Friday, October 28, 2011

I was so wrong about Pumpkin Farms

Until today, I had never in my life visited a pumpkin farm. I actually didn't even know you *could* go to a farm and visit/pick pumpkins. Either we didn't have such an option in Western PA in the 80s, or my parents were not clued into this holiday adventure. Or more likely, they thought it was a hassle/dirty/less efficient than just getting our annual pumpkin at Giant Eagle. (For the non Pittsburghers among us, that was our local grocery store, also pronounced 'Gine Iggle'.)

But after having BabyT in 2009, I started to notice lovely fall photos of happy children frolicking amidst pumpkins on Facebook in October. And people at work would ask about "the *best* pumpkin patches" on our parents email lists. I guess here in Western Washington, we have options, yo. And god forbid we should disappoint our offspring by going to a *lame* pumpkin farm. Oh no, we must choose the *best* one. *snicker*

So I planned to happily bypass the whole pumpkin farm issue, except for the tiny fact that my daughter has a deep and abiding love for pumpkins. I found this out when I bought her a tiny round one on a shopping trip and she hugged it like it was her best friend. On most nights she sleeps with it. My mom had the same idea and bought her one as well, and she loves it too. She puts them together in her dollhouse to keep her dinosaurs company. (Yes, you read that correctly. The dinosaurs live in the dollhouse with her Little People. And of course the pumpkins.)

So I figured that we should go to a local pumpkin farm, and check off this apparently all-American Halloween tradition.

I posted a Google+ status about how it seemed like a really boring thing to do. I don't like getting wet or dirty, and walking around a field with a bunch of pumpkins seems not very interesting.

Well, Halloween is on Monday, and TJ and I have alternately been sick this week, so today was the day.  As is usual with a toddler, her nap ran unexpectedly late, she was cranky, and it was pouring rain. But we put our REI rain gear on (we live in Seattle, you know), T donned her new frog rain boots, and we drove off to Dr Maze's farm, conveniently located close to home.

Since it was after 5pm on a really wet day, there were only 4 of us in the whole place (besides the employees).  Everything was soaking wet and there were lots of puddles.  It was starting to get dark.

But it was AMAZING.  It was right up T's alley.  She could touch everything.  She could stomp in puddles.  She could pick up pumpkins and hug them.  She could kiss them.  (yes, I know, crazy.)  She got to decide where we went and what we looked at.  She was WEARING HER FROGGY BOOTS, MAMA!  She saw real live chickens, alpacas (new word for her), and pygmy goats.  We visited the "Monster Pumpkin" section twice, where they had the HUGE ones.  She calls them 'Daddy pumpkins'.  The medium sized ones were (wait for it) 'Mama pumpkins'.   And the little ones of all colors?  Yep, you guessed it - 'Trillian Pumpkins'.

She was briefly sad, and burst into tears in that delightful 2 year old way about the crushed pumpkin we saw, and one that had some odd lumps and bumps on it.  But when I asked her later which pumpkin was her favorite, she was all about the "bumpy one".

I actually remembered my camera, and even better, remembered to take photos.  I'm pretty darn proud of the last one.  Too bad it was a total accident and not due to any sort of skill or planning on my part.  But this gives me hope that I can learn to capture some awesome shots of my awesome girl.

Froggy boots, T's favorite bumpy pumpkin, and mama is sorry for hating on the pumpkin farm

So yeah, I'm totally eating my words about this pumpkin farm business.  Right now, my happy toddler is sleeping with her 2 newest pumpkins, while the other two watch over her from the dollhouse.

We are so doing this every year, even when she's 20.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tamago Sushi Halloween Costume - Look, No Sewing Mama!

I figure this will be the last year I get to pick BabyT's costume for Halloween.  Next year she'll probably have an opinion of her own and won't be swayed by my ideas. In fact, after I had ordered all the pieces this year, she got it into her head that she wanted to be a pumpkin, but I was able to use my wily mama skills to convince her that my idea was much more fun.  Whew!

