 8 year old daughter with Botox in order to make wrinkles in said daughter's face smooth out in order to give her an advantage in pageants. 

I think all pageant moms are a little crazy. Anyone who puts their under 12 year old daughter in a petticoat skirt that barely covers her ass, a crop top with a padded bra and over the knee socks then says "I don't think what they wear is sexy."  needs a smack in their heavily made up face.

But this took the imaginary cake.  You injected BOTOX in your DAUGHTER'S face?  Yourself.  At home. Oh. My. Fucking. God. 

Are you aware that Botox is only approved for use in the area of the higher section of the forehead?  Not your lips, not your cheeks, just your forehead.  This woman says she pumped the stuff into the sides of her child's face.  She says that other pageant moms suggested it to her.  Well, damn that makes it all okay! 

My first reaction was:  Why would you go on national television and tell the world about it? 

But this is a pageant mom, which makes her crazy.  And totally unapologetic.  She doesn't see anything wrong with it because she's had Botox herself and it's safe. 

Then, Child Protective Services removed the daughter from her home.  Well, duh!  What'd you think was gonna happen?  CPS said the girl was doing well. 

Today, the mom went on, get this,  You know?  The gossip site?  The one that keeps us up to date on Lindsey Lohan's court cases and keeps the paparazzi employed? 

She went on this online gossip rag to say that she made the whole thing up because a UK paper paid her $200.  She's never had Botox herself.  As a matter of fact, she doesn't even know what Botox is.  She just held up a plastic syringe to her daughter's face.  Her child had a horrible look on her face and then continued to look miserable while holding an ice pack to her face.

Her daughter has been examined by a doctor who says it's impossible to tell if she received Botox as it's been over 90 days since the mother says the last injections were given.  The effects have worn off and there is no blood test to determine if she's ever had Botox.  

At best, this woman is stupid.  At worst, she's a con artist who thinks she can get a bunch of money out of the news outlets.  I'm wondering how much TMZ paid her to post her video statement.   Either way, she's right up there with the woman who stood on her porch and screamed "Because it rubs their ass raw to see those pictures of her dead daughter up on that page!"

As Sherri said "This is the dumbest ass momma I've ever seen in my life!"  I think that sums it up well. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you are considering Botox, make sure you go to a licensed doctor who is a real cosmetic surgeon, not an OB/GYN who performs cosmetic surgery.  Good surgeons don't advertise.  And remember, it's only approved for your forehead!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This is difficult

I'm enrolled in a bootcamp class, as I've mentioned.  Our initial detox diet is over after two weeks, now we are continuing to eat 5-6 small meals a day made up of whole foods.  I over did it on the beets so I've had to move on to another vegetable.  Still limiting sweets to strawberries, kiwi or tart apples with no refined sugar all.  I've successfully eliminated caffeine and I'm able to consume a gallon of water a day.

The classes themselves are getting easier.  Of course, our trainer is giving us more difficult movements to match our new found strengths.  She's also very into actively increasing self-esteem as we continue on. 

This is the part that's hard for me.  I always feel corny and silly doing stuff like that.  Tell myself I love myself every day feels weird to me.  Trying to let my issues go or at least make them move to a less prominent place in my experience is a monumental exercise. 

As far as results go, I've lost 6 pounds.  I'm guessing a good chunk of that is water weight, but seeing the numbers dip is satisfying.  I haven't taken my measurements because it's only been two weeks and I've probably not lost enough to measure in inches. 

Next week I'll start trying on clothes that I know are too small to see how things are progressing on that front. 

But, as I said, it's the emotional/mental exercises that are hardest for me.  I'm keeping a gratitude journal, I'm looking in the mirror and saying I love myself every day, I'm trying to make friends with my body and explain that it's not that I hate my bod, it's that I want to make changes. 

I've been talking to myself in the car, because I like talking and I like working things out in self-conversation.  After this week, I have another month before striking out on my own.  This scares me to death.

How can I keep this up on my own?  I suck at it.  When I was doing Weight Watchers there was an online community that was a total joke.  If you showed up as a new member there were a group of 5 or 6 members that would ridicule you out of their world.  When Scott and I were working the program together, it was much easier, but I'll be doing this on my own.

First, I have to stop the self-flagellation when I slip on my eating plan.  I'm able to keep my eating very healthy for the majority of the day before having something definitely not allowed at the end of my day.  The fact that I've changed my diet in such a huge way is a massive accomplishment as it is. 

