Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

"Like American jazz, flamenco dancing involves improvisation. Its the dancer’s spontaneous expression of the moment’s emotions. The Spanish call it duende (DWEN-day). The word means goblin or fairy, but to the flamenco dancer it signifies an inner force that fuels an inspired performance.

A dancer with duende goes beyond technical mastery to vent his or her feelings, achieving a powerful, compelling dance. Those who aren’t singing may shout encouragement: olĂ© or ¡baile! ¡baile! — dance! dance! As an observer, you don’t really see good flamenco, you feel it."

Thanks to Alexis Givens for the powerful description. No one could have said it better.

No Rest For The Weary

It appears that when the doctors gave Baby her shots on Thursday there was some type of a mix up. Clearly they gave her some meth instead. Baby didn't go down until 5 AM last night... er... this morning. No, I am not kidding.

Talk of groceries, food hoarding, impulse buying, and saving money is already underway in the comments of last night's video post. You can join me there.... if I am able to prop my eyelids open.....

Friday, February 1, 2008

Want To Know What I'm Thinking?

Wife Swap

You've all seen this show right? The one where women trade families for 2 weeks. I can't say I watch this show religiously but I will say I am always fascinated by it. The premise behind the show is that the wives and mothers of polar opposite families switch places and alternately live the life of the displaced wife for one week and then force their new families to live life their way the 2nd week. Recently this involved the family of a child beauty pageant winner and a feminist homeschooling family. I mean polar opposites!

As contrived as this experiment some time seems in the end there is always at least one touching moment... when the military mom learns to lighten up a bit from the magician dad for example... and it really does seem like there is value in this experiment after all. Each family starts out so set and convicted in their lifestyle choice and then after catching a glimpse of the other side they ultimately recognizes their faults and change for the better...if only a little.

So what is your polar opposite family? I always try to think what ours would be... but honestly we are so extreme in so many areas it is hard to narrow down the field! How about....
"A Southern Evangelical Christian Fox News watching Republican patriarchal family with a dominant, sex crazed, husband who shouts orders to his subservient wife who obsessively cleans while their kids eat fast food take out in front of their own TVs in their bedrooms? Oh and they have guns and ride ATVs around their property WITHOUT helmets!!! (that part goes without saying though... right?) And they think breastfeeding is disgusting because boobs are a man's sexual property... and their kids aren't allowed to cry because it is weak... and they think "organic food" is a hoax."

But the show stirs up a lot of stuff for me and I always start thinking about what things people would be surprised about if they had to step in my shoes for two weeks. What things would be unbearable or a "no go"? And what things would people be shocked to find out... like that I don't do the dishes... ever! Would my life seem harder or easier? More stressful or more relaxing? You never know what someone else's shoes feel like until you are in them. What would my opposite family teach me?

Of course I would never do it since I wouldn't be willing to leave my kids for that long.

The Cake

Remember This?

You might remember that one morning not too long ago I woke to THIS.

Well let's just say it happened again. But this time I'm not feeling as loving and supportive about the *accident* because last night I overheard this conversation:

Mr F "Did you go potty?"

Kid F "I didn't have to."

If Mr F was home right now guess who would be kneeling on a pee soaked foam mattress right now?!?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby

Happy birthday little one.

You are the light that dances across the water.
You are the perfect gift I never thought to ask for
and yet can't imagine living one more day without.
You are a fearless explorer, a glinting eyed mischief maker.
The world is at your feet and you revel in it.
And now I revel in it with a new found wonder.
You may not have mended by heart,
but it was mended so I could hold you in it.

I love you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Breaking News!

Tomorrow morning my best friend is going to be on The Martha Stewart Show. She is the Home Editor of Martha Stewart Living Magazine and is a finalist in an "Big Idea Bake-Off" for the company. She will be presenting her big idea live on the show and then it is up to the viewers to vote for the winner. Her name is Alexis Givens. If you want to know what Mrs F's life long best friend is like you'll want to TIVO this!
And of course I'll give you all the voting info as soon as it becomes available.


Go HERE and vote.
Alexis's proposal is the 4th one in the list, the special publication for food allergies. This really is a GREAT idea. Please vote!

The Big Question

No not when you are going to get married... the big question is always when you are going to have kids. And even once you do when you are going to have another. It starts the day you say I DO and I have a feeling it doesn't stop until you can show some tangible evidence that you are going through menopause.

