Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Paleo Apricot Ginger Scones

Dylan’s preschool class recently made scones. Whenever they do a baking project at school Dylan’s teacher gives me a heads-up so that I can bake something comparable with him in advance that fits within our dietary preferences. So he gets to bake twice and always has a treat to eat with his class! I was never a big baker before we cut out grains and refined sugar, so I never bothered to find paleo substitutes for many common baked goods. Which means that every time they have baked at school I have scrambled to find a recipe for a paleo version of whatever they’re making! For these scones, I started with this recipe and made adjustments to the flavoring, baking temperature, and baking time. I’ve played around with a few different flavors but this is my favorite so far. They’re sweet but not too sweet and pair so nicely with a cup of tea. I particularly like them warm from the oven with a pat of butter melted on top!

Paleo Apricot Ginger Scones (makes 8 scones)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated & minced ginger (I use the big side of a box grater and then mince finely)
  • 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put a sharp knife into your freezer (for cutting the dough later!).
  3. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
  4. Add ginger & mix thoroughly (it tends to clump up).
  5. Add egg, honey, and apricots and mix well.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper or a Silpat.
  7. Press the dough flat with your hands, to a little less than 1/2 inch thickness.
  8. Using a cold knife, slice the dough into 8 triangles.
  9. Move the parchment onto a baking sheet and separate the scones so they’re about an inch apart (I use a thin metal spatula for this, the dough can be a bit gooey).
  10. Bake 9-10 minutes, being careful not to overbrown the scones.
  11. Cool and eat! We like to eat ours still slightly warm with some creamy pastured butter melted on top.
  12. Store in sealed container or freeze (we freeze ours). As with most almond flour baked goods, these get a little soft, but you can crisp them back up in the toaster oven (use low heat so you don’t burn them, almond flour browns and burns easily). If you’re desperate they are also pretty decent straight out of the freezer, which is how Brian eats them.

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (For Real!)

I have really been trying to get as many nutrient-dense foods into Mira as I can. Our doctor encouraged me to add liver to the menu and I was excited (liver = superfood!) but scared (ewww, liver!). I had never in my life even come close to eating liver until I made it for Mira. I came up with the recipe below through a bit of messing around in the kitchen and let me tell you it is GOOD. I have not really wanted to eat any of the pâté I’ve made for Mira until now. I want to eat this, it’s tasty!

Seriously Delicious & Easy Chicken Liver Pâté

1/4 cup butter (pastured is best!)
1/2 large onion, diced (or one small-med onion)
1 lb organic or pastured chicken livers
handful fresh Italian parsley, rough chopped
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2-1 lemon (start w/ juice from 1/2 lemon & add more as needed)
1/2 tsp sea salt or Redmond Real Salt
few turns of the pepper grinder (not too coarse)

Dice onion.

Clean livers (remove connective tissue & veins w/ sharp paring knife) & place on paper towel-lined plate, pat livers gently with wadded-up paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat.

Add livers and onion to pan, cook until livers are browned & cooked through (8-10 min). I cook the hell out of my livers because I feed this pâté to my baby and I don’t want her eating any meat that is less than well-done. You could conceivably cook the onion until translucent and then add the livers in with the onions and cook them both until the livers are done if you don’t need your livers cooked to death (6-8 min would do it in that case).

Let cool a bit while you roughly chop the parsley, zest the lemon, & juice the lemon.

Roughly chop the livers and add to bowl of large food processor with all of the onion, pan drippings, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon zest, & lemon juice. Process until smooth (doesn’t take too long). Scrape down sides, taste, adjust seasoning (you may want more parsley, lemon juice, and/or salt) and give it another quick whirl. Store in the fridge in tightly covered container or do what I do and freeze it off into ice cube trays so you can defrost small amounts as needed (and feed them to your baby because that shit is seriously nutrient-dense). ENJOY!

An August Morning

I try to look put together but by 10 am I am not feeling very fresh at all: my shirts are stretched out of shape (from nursing & baby-holding) and I reek of bug spray and sunblock. Showering at night seems like the smarter thing to do but I need something to help wake me up in the morning when I’m running on 5 hours of sleep. I can’t remember the last time I felt well-rested and not cranky, maybe two or three years ago? I want a hairstyle but why? My hair is up in a bun or ponytail by 7:30 am and won’t come down until I fall into bed at night.

Hanging diapers out in the sun to bleach. Sweeping, vacuuming, wiping faces and bottoms. The flowers on the table are starting to wilt and I wonder if it would make me happier to eek an extra day out of them or just toss them and get on with it. Too many tabs open in my browser, evidence of countless interruptions. Eating too much chocolate. Always so hungry, eating almond butter with a spoon, eating everything I can, and my clothes are still falling off. Endless piles of laundry to fold and if I don’t put it away immediately it is unfolded and incorporated into a fort or, more often, a make-believe parking garage. Long days of staying home so the baby can nap, trying to entertain the 3 year old and prevent too much boredom because boredom quickly turns into misbehavior. Dishes piling up, I don’t want to do them, I’d rather scrub the bathtub or even the toilets. I fantasize about spending all day in bed with the dog, snuggling him, reading magazines, painting my nails, and eating ice cream.