And a quick shout out to my mom.  I don't remember too many of my Halloween costumes, but the two I do remember are the matching clown costumes she made for my brother and me, and the *amazing* KISS facepaint she did for one of my high school Halloween dances.  She made me into Gene and I got a ton of compliments. :)

Hands down, T's favorite food is egg sushi, aka tamago.  It was the first thing she ate on our first trip to our favorite kaiten-sushi place, Sushi Me.  She always eats at least 2 pieces of tamago, and has been known to eat 6 in one sitting.  So I figured it would be a cute, easy and fun costume to put together, even with my complete lack of sewing skills.

For reference, here's what tamago looks like:

Tamago Nigiri sushi
Photo by Geoff Peters 604 on Flickr

And here is my baby sushi:

Tamago sushi costumeTamago sushi costume

This was surprisingly easy to put together, and probably would have been cheaper if I could sew or crochet myself. But I outsourced those tasks instead :)

The supercute wasabi-and-pickled-ginger hat was made by knits4cuties. The bright yellow pillowcase was made by Quietude Quilts, also on Etsy.

I found the white sleeper (aka 'rice') at Dharma Trading, and printed out a cute customized "Hello My Name Is..." badge and added 'tamago' from my stash of letter stickers. (Just to make it easier on folks who can't figure out what she is.)  I used my trusty Xyron machine to make the badge sticky and it's holding up pretty well, though I have to remind T not to pull it off.

The "seaweed" is just a length of ribbon from our local fabric store, and I used velcro to secure it.  I also needed to pin the pillowcase to the sleeper to support the pillow.  And then I realized that she'll need to get dressed at our destinations, since she can't safely ride in the carseat with a giant pillow on her back.  Le sigh.

But that's ok, because I am anti-coat-over-costume, so I'll have her wear a long sleeved white shirt and leggings under the sleeper to keep warm.  Tomorrow we're going to see a Halloween music show at Benaroya, so that'll be our first road test of the costume.  Wish us luck!  And link me to your Halloween costume goodness in the comments!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Whole30: Whoa, we're halfway there!

We're on day 18 of our Whole30 Paleo/whole foods challenge.  TJ is a lot less cranky now, and mostly just sad and resigned.  I caught him eating an orange the other day, so it must be really bad.  (This is a man who believes fruits and vegetables are what his real food eats.)  He was also eyeing Trillian's soy yogurt, which is even worse.

I feel good.  I have energy, I don't need naps and I don't have that massive tiredness in the afternoon after eating a big lunch.  In fact, I haven't felt that "overly full" feeling in AGES, which I think means that all this protein and fat is helping me realize when I'm full so I don't overeat.  What's not to love about that?

The challenge stipulates that we only weigh ourselves at the beginning and the end so I have no idea if I've lost any weight.  I'm sure I'll have lost a bit, but I almost don't care, because I just feel so much better eating this way. 

Another interesting side effect of eating *no* added sugar?  Sparkling water actually tastes good to me now.  I used to hate it, because it had a bad "salty" taste, even when there was NO sodium in it.  I think it's because I always drank artificially sweetened drinks and ate a lot of sugar. 

Also, I can now drink tea with no sweetener and I *like* it.  (As long as it's good tea, not the crap Lipton.)  Speaking of which, the Trader Joe's Jasmine Pearls tea is like a gift from heaven.  Holy crap, that tea is gooooood.

But, there are a few things not to love.  When I don't plan every meal in advance or we're at the end of our shopping cycle, there's very little left in the house that we can eat.  No more mindless snacking on crackers to fill up. Then we get truly hungry and cranky.   I actually need to *cook* stuff for breakfast - no instant oatmeal or cereal + milk. So it's a little more work to eat this way.

And to be honest, I've had a couple of slip ups.  I've gone out to lunch with friends and ordered diet Coke on autopilot and didn't have the willpower to send it away.  The handful of times I've eaten out, I didn't do extensive research on what kind of oils they were using, and I have even had a bit of barbecue sauce with sugar in it.  I will neither confirm nor deny that I ate a homemade peanut butter cookie at the all-day crafty event I attended on Saturday.  (And let me tell you, it made me feel like CRAP.  So not worth it.)