Around here two is the new one... and four is the old two. Are you following me? More is more not less is more when it comes to birthing these days. I have found this trend to be a bit shocking and I have to say I wasn't prepared for all the social pressure staying home in suburbia would bring. Before we "settled down" we lived in NYC where one was one and that was more than enough.

Growing up and even into adulthood I always thought I'd want three kids. I think we are all predisposed to *wanting* the same number of kids with the same spacing we grew up with. And in theory I'd like that but I don't want three newborns EVER. I could like to have three teenagers or adult children and I think some people out there do take that into consideration when they have their families.... you know how big their Thanksgiving table will be... or how small it might seem.

After my first pregnancy I started to rethink things. I don't enjoy being pregnant... in fact it is safe to say I HATE it and that it feels like a slow agonizing death. I loved being a mother and loved Kid and felt so fulfilled that having another wasn't necessary... to me. I didn't want to suffer through another pregnancy and more than that I didn't see where another child would complete me or my family more than Kid already had. My life was blissful for the next three years. Kid and I travelled and went on outings. We had a great time and we had freedom. I had NO urges to have another. Literally no hormonal twinges nothing. I felt fulfilled and Mr F felt fulfilled. But soon EVERY one we knew was having their second baby and I started doubting myself. I would hem and haw and stay up night questioning our choice. Not that I ever wondered what was best for me I worried about what was best for Kid. And with no other single parent families around it was really easy to get sucked into self-doubt.

I started feeling lazy and selfish. I mean I just had ONE kid and I stayed home. Now I should note that all along I always intended to have my kids 4 years apart. I was only 26 when I had Kid (young around here and in general these days but Mr F was 34) and so I had the time biologically but I also feel that is an ideal age difference for the kids in terms of their psychological and social and emotional development. So once Kid got to three and a half my inner turmoil intensified. Mr F was happy with one but I think he agreed if we were going to have another we kind of needed to do it soon or we'd never want to go back. We had been saying "when we think another child will enhance our lives we'll do it" but really how to you pin point that moment? It can drive you crazy. One day soon after I heard my sister-in-law was pregnant and I was clearly ovulating because that was it. I made the decision and was pregnant within the week.

Looking back I know two things. I was satisfied before. I am not more satisfied now with two then I was with one. But I also think we are all happier and lighter. Obviously once I was pregnant there was no more debate and that stress was gone... but also Baby has added to our family. She is a completely different energy and personality than the rest of us and I think we are all happier because of that. Not that we weren't happy. But she does add a marvel and wonder we didn't have. And Kid is happier. We have made some big life changes and Kid and I both miss our alone time and outings and freedom... but in the end I think Kid is more childlike now that Baby is around.

Two is all we'll be birthing though. My second pregnancy was almost unbearable and I can't go through it again. Mr F was fixed before I even delivered. He's turning forty and I think the financials of long term child rearing and college is more stressful to him than it is to me and he has no need to have more. If we want more there are plenty of children who have already been born who would benefit from our parenting. But I will say it is still hard when I hear someone is pregnant again not to feel a comparison and wonder why I don't really want more. Why my days are busy and hectic and occasionally overwhelming and I only have two kids that are four and a half years apart? I know women with 4 kids in that spacing. What are they doing that I'm not ... or maybe it is the other way around?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's Not In The Numbers

Today we went to see Kid's neurologist for our check-up. We've still got another 9 months to go before they even consider weaning her off the anti-seizure medication so not much was going to be revealed at this appointment. She hasn't had any seizures, she doing well, her behavior is no longer a problem, she's sleeping well. So Mr F opted out of this appointment since he's taking off next week for her eye surgery (yeah it is nothing but fun times around here). The problem with that is that schlepping both kids to the hospital for the appointment and dealing with the overflowing parking structure and the slow elevators and everything is annoying at best and often times just a little stressful. We don't even live 2 miles away and yet I have to get them all in the car about 45 minutes ahead of time to account for all that can happen between our door and the clinic's.

My worst fears were not realized and I managed to pull it all together and with a bit of nagging we arrived just on time (no not 15 minutes early as we were requested to do). Baby tolerated her stroller for a bit and then explored the room. Fortunately they had a scholastic book on arctic explorers which might as well have been hand picked by Kid and she was happily listening while Baby crawled under some chairs to investigate dangerous chords and whatnot. Really it wasn't so bad. Baby never once tried to flee the room.

