Friday, January 4, 2008

Hitting The Wall

How can a day be both so up and so down?
Today was a great day on the blog. I felt I was making some headway and starting to work on improving my life. Hell I even busted out a new dance move.
But that was then and this is now...
I'm about to have a complete break down. I feel depressed and overwhelmed and disappointed. I realize much of this is due to my serious state of sleep deprivation. Baby has been up (literally... and when I say that I mean that) a minimum of 10 times every night for 2.5 weeks. I just can't do it anymore and I want to fall on the floor in a fit of sobs. Her top teeth are finally breaking through (she has only had her two bottom teeth for the last 5 months) and I'm hoping that this bad phase will end. But apparently not tonight. Right now I'm exhausted and it is all I can do to contain my strong desire to start screaming and slamming doors and walking off. If I had anywhere to go... believe me I would go... right now.
I'm done. It is too much. I need a break.

The Big List

The other day I was sitting in the basement tying my sneakers getting ready to workout. I don't really remember what triggered the thought. But I looked at this almost laughable shit hole of a *living space* and had this realization....

I'm in control of this.
I'm in control of myself and my decisions.
I have allowed this to happen.
I can choose to change.

So why don't I? What am I waiting for? Am I ready to change my behavior? Am I ready to do it for Me... to improve my quality of life? As Dr. Phil likes to say "How's that workin' for ya?"... well Dr. Phil... it's not... and that's the point really. It's making me feel helpless and out of control. Feelings that I subconsciously strive for to repeat my childhood. But lets face facts knowing that and changing it are two different things.

Well ever since that moment I've been making a mental list. A list of things that I truly believe would make me feel better about my life. Things I put off that tax me... sometimes in a very small way... sometimes in a big way. These are the things I want to get done.

I would like to:

Print out pictures and frame them (in the frames I bought for this purpose 6 years ago) and hang them in the stairway.

Print out and hang pictures in the Bedrooms (ie finally commit to living here!)

Discard misc. furniture from Guest Room and buy blue bedside table and dresser I saw at Ikea ($350)... actually make the room look finished and inviting and not like a storage room!

Have a clean house... which means ALL the way clean... not with misc piles of crap in the kitchen, on the table, on the floor, on the basement landing, on the floor of the coat closet, on the settee in my bedroom, etc.

Discard stuff we haven't used in one year (minus heirloom or wedding table top!... I'm not crazy)... ie get rid of enough stuff that we can actually put everything we own AWAY for once!

Get more attractive toy bin for living room.

File my paperwork.

Clean out my "cubby of shame" completely this time! Fill with toys so that I can no longer rely on having a cubby to stash weird paper hoarding evidence.

Go out with Friends.... scratch that.... Make Friends (not just on the blog!)

Have people over for dinner.

Do laundry once a week... and do all the steps... including putting it away!

Keep Baby's journal updated more regularly.

Spend more quality time with Mr F.

Get kids on a more consistent bed time.

Get more sleep.

Do more art and baking projects with Kid.

Lighten up on my perfectionist nature.

Do more craft projects.

Get the dining room chairs leather and horse hair stuffing reupholstered.

Have more special time with Kid.

When I see a pile of annoying crap pick it up instead of writing a post about it!

Mrs F How Was Your Morning?

Oh great thanks for asking.

After a long night of near constant night wakings with Baby (2.5 straight weeks... and yes I gave her Motrin last night) Kid got up a little early. She peeked her head in my door and said "Mom I think I went pee in my bed... I woke up and my pjs were wet." P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Good Morning to Me! Now I didn't do or say anything condemning.... I didn't even roll my eyes or groan. I got out of bed and said "Oh Okay" as if this was a fine task to take care of first thing in the morning. Kid hasn't wet the bed EVER. She started waking up with dry diapers at a year old. I'm not kidding. She has a bladder of steel. Not that I would have been mad if this weren't the case. I'm just saying this is HIGHLY unusual and I don't need her to have a complex about it.

Here are the ways in which this sucked though:

#1 She had obviously been sleeping in it allowing it to thoroughly saturate all bedding.

#2 She doesn't have a mattress pad or protector because as I said this has not been a problem before.

#3 She has a foam IKEA mattress that is fit for her bed which can't fit in the washing machine.

#4 That mattress has a little cover... with a BROKEN zipper!!!... that I couldn't take off so I had to *wash* the whole thing by hand hoping to some how eradicate the old strong piss sent from the epicenter of the foam.