What shall I have as my vegetable of the day?  Acorn squash sounds good.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If your skin is breaking out or not looking it's best, start by drinking a lot of water.  It really does help

Monday, May 16, 2011

Feeling not so hip

I've been feeling really insecure lately, which troubles me.  I'm contemplating what changes I need to make to feel better.  Do I need to cut back on obligations?  Possibly.  If I spread myself out too thin then I feel like I'm not doing anything to the best of my ability and therefore the outcome will be sub-par which will make people think I'm a bad person and blah blah blah.

I know getting the house not just picked up but CLEANED will make me feel much better.  I'm starting to make posters for the kids listing what chores they need to do everyday to help keep the house a nice place to live.  Things are just going to get worse when I'm in school full time this fall so I'm getting them used to the idea of doing more now.

While the new eating plan I've been doing has made me feel better, I haven't stuck to it on the straight and narrow.  I'm beating myself up for that, but that's a long term thing that's all wrapped up with my body issues.

Gaw, I'm reading back over this and thinking "I'm forty goddamn years old.  Why the hell am I still dealing with this crap?"

Then I resignedly thought "Oh, I'm going to be dealing with this shit for my whole life.  Well, maybe not my WHOLE life, I may give it up when I'm 75 and start opening cussing and wearing my slippers out of the house."

Followed by "I'm hungry".

One thing that I'm not insecure about is the fact that I've found I really enjoy beets steamed with a little salt.  I'll be having that for brunch.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Always have one casual, everyday outfit that makes you feel swell.  Wear it with some kickin' stompers on a day when you need a little help.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chewing on some better food

I'm still detoxing, still drinking a gallon of water a day.  I've found that I enjoy beets as long as they're not canned.  I'm also having broccoli and the occasional turnip in addition to my lean proteins. 

I like my exercise class and the trainer I'm working with.  Last week Friday, I got dizzy and nauseated and had to walk around outside until it passed, which was super embarrassing. There are all levels in our small class, from very fit to those of us who need to modify in order to keep up. 

Since I've started this program I'm also making small changes in what I'm buying at the grocery store for the family.  My trainer would like to see us eating organic, whole foods but our budget just can't handle that.  (Although the author of the book "Skinny Bitch" says you can you just have to do it) 

I do the best I can with the budget I have available.  Yes, I buy some canned foods and non-organic fruits and vegetables that have been transported from outside the local area.  It's what I can afford to feed the family and I am of the mind set that fruits and vegetables that have been brought in are better than none.  I get them frozen blueberries to much on and Will actually likes frozen peas. 

I make as many meals as I can from scratch, which is better than pre-packaged, I buy as many things as I can that are high fructose corn syrup free.  Scott's been able to get off soda, for the most part, with the addition of bubbly water in cans to our fridge.  As good as spring water?  No, but better than soda.

While the weather is good I shoo the kids outside to play.  I try to kick it old school and tell them they're not allowed back in for X amount of time.  I've joined the Ultimate Mom's Club, giving me somewhere to take Will on non-school days to keep him and I from fighting about Xbox and computer time. 

I'm hoping we can continue to make small changes to our habits, but in our house, you never know. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you whiten your teeth, don't go for blue.  That's a sign of damage. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

That was fun

We got a lot of rain here in Texas yesterday.  It also happened to be a day I had to run around and get a bunch of stuff done.  Including going to the bank.  I like my bank.  They have snacks in the lobby.

I was in the bank when there was a huge clap of thunder,  a massive flash of light outside and all the lights went out.  Lightning had struck an electrical pole outside, knocking out the power.  When the power goes out at a bank, all the doors lock.

I was locked in with the staff, who all rushed out into the lobby to see what was going on. 

As we're standing there looking out at the rain one of the women blurts out "If there's a tornado I'm going in the vault!" 

Then one of the men says "Well, I just made popcorn so we won't have to eat each other."  After we'd all joked around a  little while the teller helping me found a pool of light where I could fill out my forms. 

And we waited about another five minutes for the power to come back on.  Once it did it was another few minutes for everyone's computer to power up before I completed my transaction.

By then it was pouring buckets of rain.  And I had no umbrella. Oh well.  I went out into the rain to hold my arms out and spin around as I went to the car so I could drive home and change my wet clothes.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  You can't really tell if a foundation really matches your skin tone unless you check it in natural light.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Well, damn!!!