The doctor is a super nice engaging older man. He remembers (or takes VERY detailed notes to help him remember) minute details of your family... looked at Baby and said "The last time I saw you you must have been four and half months old." umm... yeah... to. the. day. Seriously folks. Anyway I enjoy that in him. He engaged Kid in some ball throwing and jumping and asked her some basic questions. Then we talked about what comes next. I'm pretty well read on Epilepsy and so I'm well acquainted with the numbers and how things will be.

Having said that I still always have some deep down secret desire to arrive at the appointments and have some unexplained turn of events discovered that result in a new diagnosis or NO diagnosis. When that doesn't in fact happen, as it inevitable won't, and we begin talking about the reality of the situation it is hard not to leave a bit depressed. And the funk can kind of hang around for a bit and the funk can turn into grief and at its worst into an inner hysteria that makes me fear for my daughter's life and even start to mourn it.

In November we will start to slowly wean Kid off of her medication. During those few months and then the following six is when she would most likely have a repeat seizure. If she doesn't then she will no longer have epilepsy and it will be assumed that she has outgrown it. 70% of children do outgrow it. But obviously 30% do not and they may seize during the weaning or in the 6 months following or they may seize seemingly out of the blue 5 years later. You'll never know. You. Will. Never. Know. You can't try to feel what that would be like but I suspect if you are not the parent of a sick kid in remission of something you probably can't. Many people will look at those numbers and think those are good odds. Well when your child only has a 2% chance of having Epilepsy in the first place and then manages to have the most uncommon form numbers no longer mean much or offer much consolation. The reality is for every 7 kids who will successfully outgrow it 3 will not. And even the parents of those lucky 7 will still never know if there world will suddenly come crashing down a few years down the road. It's not like you get a certificate that guarantees your recovery.

The main concern I have at this point is that Kid will be most likely to have a seizure between November and August of next year... when she would be going to school. The school does not have a full-time nurse and the neurologist did make it clear that that is by FAR the preferred situation. So I'm not sure she'll be going to school. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this and will need to take some time to really process what I think will be best. For now I'm still going to attend the Kindergarten roundups and open houses and may look into the private schools and see what their onsite medical coverage is like. But in the end I don't know if I can live through the amount of worry I'd have EVERY DAY. I'm not sure it would even be tolerable for me to do so.

The Other White Meat

That's right people today we are talking about pork. Pork tenderloin to be exact. I've posted this before but didn't go into how I actually prepare it so today I thought I'd post both the detailed instructions but also some instructional videos.
This is one of the easiest (and leanest) roasts you can make. Seriously. As long as you don't overcook it you really can't go wrong here. I have a super simple marinade and spice rub and that's it.... pop it in the oven and you are done! It is virtually hands off. If you haven't made this before or are new to the kitchen the videos are worth watching... there's a lot of information in them that won't be included in the recipe.

Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin (about 1.25-1.5 lbs)
1/4 c worcestershire sauce
ground thyme
meat thermometer

At least 30 minutes before cooking (up to overnight) place the pork tenderloin (trimming it of any excess fat if need be first) in a zip top bag and cover with the worcestershire sauce. Turn the bag to coat the meat and then place in the refridgerator until ready to cook.
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Remove the tenderloin from the marinade and pat dry. Shake salt, pepper, and thyme onto the meat and coat evenly.
Place the tenderloin in a roasting dish or pyrex pan. Place in oven and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 142 F. Take the meat out and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. The temperature should continue to rise and should reach about 150 F this will be "medium" and is how pork should be served. Take the temperature up to 160 F if you want it to be well done, dry, and grey ;)

Each 4 oz portion is 185 calories

Cooking Notes:
Trichinosis is killed off at 137 F. Trust me pork is much better when it is still tender.
Please watch the video if you have any questions.
This is good as is but I like to serve it with apple butter or cranberry sauce.

Mrs F Food TV... you can watch me make it!

Want to see how "Take One" went down? N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E. This one is a "Do Not Miss" video!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Looks Like Kid's Got A Hidden Talent

This Week The Plan

Alrighty. This is going to be a busy week with Baby's fist birthday and all. Oh and we have to go eat Ethiopian food before the end of the month (yes that is about all we did for "Africa"... better luck next month).

This week went pretty well. I stuck to most of my goals. I only did four days of exercise but I am tired and I just needed to give it a rest this weekend. I stuck to my menu. I did about 200 loads of laundry... still haven't washed my sheets even though they are actually stiff from Baby's constant drool. I let my desk get out of control but I did a major clean up and got it back to organized last night. I even started out taxes!!!