#5 Kid has a velvet comforter cover... yes real velvet which is Dry Clean Only... see #2.

There was one *cute* moment in all this... while I was stripping the bed Kid says "I guess sometimes five year olds don't know when they are peeing."

Yeah I guess.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


"I like the fuckin', fuckin', dragon part." Kid announces while rockin out in the living room

"WHAT?!?!" Mrs F asks slightly alarmed

"I like the fuckin', fuckin', dragon part." Kid reaffirms

Mrs F whips her head over to Mr F's side of the room "Is. That. What. This. Song. Says?!!!!"

"Yeah... that's why I usually skip the end." Mr F replies

Hmm...... bad job Mr F.

moments later the next song comes on....

"Mr F!!! This music isn't APPROPRIATE!" Mrs F emphatically suggests

Did You Call For A Detective?!

Here is how it is going to go down. I'll tell you a little story about Mrs F's good old days and then you will repay me by creating a little buzz for my good friend and partner-in-crime's upcoming documentary. She is actually a little bit successful and not in the "I've got a blog and post pictures of myself eating hamburgers in my car" sort of way. No.. she is actually a talented filmmaker.

I don't remember the exact circumstances of our meeting but sometime during my Junior year at NYU Cheryl and I crossed paths. It was clear right from the start that we were two of the funniest people in the room... if not the universe... and we immediately recognized this in each other. We also recognized that little something, call it a twinkle or an aura, that said "if I wasn't the funniest person on the planet I'd be one fine detective". And so it was at that moment that Cheryl and I created our crime fighting alter egos... Foxy Brown and Sugar Mahoney. Together we were Brown Sugar Detective Agency.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that I am of course "Foxy Brown". Why? Well the "Brown" was a given as it is my maiden name. The "Foxy" is obvious. I mean if you've been around here you have surely come across one or two HOT pictures of me.... and it wouldn't take much for you to imagine a 21 year old Mrs F exuding a lot of things but most preeminently would be her foxiness. Cheryl went by Sugar Mahoney because... well... because it is fucking funny.

So next time you find yourself in the need a little *professional* investigatory help... you know who to call!


Okay I did my part now you do yours....

Cheryl "Sugar" has written, directed, and produced a feature length documentary about the US Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team called Sync Or Swim. Her film has made it into the Slamdance Film Festival which is the same festival where Mad Hot Ballroom premiered a few years ago.

But here is the thing.... Slamdance is ranking the movies by page views (hmmm... sounds familiar... a little Weblog Awards flashback anyone?). So please go HERE right now. It will just take a second you don't need to do anything other than view that link for it to boost her buzz rating. Thanks. Right now she's at 358 page views... lets see what we can all do to help!
Slamdance will recognize your IP address so you only need to do this once... thanks a million!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ta Da... New Year's Resolutions

I am super excited to reveal my New Year's Resolutions.

You may know that I usually post weekly goals along with my menu every Tuesday. I will still be doing that. One reason I believe that that is effective for me is that even if you blow it you get to start over the following week. No big deal pick up where you left off and move on. Less potential for sabotage. So keeping that in mind I was a bit hesitant to commit to changes that might be overwhelming.

At first I wanted to focus on making resolutions that would improve the quality of MY life... and yeah I mean that in a selfish way. But in general I'm an assist others before assisting myself kind of person (read: mom) so I'm not sure those will work out and I don't need to be disappointed in myself or my life or where I'm at with that right now. I'm also not putting down organizational or cleaning goals... it is tempting... oh it is tempting. But history tells me these are New Year's Resolutions that go straight down the toilet. I need to work on them and I need to incorporate them into my life in a daily manner as I have with my eating and exercise changes. I had an epiphany of sorts regarding that when watching The Biggest Loser Finale the other week and was just kind of struck by the realization that losing weight and getting organized require the same endless commitment. It is never fun, or natural, and you have to keep doing it or the tide of disorganization (or extra weight) will just creep back and take over.