But I'm still eating WAY better than I have been for the past 6+ years or more, so I figure those are small concessions.  They've also taught me that eating out is kind of a pain when I'm trying to do things "right" so I'm actually more inclined to *choose* to eat at home.  And that in itself, was worth the price of admission.

So, only 12 days left on the super-strict path.  And then we'll slowly evaluate what to bring back into our diets.  I also need to figure out how to carve out a time for some regular exercise even if that's just walking on our treadmill.  But, those are challenges for later.  Now, I need to get cracking on the steak and chorizo chili I'm making for dinner :)


Friday, October 21, 2011

There's a fire burning in my heart

I've now reached that stage in my life where I take vacation days to complete boring house projects.  This week it was decluttering our office.  TJ and I share our office, which is a cool loft space above our dining room.  This is a little bit of a problem for us. 

I get really stressed out by clutter.  Just seeing clutter (especially on the floor, but on all flat surfaces) makes my heart rate increase and I get sort of jumpy and unable to focus.  But I can throw that clutter into a drawer or a cute box, and I'm fine.  So it's a short-term solution and then one day everything just explodes because there's simply too much crap.

TJ, on the other hand, needs to spread out his stuff when he works on something.  And then he leaves it there, because he might not be done yet.  Or he might be finished, but he's moved on to something else, and really, we LIVE in our house, so it's unrealistic for us to have a clean, uncluttered space.  And then there are the miscellaneous hats, shoes, cutting boards and cups keeping the paper clutter company in those spots. Because those papers might get hungry, thirsty, or need to go out somewhere.

To be fair, I have a craft supply hoarding issue.  But I (mostly) confine it to my craft room.

So, back to the office.  I spent all day Tuesday going through the computer books, old office supplies and TONS of papers.  I recycled a TON of stuff.  I listed a bunch of old books and software on Amazon, but have very little hope of selling them thanks to all the sellers who price their stuff at 1 cent.  Seriously?  Sigh. 

I took about 4 bags to Goodwill.  I did a MASSIVE pen purge where I threw away the ones that don't work anymore.   I heard about a college friend (hi John Krowas) who said, in the middle of a work presentation, as he threw aside a non-working writing implement, "Life is too short to write with a crappy pen."  I love that.

So now our office looks better than it has since we moved in.  But the real prize from all this decluttering I've been doing for the past couple of weeks?  It's finding out that there is a market for nearly anything on EBay.

I had been leery of listing things on EBay because I hadn't done it before, and there's a sort of sketchiness about it that I haven't felt about selling on Etsy.  (Which I've been doing for 4 years now, holy crap!)  But I bit the bullet and listed a few things, and WOW.  I love it. 

Apparently there is a HOT market for old Weight Watchers materials.  I had 3 sets of them (yep, don't ask).  I was just going to toss the whole lot into the recycle bin but figured I'd give EBay a shot.  So far I've sold two of the three sets, for $12 and $36 plus shipping (!).

I've also sold a couple of the surplus rubber stamp sets I bought on Craigslist.  A few months ago, a guy had listed a huge lot of retired Stampin' Up rubber stamp sets.  I offered him a slightly lower price than he asked, and he was willing to take it because he just wanted to get rid of them before moving to a smaller place. 

Turns out when I went to meet him to pick them up, he actually had double the amount I was set to buy.  He tried to sell the second box to me as well, but I told him I had brought only enough cash for the first box (which was true).  And then he said, "Just take it all, I don't want to take these back home".   It was jaw-dropping.  And way more stamps than I could ever possibly use.  So I've been selling the ones I already have, or the ones that are too flowery, on Etsy.  Very slowly.

I listed a few on EBay and again, WOW.  People want them.  I sold one set for double what I would have gotten on Etsy.  It's not predictable, though, as I've listed a few other sets and haven't gotten much interest yet. 

But it's sort of like gambling - I get all excited about the *possibility* of selling something I don't need for a lot of money.  So I figure even if I end up selling it for less than I had hoped for, the entertainment value is worth something.