Okay on to this week:


Monday - Sweet Potato & Molasses Beef Stew

Tuesday - Salmon Noodle Casserole & Salad

Wednesday - Date Night (Kid asked me out!)

Thursday - Baby's Birthday at Ethiopian Restaurant.... hey she's too young to have a preference

Friday - Meatball Soup & rolls

Saturday - Brown Sugar & Ginger Salmon w/ stir fried vegetables & spring rolls

Sunday - Homemade Pizza


Monday - put away clothes & vacuum

Tuesday - Neuro appt & Grocery Shopping

Wednesday - bake b'day cake & vacuum

Thursday - enjoy B'day & ice cake


I am going to take the time to increase all the springs on my reformer. I am going to do 2 - 70 minute cardio workouts and 2 - 60 minute pilates workouts. I'm out for Wednesday and Thursday so I doubt I'll get more than 4 workouts in this week.


Sleep. I am going to take half a Unisom at 10:30 every night this will ensure I'm out by 11 PM.
Also I'm going to focus on keeping my desk cleared off.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


It may have taken me THREE years to complete but, people, I have finally finished Kid's blanket.
Sure I started it when we were first thinking of transitioning her to a "big girl" bed at age 2... which of course didn't happen until age 3 anyway. And yes I was able to get it 85% percent complete in a matter of days only to leave it floundering in that condition... usable yet unwashable due to the not quite completed quilting... for the last few years. Until now. Behold a freshly laundered fully quilted crib sized Pooh blanket loving crafted by yours truly. Does it matter that she is now in a real twin sized bed? NO. Or that she isn't exactly in love with Pooh? NO. What matters is... I FINISHED SOMETHING.

Maybe It Is Just My Nature

I've been thinking a lot about myself lately... and no not in a narcissistic fashion. A couple weeks ago I posted about recognizing that cleaning is not my priority and coming to terms with that being a choice I make and trying to see it less as a failure to do my "job" and more a reflection of my deeply felt beliefs. Well I'm kind of going through the same thing with my manic-ness. I'm not really sure manic is the exact right term but I can't think of another word that basically represents the antithesis of calm. I think manic is a fairly loaded word and I really am talking more about energy levels and antsy-ness.

Here is the thing... I DON'T SIT STILL. Ever wonder how I can pump out so many weekly posts and still manage to shoot 10 freaking YouTube videos a day?!? Well I'm never just taking a breather. As soon as I sit down to do so (like right now) I'm back up grabbing my camera or laptop and putting more of my crazy thoughts out there. Maybe I need to do that to get my head a little more clear before I can relax. But somehow one thing leads to another and I never did sit down and finish that next chapter... or all the cookbooks I got from the library... or the cheap magazines I got at the grocery store.

For a while now I've been drawn to Waldorf philosophy. My brother's girls go to a Waldorf school and their mother was a teacher there. Her house is so clean and calm and devoid of clutter. And I always leave thinking that I want some of that... kind of. I leave thinking I should want it.... and maybe feeling a little less than because I don't. I read a great book this past fall. And the author (who is also clearly influenced by the Waldorf culture) was struggling/succeeding in trying to have a more peaceful meaningful life. I absolutely believe that many of the Waldorf beliefs can help you have that... but I'm realizing more and more that it is just not a fit for me. And on many fronts we already do many of the things that they emphasize.

What I'm coming to terms with (and hey maybe this is a 30s thing) is the parts of my personality that I enjoy and/or bring the most joy. And people many manic zaniness is definitely one of those things. Would type of family memories would my girls have if I was calm and sat in a chair and read a book? Would they be more fulfilling or rewarding or happy memories than the ones they'll have of me doing my acrobatic preformances or trying to shove toys down Mr F's pants while he's doing dishes?

I crave the calm because I'm not. I'm not calm because I had an unstable childhood... I do get that. But I'm no longer so sure calm is better. We're not crazy yellers or anything. We all eat dinner together every night with cloth napkins (that's a little Waldorf for you). But we are crazy. And although I'm sure Kid would enjoy if I sat on the couch and snuggled a bit more... you should see the gleam she gets in her eye when I'm doing something so off-the-wall and childlike.

I think I'm coming into myself more and starting to see myself for the choices I make and less for the choices I don't make.

One More YouTube Video (it's short! and relevant)

Sorry Guys But I'm Still Tired

wait there's more...
watch this one people I really do want some feedback on it!
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