And now I'm bestowing the Stylish Blogger Award onto my writer chef pal:

for her blog, MY LIPS ARE RED

As you can see from the photo to the right, Amanda is a MUCH more Stylish Blogger than I am. :-)

The above appeared on the blog of my writer flautist pal Debbie Ridpath-Ohi, Inky Girl.

Now I tell you ten things you may not know about me and pass the award along.  How can I possibly think of ten things that I haven't already brayed to the world? I'll give it a shot.

1)  I really like to drive.  I find going for a drive by myself to be really relaxing.

2)  My favorite sandwich is chicken salad (real chicken salad with only mayo and chicken) on toasted sourdough bread with cheese and lettuce. 

3)  Although I rarely have the energy to keep it up, I love a clean house. 

4)  I'm naturally dark blond.  But, when I check my roots there are lots of grays sprinkled in. 

5)  I love the show America's Next Top Model.

6)  I have a collection of teapots, mostly bunnies.

7)  I hate to put laundry away. 

8)  Almost all of the furniture in my home was given to us by family members. 

9)  If I could afford to get a pedicure every week I would because I love them.

10)  My favorite sleeping environment is hot outside but with the air conditioner turned up cold enough that I need a blanket. 

And now, I pass along the Stylish Blogger Award to my friend Dawn.  Note her fabulous ankles on her blog:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Here's what I have to say about that

Although I have a space in the fall program in culinary school, I still need to complete the application.  I have my recommendation letters in the bag, I can print my tax return and bring my social security card to prove that I am who I say I am and I have completed my entrance essay.

The information about the requirements told me that my essay needed to have a title, answer the some questions that I can't remember right now and be at least 300 words.  I was relived that it couldn't be *more* than 300 words because I can hardly tell Scott I'm going to the grocery store with 300 words. 

Here's what I'm going to be turning in:

Following my bliss

In 1995 my husband had just graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor's in Theater. He was struggling to decide between graduate schools. His options were to attend a Southern California program and teach theater or opt for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to specialize in sound design, which included a murky future.

In a fit of frustration, he asked a friend to do a Tarot card reading for him. He admitted he felt foolish, but he was stuck. Our friend, after explaining the lay out and meaning of all the cards turned, said “Well, looks like you need to follow your bliss.” His bliss, was in working with sound. We moved to the college in the middle of the cornfields where he obtained a Masters in sound design and I worked in the basement of a department store.

He received a job offer in his field the same week he graduated in 1998. He's been working with sounds via video game design since.

I don't see any reason why this philosophy, follow your bliss, won't work for me, since it's also brought wonderful results for many other people I've known.

When I had my children, I knew I was going to stay home and be a mom as long as I could. I've tried very hard to give my kids the mom I'd like to have. I've lead my daughter's girl scout troop, I host playdates, I drag them to the park and the children's museum and the grounds of the Capital building.

And in all the years I've been home with them, they've helped me cook. My nine year old daughter has been able to make pancakes single handedly for two years. My five year old son has assisted in kneading hundreds of batches of bread, bagels and pizza dough.

Last year, with my son's fifth birthday and my fortieth anniversary of being born bearing down on us, friends and family started to ask me what I was going to do now that both of my kids would be in school full time. My answer would usually be vague, something about taking solids at ACC until I found something that grabbed me. But, I was always thinking about culinary school.

In November of 2010, we attended the Gypsy Trailer Picnic where I made an appointment to go speak with the Cordon Bleu, which didn't impress me. While the campus was big and impressive, I didn't want to watch a chef cook on a screen. I didn't want to bring up my final product to be tasted and critiqued. What if my sauce was lumpy because I made the roux incorrectly? I've tried recipes I've seen on television, I could do that for free. And their student loan program frightened me. I simply wasn't comfortable going to a school owned by a company that would also be giving me my student loan. And my externship is in the restaurant that's owned by the school? I wasn't interested in being the free staff for a money making venture.

When I visited CAA, I very much liked the smaller class sizes and the fact that I was able to speak with one of the chefs about why they liked CAA as compared to LCB. I could talk with the students, watch the class and taste what they were creating. It was comforting to hear the students receive constructive criticism while there was still good natured banter going on.

After I made my final decision to enroll, I began to be asked a new question: What are you going to do with that?

My answer: I'm going to cook.

I can't conceive of where I'll be in five years. I imagine I'll be crying in anger since my daughter will be fourteen, but professionally? I honestly just want to learn to cook. Maybe I'll be a great home cook. Or I'll work for a caterer, I may get into a line and find I love it. I just have to wait and see what I learn about the industry and what opportunities I'll have.

