Thursday, June 25, 2009

Must be summer

School has been out for just one week now, and we have all slipped into "summer mode." Quinn and Logan are sleeping 13-14 hours a night (I kid you not) and have committed themselves to an unbroken chain of play dates for the next week, until they leave for Seattle. I can't say the weather has been particularly summer like around these parts. We'll be lucky if we hit 70 degrees today. That hasn't stopped Jim and I from enjoying our summer cocktails and eating dinner every night on our upper deck. I really do love the lazy days of summer, even if I have to wear a jacket...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yes, no, maybe?

Today I saw a teak crib for sale on craigslist and had baby pangs. Later in the afternoon our neighbor stopped by and told us stories of her new grandbaby, and the pangs went away. Classic contradiction between a romantic idea and the reality of the situation.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Throwing in the towel

I made it until 3pm yesterday and I had this deep instinct that it wasn't healthy for me to go much beyond that point. I didn't feel particularly hungry, but felt that I needed some brown rice. I felt like my body was digesting itself from the inside out. If a person has some fat reserves, this is a good thing. But I have very low body fat with no reserve. The most body fat I have is the fatty tissue in my brain. When I thought of my body starting to eat away at those reserves, well, I panicked. I actually felt pretty good yesterday, and after eating a little brown rice, felt even better. I had enough energy to run with Jim, so even though I'd consumed hardly any calories over the past day-and-a-half, I felt strong and clean. 
This morning I had a small bowl of oatmeal and I'm definitely easing my way back into three square meals. My appetite is definitely suppressed and most food seems unappealing. What's amazing to me is that after only 1 1/2 days of this cleanse, I feel no desire to drink coffee, wine, processed foods of any sort, and especially nothing sweet. I crave only whole grains and fruit. I suppose this is the real benefit of partaking in one of these cleanses, to wipe away the bad eating habits and reset one's body for more wholesome food. I also realized that I'm a fairly healthy person anyway, and my body didn't need to "rid" itself of lots of toxic buildup. My liver, kidney and other cleansing organs seem to do a great job of that on their own. 
All in all, I'm happy that I did this, even though I didn't last for the three days that I originally intended. I think the most important thing when doing a cleanse, or fast, or whatever else is to be attentive to your own body and not be stubborn to the point of stupid. I now feel very ready to begin my training in earnest for a half-marathon that Jim and plan to run in the fall. Happy nibbling.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day Two

Yesterday sucked. I was questioning my reasons all day for doing this cleanse. I was STARVING all day. I'd have brief moments when I didn't feel hungry, but that never lasted for more than 3 minutes. Then I'd feel hungry again and once more question myself. It was a vicious loop. The strange thing was by the end of the day I made dinner for Jim, Quinn & Logan, and felt just fine with not partaking. I think by that time I was over-hungry, so nothing looked appetizing. What I missed most was not having my evening glass of wine while I cooked. My grandmothers both taught me the joys of cooking while sipping a glass of wine, and funny thing is it really does make cooking more fun. I thought about pouring my lemonade mixture into a wine glass, but that just seemed plain wrong.

Still no headaches from caffeine withdrawal. Jim said his didn't start until day two. This morning I actually feel pretty good. No hunger pangs, no headache. I've already consumed my salt water, which is really the worst part of this. It would be one thing if I was swimming in the warm ocean and happened to swallow salt water, it's quite another to intentionally drink a whole glass. Ick, ick, ick. I'm not particularly thrilled about drinking more of the lemonade, as it does get a bit old after consuming 64oz. of it yesterday. I'm pacing myself today and am currently enjoying some herbal licorice tea (see, I just can't get away from my licorice!) I'm sure some Master Cleanse purists would balk at the fact that I'm drinking an un-approved herbal tea, but whatever. I'm starting to wonder at some of the testimonials I found on the internet from people who regularly partake in a cleanse. One woman claims to do a 30-day cleanse, to which I say, "no way." Classic quoted testimonial used to sell books about how great she feels and yadayadayada. I relate more to the woman who was quoted saying that after three days she was ready to put her mouth on the tail-pipe of her friends car that ran on bio-diesel because it smelled like french-fries. That I can relate to.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Last Supper

Today I started a 3-day Master Cleanse, also known as the lemonade cleanse, or what the hell are you thinking cleanse. Right now I'm not sure why I decided to embark on this, um, journey other than it feels like the right thing to do every now and again. 
Jim tried this cleanse a year ago and he went for over a week eating nothing and drinking only the lemon/maple syrup/cayenne concoction. The only other "drinks" you're supposed to consume are some salt water in the morning and an herbal laxative tea in the evening. Oh joy. My friend Margie also did this cleanse (3 days) and she said it was easy, she wasn't hungry, and when you see the sludge your body rids itself of, you swear you'll never eat meat, or cheese, or chocolate, or wine, or coffee again. Until, of course, you do. 
The thing is, I'm a healthy eater. I never eat red meat. But I do drink wine and espresso every day. Also, I'm not a big lunch person, so instead of consuming the recommended 4-6 servings of vegetables and fruits daily, I maybe eat half of that because lunches for me usually consist of black licorice and rice crackers. I'm much better at eating a wholesome and complete breakfast and dinner. For some reason I'm always at a loss mid-day, hence my less-than-appetizing lunch. This doesn't mean I don't open the fridge and the pantry cupboards at least 12 times waiting for something to miraculously appear. It's not that I necessarily want to eat licorice, it's just that nothing else seems as simple, or tasty. So I thought it would be a good idea to "reset" my system by doing a cleanse. Give it a break from the wine and cheese and espresso and licorice and instead treat myself to lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Mmmm.
I originally intended to start this cleanse yesterday, but I woke up hungry and I sort of panicked. Just one more day, I thought. Also, I wanted to give my body something to really cleanse, so I was extra careful that I consumed enough caffeine, wine, etc. just to make sure this cleanse wasn't for naught. Choosing what to eat for dinner last night was like deciding on my last supper. I settled on sushi a salad and white wine, followed by some soy delicious chocolate "ice cream." It was tasty and knowing that it would be my last meal for three days, I savored every bite and ate slowly.
This morning I've already suffered through the salt water (ick) and have made it through two cups of my "lemonade." I feel pretty good, not terribly hungry, but I realize it is the ritual of food that I'll most likely miss the most during the course of this cleanse. I love coming into the kitchen and greeting my hot-pink Francis!Francis! espresso machine. We chat it up and share our dreams from the night before while she cooks up some tasty espresso. Next I plunk a bagel into my super cute toaster from Paris. I partake in this morning ritual nearly every day, and I find much comfort and enjoyment in this. It just wasn't the same measuring out maple syrup and juicing lemons...Jim said this about the cleanse when he did it as well. It was the ritual of food preparation that he missed.  
For now I'll have to find enjoyment sipping lemonade and staying out of the kitchen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