Viva La EBay!  Or something like that...  Got any good EBay stories for me?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dreaming about parenting advice?

I finally spent some time this weekend catching up on my online Mondo Beyondo lessons.  Which is good since I think I only have one or two weeks left.  It's also been an interesting exercise for me in really taking in and *savoring* the information, not just reading through, automatically writing down the exercises and checking off that box. 

It's just not that kind of class.  What I get out of it directly correlates to how much I put in.  So I can't crank through 5 lessons in an hour.  I may need to re-read and re-do some of them again to really make them work for me.  There's no quantitative measurement on whether I did "well" in the class.  The only evaluation is my happiness and excitement about what the future holds.

Which is very weird for me.  I'm used to things like the Microsoft Operations Framework class I took a few weeks ago.  After listening closely to about 10 hours of lecture, reading through the book, and taking two practice exams, I took the certification exam.  Last week I found out I passed, so I'm now MOF v4-certified.

But I'm getting more comfortable with the "dreamer" inside of me.  (Cue Rainbow Connection - which, incidentally is one of T's favorite songs after she heard the Sarah McLachlan version.) 

One of the exercises I recently completed was to listen to an audio interview with Mike Robbins, a personal coach/motivational speaker/author.  I had never heard of him, and when I heard "motivational speaker", I thought of Tony Robbins and rolled my eyes.  But, one of the things I'm getting out of the class is learning to put aside my skepticism just long enough to give something new a chance.

So I listened.  And loved it, actually.  I took about a page of notes, but the one thing that really stuck with me was when he shared the parenting advice he got from a friend.  This is paraphrased from what I remember from his interview.
We have two jobs as parents.  The first seems like more work, but is actually easier.  The second is more important.

1.  Teach her how to "be in the world" - manners, getting along with others, how to tie her shoes, get dressed,etc.

2.  Teach her how to love herself.
And how do we accomplish #2?  Teach by example.  We love ourselves.
So simple, but so freakin' powerful, right?  But such a great thing to hear, amidst all the manufactured stress about what preschool to send her to, why she won't sleep, why I have to ask the same question 6 times before getting an answer, etc.

Did I already mention I love this class??

Friday, October 14, 2011

My first guest blogger gig

A coworker, Betsy Speare, started a Women in Technology blog and put out a call for guest bloggers. A TON of people have contacted me lately wanting to talk about working part-time, so I figured I'd write a sort of "how-to" on getting your ideal work schedule.

Betsy sent a link to my post around to a BUNCH of people at the company and outside it, with some very nice comments.  What a lovely surprise in the middle of my day.  When I sent her the draft last Friday, I figured she might not like the informal tone.  But she did, she published it, and now a bunch of people are reading it.  Super cool.

It is SO easy for me to write about things I'm excited about.  Which is why you see a million posts about BabyT, the dogs, and the gadget I just bought, and nothing about current events, the merits of one programming language over another, or a detailed log of the healthy food I ate or the exercise I did.

I'll probably write another guest post for Betsy's blog, so while you're reading my post, go subscribe to her blog as well :)  You can even get the posts emailed to you.

Also, my post could use a little comment love, so please go there and a tiny comment to start the discussion.  Thank you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two year sleep regression is kicking my butt

Arghhhh.  Just when I thought we were over the obsession with baby sleep.  T has been sleeping more crappily than usual for the last couple of months.  We're back to the voodoo of precisely timing naps and bedtime and trying to figure out the secret to keeping her asleep all night and not waking up at dark:thirty.  Today's wakeup time was 5am.  So delightful. 

I think the whole mess started with her switching to a new class at daycare last month.  She will not nap for more than 90 minutes there, and sometimes not more than an hour.  So by the time she gets home, she's a hot mess.

Moving bedtime WAY up worked well for a little while.  We started putting her down by 6-6:15pm.  And that helps her get caught up, and back to her usuall 11 hours at night, and then we can usually guarantee a 2+ hour nap for her the next day when she's home with me.  But another day at daycare and BAM! she's on her wack schedule again.