So I get this with the dieting and exercise. I committed. It worked. I didn't always want to do it... but the more I did the easier and more natural it got. I'm still not a *natural* exerciser and if you asked me right now if I want to get on the treadmill I would still say "no" ...but I will. And so I realize that I need to get in that same place with... say.... cleaning off my desk. I'm never going to want to do it.... I just have to anyway. And the same joy I get from looking in the mirror and knowing for certain that "I don't look fat" is the same joy I can get from finally tackling this goal as well. But it is not going to be my New Year's Resolution... because it is something I can't conquer in a year... it will be an endless battle. I'm ready to put real energy into fighting it... but I think a New Year's Resolution should be something quantifiable. A 5 lb weight loss, or eating 5 servings of vegetables.

Okay.... blab, blab, blab.... One hour later I'm ready to reveal my New Year's Resolutions!

In no particular order:

Keep developing and posting weekly plans for menu, exercise, and cleaning.
This has helped me so much in the past 6 months. I will continue doing this indefinitely. I find having the opportunity to reassess my goals on a weekly basis keeps me mindful of my own personal challenges and accountable for the role I play in sabotaging my success.

Lower my body fat to 18% (currently 21-22%)
I think this is a lofty yet potentially achievable goal. It should motivate me to really stick to my exercise routines and increase my pilates training in order to increase my muscle mass. Obviously I can't really lose more weight so this is going to take some determination to increase my muscle mass and decrease my body fat %. I think I can do it.... but I think it will take me most of the year to get there. Stay tuned to my weekly updates as I try and map out exactly how I'm going to tackle this.

Study, as a family, one country every month
We are all really excited about this idea. At the beginning of the month we will draw the name of a country from a hat. Then get books at the library. Kid's books, cookbooks, travel books. What have you. Originally I thought we could end the month by cooking a feast ... but in the spirit of trying to make this both attainable and enjoyable... I've decided we will end the month by going out to a restaurant (we are fortunate to have nearly every kind of restaurant here) featuring that cuisine. We are also going to get a world map and tack it on a cork board so we can put pins in all the countries we have *visited*. Yes I know this sounds nerdy... but hey we are nerdy.

Lighten up on the blog
Never fear I'll still post everyday (or nearly) and still respond to all comments. I'll still check in at 10 AM, 12 PM, 4 PM, 7 PM, 9 PM, and 11 PM.... just kidding.... no actually I'm not. But I'm not going to check my stats... that just makes me crazy. And I'm going to focus on writing for me and not so much for my audience. I think I put a little too much pressure on myself to keep everyone happy and it is just a blog for crying out loud. Yes I had dreams of riding my minute success from the Weblog Awards all the way to full on blog fame and stardom... but... ummm... that is most likely not going to happen. And if it does it won't be because I did or didn't check my stats today. Maybe my New Year's Resolution should be to decide what direction I want to take this and how much time and effort I can put in. Any suggestions and or feedback on this is always welcome.

I almost forgot.... learn Norwegian
What? No... you read that right. When I read Heather's goal to learn Norwegian I was actually jealous. Now sure her husband is Norwegian (but whose to say my 2nd husband won't be?). #1 I have wanted to learn another language for some time. #2 much like the Amish I have long been obsessed with Scandinavian countries and culture... yes I am serious. So I'm doing it. This is one resolution that really is just for me... just for my own whimsy and enjoyment. Plus the girls are going to have to listen to the CDs in the car... so who knows.... maybe they'll be speaking Norwegian before too long!

The End.
That is enough for one year.

This time next year I hope to still be blogging. I hope to still weigh 110. I hope that I will still be working out 4-5 times a week. I hope that my desk will be cleaned off. I hope that Kid will be proud of her map and all the places she's visited. I hope Baby starts to sleep through the night. I hope Mr F and I can go out on a date. I hope Mr F has either gotten one job to replace his current two... or that he is happy with what he is doing. I hope our basement gets refinished. I hope I stay off soda. Most importantly.... I hope that Kid is seizure free and off her meds. I hope that her eye surgery goes well and that it will be her last surgery!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Wait, Wait... I'm Playing Too

Well the blogpshere is a buzz with New Year's Resolutions. As you know it doesn't take much to entice Mrs F into list making of any kind so I'm jumping in too.

I've been thinking on this subject for quite some time and hoped to really blow you all away with my stellar resolutions. Although it should be noted that New Year's Resolutions are something I have typically not been able to stick to in the past. They have historically been just another highly detailed list with arbitrary deadlines that gets lost in the back of my desk drawer only to be found 2 years later and laughed at. Daily crossword puzzle anyone?