My enrollment in the Culinary Academy of Austin is my action to follow my bliss. It seems a simple, new-age, not very practical statement, but it's the truth. I'm forty years old with two children, a husband and a household to run, I don't have time or energy for anything but the truth.

I just want to cook. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Don't wear clothes that don't fit.  Find someone who can alter them for you or learn to sew. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Well, how'd I get into this

Occasionally I find myself in situations I didn't mean to be in.

Like now.  I belong to a membership only mother's club where we have a house to hang out in and treat as our own.  There are other moms there, other kids to play with, a yard with play stuff, a pool for the summertime and the moms split up various things. (You can learn more about it here:  Some of the moms offer classes based on what they did in their previous life.

One of our moms is a certified personal trainer.  She announced she'd be offering a 7 week bootcamp challenge.  I thought Great, I've been exercising more and trying to eat better.  I like attending a class and it's at the club so someone can watch Will while I'm there.  What I didn't know is that I'd be given an eating plan.

So, now I'm detoxing.  No red meat, no sugar, no flour, no starchy vegetables, a small amount of high quality fats at the end of the day, limited fruits and and a gallon of water a day with a lemon squeezed into it.  Oh, and no caffeine or alcohol.

No drinks, no big deal.  But when I got my plan I gulped hard No COFFEE?  That's hurting.  No big iced tea in the middle of the day.  No diet soda at the end of running a bunch of errands.  Smelling Scott's coffee in the morning is close to torture. 

I eat every 2 hours, alternating legume, egg or fish proteins with carbohydrates from green veggies or squash.  I like squash!  No pain there.  I'm cool with broccoli.  I'm skipping asparagus since the gallon of water makes me pee a lot.  I've found that turnips aren't bad as long as you remove ALL the skin and sprinkle on a little salt.  I like fish with lemon and dill, that part makes me happy.  A poached egg with salt and pepper is yummy to me!


I made scones for the kids yesterday.  Didn't taste it.  Made them suburban macaroni and cheese, the good kind where I made a sauce from cheddar and velveeta.  Couldn't taste it.  And sweets, I miss ice cream.  *insert doggie whine here*

I'm not hungry, I eat every two hours.  I steam all my stuff in the morning and reheat throughout the day.  But I do miss things.

Results?  I've lost a bunch of water weight.  I have one week left on the extremely limited diet I'm on now.  We'll have to wait and see what happens this month.  I'll keep you posted.

Pass the beets.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you color your hair red, Lush makes a bar shampoo that contains henna.  It will color your roots enough that you can go a few weeks longer between coloring. (It's only available online though!)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It's been a crazy kind of week.  Good crazy, not strange-laughing-talking-to-the-houseplants crazy.

First, I've been running around completing the last of my paperwork for culinary school.  Second, I've been selling items on ebay for other people and keeping a cut of the sales price.  This has been taking up a bunch of my time.  The most work intensive is taking the photos and the actual listing of the things.  Then it's babysitting until the sales are complete and then there's another flurry of packing and shipping.

It's been challenging making all my other household chores fit into my schedule. 

This weekend we headed off to the Austin traditional spring event Eeyore's Birthday.  It's just a big picnic, hippie gathering with a drum circle that helps keep Austin weird.  It's changed a lot over the years, the artists selling their wares have gone and beer and food have come in, but I still like it.  We met up with some friends and spread our blankets out together to watch the kids run around and watch the parade of everyone in their costumes.  At Eeyore's costumes are encouraged, hula hoops are brought, hackey sacks are kicked around, breasts are freed to the air.  That last one doesn't really happen until close to three in the afternoon. 

There's also a big drum circle that forms.  And this year, we somehow ended up in the middle of it instead of next to it like we usually are.  It made for a very different experience, different in a good way.  Zoe made friends with a woman close to us who let Zoe play her drum while our new friend went and danced.  We found out that the people who are drumming are very conscientious of where they are in relation to where you are, polite about keeping at least a little cushion of space between them and you and cautious of children.  It was really fun being in the middle of it all, grooving along and watching our kids play along and dance. 

Since we have children with us, we have to leave in the mid-afternoon because the potential for things getting crazy gets higher as the afternoon goes on.  And because we all get tired. 

You can check out the website here:

This week, trying to wade through the knee deep pile of crap carpeting my home.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  If you have gotten sunburned, aloe is the best!  Stay away from Noxema because the menthol can make the stinging worse.