I wake up at the slightest whimper from the baby monitor and now I've apparently developed the inability to get right back to sleep.  I think having a kid has completely ruined that for me.  I don't sleep as well anymore.  (And certainly not as long, sigh.) 

I thought she was just having issues adjusting to the new class at school - she only goes twice a week so I figured it would take her a while to settle in.  But it turns out, the 2 year sleep regression is a real thing.  I knew I could count on AskMoxie...

So here I am, at 1am, catching up on my Mondo Beyondo lessons.  On the bright side, I won't be as ridiculously behind anymore.  And once I do get to sleep, I'll get to enjoy our fabulous new memory foam mattress.  So all is not lost.

Monday, October 10, 2011

handcrafted life plan part 5, again. The First List

So as part of my Mondo Beyondo dreaming class, I had to make my first list of dreams. We were told to set a timer for 10 min, and then just write what we want. And then we did it again, immediately, a second time. Once I (finally) got started, it was strange and awesome how all these dreams and wishes came pouring out of me.

Dream by jbelluch on Flickr

The class leaders dared us to share our lists publicly. So here's the first draft. More to come later, I'm sure. Because I'm a geek and found recurring themes in my crazy 20 minute scrawls, I organized them into buckets.

  • Live in a nice house in Dublin (Ireland), with our dogs
  • Expand our house to have a separate room for Trillian to do school work, a bigger craft room for me, a luxurious soaking tub, a welding/torch space for me and TJ, enough storage for everything
  • Go through our house top to bottom and organize it. Get rid of everything we don't need or use or love.
  • Organize *all* my email Inboxes and be able to keep up
  • Organize all of our photos. Make albums.
  • Have a lovely, inviting, and fully organized craft room
  • Have just a few really sharp high quality knives (instead of a ton of dull ones)
  • Have a home in California
  • Get weekly housecleaning
  • Have a second home somewhere warm and easy to get to
  • Go to Xmas Market in Munich
  • Spend 3-4 weeks in Germany
  • Spend 3-4 weeks in Australia & New Zealand
  • Spend 3-4 weeks per year traveling somewhere interesting
  • Visit Las Vegas for a weekend 3-4 times a year
  • Craft daily
  • Spend one weekend in a (local) fancy hotel all by myself. Maybe take along some crafty stuff.
  • Have time to communicate with far-flung friends (email, writing letters, etc)
  • Have time to shop and cook without stress
  • Minimize commitments and stay home, but still have some time to myself during the week
  • Quit job, but make enough income on side projects so we're not stressed out
  • Make money on blogging, papercrafting, other projects @ home
  • Provide amazing infant care to someone who can't afford it.
  • Stop having that panicky stressed feeling most of the time
  • Stop focusing/worrying about money
  • Buy little things without worrying about money
  • Write a successful book that makes lots of $
  • Make lots of money without feeling like I'm working for it
  • Hold and love and teach lots of babies
  • Help people get what they want out of work-life balance.  Be a great example.
  • Get paid to do papercrafting
  • Become a professional organizer
  • Get cards or papercrafts published in a magazine
  • Sell papercrafts without feeling hassled/stressed about it
  • Make tons of awesome mini scrapbook albums
  • Learn to take great photos and document our lives
  • Learn how to do calligraphy
  • Make gorgeous jewelry for myself and others
  • Take magical photos of T doing ordinary things
  • Have close local friends.  See them often.
  • Enjoy my time with family without feeling stressed about obligations or how things "should" be
  • Love our dogs as they deserve to be loved
  • Enjoy my marriage to the fullest
  • Stop keeping score
  • Become closer with my old friends who I don't talk to/see much anymore
  • Make sure she has an awesome childhood and grows up into a happy and secure adult
  • Be her friend through life, as well as her mama
  • Send her to the best school for her, regardless of cost
  • Know with certainty her college expenses will be paid for
  • Monthly photo shoot with a professional photographer
  • Be skinny and wear awesome clothes
  • Run and like it
  • Run a sub-30 minute 5K and like it
  • Learn knife skills
  • Find another book series I love as much as Harry Potter and read all of them, then read them again.
  • *Want* to live a healthy life and eat right, exercise etc.  Not have it be a chore.
  • See Pearl Jam live
  • Speak fluent Spanish
  • Have a quail parade of 3-4 awesome kids
  • Homeschool them part of the time (+private school)
  • Be a drummer in a rock band
  • Sing backup in a rock band
Yeah, some of those things even surprised me when I wrote them down, like I didn't know I wanted them ;)  I loved doing this exercise and then reading the list a couple of weeks later, because I had forgotten most of what was on it.  Obviously some of the items are more goal-oriented and doable, and some are just crazytown.  But that's why they're dreams, right?