For my birthday last month I asked Quinn and Logan to write me a poem. They obliged and I thought I'd share them as they are so precious and the best sort of present a mummy could ask for.

Logan's poem:

Spencer's Butte
Left for the long hike
the sign post shows me.
Young creatures pattering everywhere
I turn to my left and begin
the long hike up.

The smell of pine needles and turned mud
reach my nose.
I slowly climb the trails
twisting and turning around
trees and rocks,
jumping over small streams

I head up to the top,
wind rustling the trees up above.
Little animals running around
in the undergrowth.
The trees slowly fade
becoming hard stone.

I start climbing slowly, sweating.
One more step to the top.
I've made it, finally.

I look around at the sun
slowly setting,
orange and pink the clouds

Quinn's poem:

The Eugene Public Library

I walk watching people's heads
bob up and down over the aisles
of books like ships on crests
of waves.
I stop and look down then pick
up a book, feeling the rough leathery
paper beneath my hands.
I stand there transfixed walking
through another world altogether.
Running of and fighting pirates--
and dragons in between the pages
of the book.
I turn the last page and I
am suddenly back in the library.
People quietly talking around me
with the clicks of the mice
from computers down
the row.
I stand there for a moment
taking in the sound of the
library washing over me as if
welcoming me back from my
fantasy world and into

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second to last day...

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the boys. I still can't believe it is mid-June, I'm still thinking I need to buy cranberries for thanksgiving dinner. How is it that my darlings have finished their first year of middle school? And those summer plans that have always had a fuzzy quality because they seemed so far off, well here they are staring me in the face with HD clarity. 
Quinn and Logan have no illusions that the end of school is here. They have been characteristically wiggly and giddy for a week now. Logan, who is so much like Jim, is tweaking everyone by shooting foam darts at their head or running by and smacking innocent and unsuspecting bystanders on the back. He just can't contain himself, and if it wasn't so funny and cute, his antics would be maddening. Quinn just keeps taking the bait that Logan throws him and yells, "Logaaaaaaan" turning a two syllable name into seven. Ahhh, the thrills of summer. 
I'm enjoying watching the boys drunk on all the potential and possibility that summer holds for them. Even though most of their summer will be spent inside ballet studios in Seattle, in their minds they have an eternity of play dates and fort building ahead of them. It's hard not to catch some of their infectious enthusiasm and I find myself drawn more into the present, realizing that it is indeed June, not November, and feeling ever so grateful for the blooming roses and squealing boys.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sweet Spot

Friday night was the boys' last activity night of the year at their school, and once again, Jim and I "volunteered." By volunteer, I mean we really went to peek into the oh-so complicated lives of middle-school aged tweens and teens. 
The last activity night we volunteered at, we got stuck in the concessions area, which could have been a total bummer had it not been stationed right next to the gym where the dancing takes place. Well, this time Jim refused to do more food-service and instead got stationed leading the basketball games in another gym. I didn't mind making popcorn again if it meant being near the dancing. Once again I found myself filling countless cups of lemonade and making disgusting amounts of popcorn. The volunteer coordinator stopped by at one point and wondered where she could find ear-plugs for the mother who got "stuck" being a door monitor in the dance-gym. I immediately told her I would be happy to switch places, at which point all the other parents whipped around and looked at me like I was some nutter. Um, hello, do you realize that ALL the action is taking place inside the dark gym where they are playing loud music and kids are bopping up and down?! I'm no fool, and I don't mind loud music, so off I happily went to the dance party. 
Whoo-haa did I have fun! Let me first say that I love the angst and confusion of this age. Not only that, but the girls are light years ahead of the boys emotionally and it is such a kick to watch the dynamics of these groups interact. There were girls crying in corners and all the "huggers" (as Jim calls them) huddled around offering support. The boys were mostly oblivious and kept right on dancing and goofing around. All in all, I'd have to say the community of kids at Roosevelt Middle school are wonderful. There was such fluidity between "cliques," if you can even call them that. There was such comfort in self-expression and I truly marveled at the ease at which these kids carried on. 
The highlight of the evening was when my own children realized I was suddenly in the "inner sanctum" of activity night and they ran over to say hello and asked if I saw one of their friends. They haven't yet decided that we, as parents, are total morons to be avoided at all cost. After the evening's festivities were over, Jim, Quinn, Logan and I found each other in the halls and walked home. We held hands and shared stories about all the drama and highlights of the evening. Another day in the sweet spot of tweens...