What are you all trying to change in 2008? What is worthy enough to make your resolution list this year? MommyTime is trying to come up with attainable resolutions. Danielle is going to try and work at being satisfied with what she already has... and Heather is planning to master Norwegian for crying out loud. I don't really know what to do or say or commit to.

Last year saw the birth of Baby followed by a 68 pound weight loss. I managed to stay committed to both calorie counting and exercise.. and heck it wasn't even a New Year's Resolution. Maybe that's why it worked? Anyway here I am one year later. For once in my adult life losing weight isn't my goal. Can you believe it? Sometimes I can't. Seriously this is the FIRST time EVER I haven't wanted to drop 5-10 pounds. So what do I want to do? And is making a resolution the best way to accomplish it anyway? What exactly kept me motivated to lose the weight last year and how can I replicate that with say.... organization or cleaning?

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dinner Is Served

This is what I made as a side dish tonight after looking in the vegetable drawer at 1/2 bag of baby carrots and an aging sack of clementines. My inital thought was that the carrots needed a little rehydrating and thought that a nice glaze made from Clementine juice reduced with a little butter and ginger would be delish and do the trick. Unfortunately I found the clementines to be pretty dry and not too juicy either. So I added a quarter cup of water (OJ would have been good but we didn't have any... hey now that I'm thinking about it Triple Sec would have been really good in this!) to plump them back up. The result was delicious even considering the state of my ingredients. Simple (okay there was a little prep involved) and good and the perfect accompaniment to my Brown Sugar and Ginger Salmon.

Carrots in Gingered Orange Compote

1 pound bag baby carrots (halved length wise)
4 clementines (or 2 oranges) sectioned with membranes removed*
zest of 1 clementine (or 1/2 and orange)
1.5 T butter
1 T pureed ginger (I use a store bought kind in a tube but you could certainly use fresh)
1/3 c OJ (1/3 water and 1 T sugar... or 4T water & 2T Triple Sec)*
salt to taste

Lightly steam (or parboil) the carrots for 2-3 minutes, drain, and set aside

In sauce pan add clementine or orange segments (hint: section them over the pan to catch all the juice!), zest, OJ (or substitue), and the ginger. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid a bit (about 5 minutes). Add butter and return to gentle simmer. It should be pretty thick and pulpy with just a little liquid on the bottom. Add carrots and salt to taste. Heat through and cook until carrots reach desired tenderness (we like ours pretty al dente... about 3-4 minutes).

Makes 6 - 1 cup portions at 81 calories each
(or if you are me 4 - 1.5 c portions for 122 calories a piece)

Cooking Notes:
*Remove zest from orange using a zester, microplane, or the smallest holes on a box grater, and set aside. Cut ends off orange, and remove peel, pith, and outer membranes, following the curve of the fruit with a paring knife. Lift sections away from membranes, and set aside. Squeeze juice from membranes over sections before discarding. If your oranges are really juicy and you have a 1/2 c or more of juice in your pan you don't need to add any additional juice.

**heck if you've got it add 2T of triple sec either way

Hey Mrs F that sounds good but I don't want to section 4 clementines.

I hear you... if you have a large can of mandarin oranges (in juice or light syrup not heavy syrup!) in the pantry use those instead... juice and all. Omit the extra cooking liquid,the zest, and the sugar. All you need to do is add the ginger bring to a simmer and finish the sauce with the butter and salt. Boom. Pretty festive and flavorful and on the table in less than 10 minutes!

Hey Mrs F I don't want to steam the carrots first why can't I just cook them in the sauce?

You can but you'll need a little more liquid in the sauce to be sure you don't scorch your pan... it is not a very *saucy* sauce it should be pretty thick. I like to do this step first since it really only takes about 2 minutes to get a small amount of water to a simmer and steam them up... and it allows me to have more control over the doneness of the carrots. It also means I can let the sauce simmer away for as long as I like and put the carrots in right before I plate the food (ensuring they aren't over cooked!).
This is how I prepare most veggies. I'll cook them part way and then finish them off right before serving.

Is This Enough Of A Thanks You Whiny Baby?

Apparently Mr F didn't feel I had honored him enough for all his hard work setting up the playroom. It appears that mentioning his ADD in the labels of my post wasn't enough and he was expecting more of a traditional thank you. So he went ahead and posted his own self-love tribute over at his site. Go read it and BEHOLD his photo montages.
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