I won't tag anyone to do this because it is personal, but if you decide to write up your own list, leave a link here. I'd love to read yours :)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Whole30 - Days 1-3

We've survived an entire weekend of the Whole30 challenge I mentioned on Friday.

It hasn't been too difficult for me at all, and I know it's because I sat down on Thursday night and planned out every single meal and snack through tomorrow, and bought all the ingredients. I LOVE not having to track anything. I even made it through a Crafty Night with a bunch of junk food. Since I wasn't hungry, I wasn't tempted.

TJ has not fared so well. He's going through that awful "detox" that happens when you give up sugar and most carbs. It's pretty horrible - when I went through this a few months ago, I was super-tired, had a huge headache and was *really* irritable. So we're trying to give him some space.

I miss cheese. It'll be the first thing I try to add back on Day 31, that's for sure. But I'm eating well. Last night's dinner was a sausage, sweet potato and apple hash with some peppers and onions. Nice warm comfort food for our changing fall weather. T even tried a little bit, which is about as good as I can hope for these days.

So it's clear that in order for me to be successful, I need to plan every detail of what I'm eating so that I have the ingredients I need.

Which means we'll have another trip to Whole Foods tomorrow to get more sustainably fished tuna for tuna salad, which I forgot I love so much when I make it with fresh veggies and high quality mayo. And it got me to thinking that I could make a mean sweet potato salad with that homemade mayo I made today.

I had to use Trader Joe's Wasabi Mayo in a pinch because I hadn't made the "Whole30-approved" mayo yet, and OMG is it HOT. Another discovery - I don't hate kale, when it's oven roasted until it's crunchy.

I'm excited about food again, and cooking. This is a good thing, for sure! Only 27 more days to go! Piece of cake. Or, uh, kale.

Whole30 eating plan

Friday, October 07, 2011

Whole30 - holy crap! Handcrafted Life Plan, Part VI

As I mentioned before, I had been following the new Atkins plan, which was a radically different way for me to eat. I'd always been stuck in the high-carb/low fat mode of dieting and it sort of worked when I was *really* strict about it, but mostly didn't.

Atkins worked great when I was focused on counting and tracking carbs, and not making small allowances for breading on chicken, or a little sugar in BBQ sauce, etc. I lost about 10 lbs and have kept it off, but have completely fallen off the wagon with respect to tracking my carb intake online.

And a few times, I have completely crashed and burned by eating horrible sugary or bread things I didn't even want in the first place. I'm all for consciously eating treats as a once-in-a-while special occasion gig, but eating the rest of the organic Ritz-like crackers left over from T's birthday party? *So* not necessary.

I've been floundering along for the past couple of weeks, still doing pretty well about not eating empty white carbs and focusing on protein and salads. Not awesome, but still, much better than I was doing pre-Atkins.
But my Starbucks chai (Sugar City) habit has caught up with me again (and I'm guessing even the 1-pump, whole milk option is not really doing me any favors.)

This week I was struggling with what to cook for dinner. BabyT is pretty adventurous when she wants to be, so I don't like to deliberately cook something she can't eat due to her dairy allergy. I've been leafing through my cookbooks in an uninspired way, looking for something that doesn't have dairy, but also isn't pasta, potato or bread-based.

I posted my dilemma on Google+, and got a most excellent suggestion to look into the Paleo diet. Personally, I don't give a rats ass about what our caveman ancestors ate - I think that's a handy gimmick to market this way of eating. It's very similar to many of the "low/slow/no empty carb" diets. But upon looking closer, it addresses some of the things I wasn't really comfortable with about Atkins:
1. No fake sweeteners
2. No marketing of shakes, bars, and other fakey diet foods
3. No need to count or track anything, as long as you keep to decent portion sizes.
4. Fruit is ok to eat daily, in small portions (Atkins suggests eliminating it entirely for the first phase and only introducing a tiny bit of berries later.)
5. Sweet potatoes are ok.  Carrots are ok.  I miss those things.

What scared me about it?

1. No more Splenda or stevia in my tea.
2. No more cheese (wah!). No dairy at all, actually.
3. It requires a LOT of cooking. All whole foods, nothing from a mix or a box or prepared by the grocery store.
4. No legumes (including soy). I'm not yet convinced about this one but I understand their rationale about getting more protein from high quality animal sources.

Since I'm already halfway there, having dropped the empty carbs and sugar from my diet, I figured the transition might not be too rough. And then I found this:

Whole30 eating plan
It's a 30 day challenge to eat only whole foods. No grains, no dairy, no sugar, no fake sugar. I'm a sucker for short challenges, because after doing Atkins Induction phase successfully for 14 days, I know I can do this. Then I can re-evaluate after the 30 days, right? And the site discusses introducing some of the restricted things back into your diet, like cheese (yay!).

Even better, I convinced TJ to give it a try. Which makes it easier for me to justify all that cooking. And since it's no dairy, T can eat everything I'm making, which is awesome.

I know I'm going to feel really good once I get into this style of eating. About 2 weeks into Atkins, I felt AMAZING. Seriously, this is not an infomercial. I didn't need to nap mid-day anymore. I slept well at night. I felt more clear-headed than usual, and with tons of energy. But once I started to slip and let in more little carbs here and there, that awesomeness went away :(
Last night, I made up a huge grocery list of what we'd need to get us through the next week or so. I knew I'd need to go to at least 2 stores to find everything, but I remembered my old friend Amazon Fresh, and placed an order for most of it online. Now I just need to make another short trip to Whole Foods to get some of the remaining items and I'll be ready to go! (And $100 poorer, I suspect.)

So, as T says, "here we go mama!". Wish us luck.

Monday, October 03, 2011

the end of an era

Today I sold the first piece of real furniture I ever bought.  In 1996, I moved to San Diego for grad school and needed to furnish my apartment, so I bought a queen platform bed *and* mattress for less than $300. 

When I bought the bed, it seemed like such a grown-up purchase.  I somehow knew I'd have it for a long time, into my married life and kids and stuff.  Surprisingly that was true, though not on the timeline I imagined when I was 21.  Heh.

That bedframe has also been oddly empowering for me.  I could take it apart and re-assemble it completely on my own.  When it's disassembled, I can move all the pieces by myself.  I know this because it's been through *8* moves with me and lived in 3 different states.
IKEA Hemnes bed in black-brown
We (ok, I browbeat TJ into it) decided to upgrade to a luxurious king size bed, which meant we needed to make the painful weekend trek to IKEA to get a bed base for the fancy-schmancy memory foam mattress we bought.   We bought the Hemnes bed, which is actually made out of real wood, and have our fingers crossed that it'll last a while.  It's surprisingly sturdy and looks really nice.

I had visions before T was born that we'd all cosleep in a nice huge bed.  Sadly now that we finally have the huge bed, it's not an option, since all she wants to do is play if she's in our bed.  Oh well.  More room for us, I guess.

Spike and Peanut have been somewhat disgruntled by the rearrangement of furniture.  Peanut no longer has enough space to lie on the floor next to the bed, which is a blessing in disguise, because he's prone to getting stepped on by accident.  (Black dog + nighttime + sleepy people != good combo).  Spike can no longer hide under the bed since the new one is much lower to the ground and he's not as svelte as he used to be.  (none of us are, really...)

What's the first major furniture purchase you made?  Do you still have it?

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