The days are so long and monotonous but somehow time is moving too fast. The baby is already six months old, halfway through her first year, and I feel like I can’t enjoy her enough. The 3 year old is sweet and hilarious, he will snuggle as much as I want him to but is independent enough to do so many things for himself. He spontaneously bursts out with, “Mommy, I love you!” so many times everyday. I love watching him grow up but part of me wants to keep him small so he can curl up in my lap and I can fix anything that’s wrong. The top of his head still smells so good. One of my strongest maternal instincts involves sniffing my children’s heads and squelching the intense desire to chew on them. They are lucky I can’t fit their heads in my mouth.

It’s easy to get ahead of myself and think about the future. When the baby will be able to walk and talk, when everyone will sleep through the night, when my body will finally be mine again, all the things I will do when I finally have the time. I am homesick and think constantly about moving back east. But the thing is we are here now. Life is hard and crazy and tiring and frustrating and there is always too much to do and not enough time. But my kids will never be this small again and the more time that passes the more I realize how much I will miss these days when they are gone.

Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Over the years I’ve adapted a few recipes for my favorite sweets to be healthier, grain-free, and free of refined sweeteners. These macaroons are my latest new and improved sweet treat, and I think they will appeal even to people who eat “normal” cookies! They are crispy on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside. If you are looking for a relatively healthy alternative to typical cookies, these macaroons are for you. If you are eating “Paleo” or “Primal” or are gluten-free, these macaroons are for you. If you are allergic to nuts or doing a Whole30, you will need to steer clear as they contain both almonds and honey.

A few recipe notes:

  • The dough will be very wet, this is fine, do not worry!
  • The cookies don’t keep that well in terms of texture. They lose their crisp within a few hours. They are still very tasty several days later but have a softer, more moist texture. If you want to impress company or just want to eat them at their best, you will want to be sure that you are making them within an hour or two of eating them.
  • Because they don’t keep that well, I’ve included recipes below for both a mini batch and a full batch, so that you don’t have to do any math! I prefer to make a mini batch every other day than a full once a week. I mean, I would prefer that, if I were the kind of gluttonous person who would eat coconut macaroons everyday.
Coconut Macaroons Recipe

Mini Batch (makes 8-9 cookies)

1/2 + 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp + 1 heaping 1/2 tsp blanched almond meal/flour
1 egg white
1/8 tsp almond extract

Full Batch (makes about 30 cookies)

2 2/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup blanched almond flour/meal
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 325. Combine coconut and almond flour, stir well. Whisk together egg white(s), honey, and almond extract. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well until fully combined and uniform in color/texture. Use a tablespoon to portion the cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The dough will be wet so you will need to form/squeeze gently with your fingers as you push it out of the tablespoon and onto the cookie sheet (this will prevent your cookies from falling apart once they are baked). I also like to shape my cookies a bit once they are on the cookie sheet so that they look cute, I don’t like them to be too smooth on the top. I also think that shaping the top a bit so it’s not a uniform smooth surface makes a tastier cookie because the little bits sticking up tend to get crispy in the oven. Yum! Bake for 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. If you have to err on the side of under- or over-baking definitely over-bake, they benefit from a little crisp on the edges and bottom. Let cool and enjoy!

Whole30 Update, Perfectionism, & Happiness

I can’t believe I thought I was going to blog about my Whole30 regularly, even daily. Clearly I am delusional. You have probably guessed by the fact that I did not blog more regularly that I did not stick with the Whole30. I did about five days and I was like the incredible shrinking woman, so after emailing a bit with Dallas from Whole9 (creators of the Whole30 program), I quit. For those of you who want to clean up your diet and lose weight, a Whole30 is a good idea. For those of you who want to clean up your diet and gain weight…well, I don’t know. Maybe a Whole30 is a good idea if you prepare and have a lot of high-calorie foods in your house. And aren’t nursing a little baby. For me it didn’t go well because I was apparently relying heavily on cheese and yogurt to increase my caloric intake, and wasn’t able to consume enough without them to keep my weight up. Taking care of two kids and a house and nursing a baby is a lot of work! So I quit the Whole30, went back to my dairy, and…felt like crap.

I’ve had a life-long intolerance for dairy. When I eat dairy I get super congested and my skin breaks out and I just don’t feel that great. But I LOVE dairy. And when I was pregnant with and nursing Dylan I found that I was mostly immune to the issues I usually experience so I figured I could eat dairy sans problems while pregnant with and nursing Mira. This has not been the case but I ignored how I felt. Anyone else do this? Anyway, after stopping the dairy for five days and then going back on it for a week I could no longer ignore how awful it was making me feel. In addition, my skin was breaking out and if vanity is not a motivator then I don’t know what is! I knew it was a problem for me and I should not be eating it…and yet…I continued for a few more days. And felt even worse! So I had my chiropractor muscle test me to confirm that the dairy was a problem, which of course turned out to be the case. So I’m off the dairy again.

It’s been about 10 days and I have to say I am feeling so much better and my skin is almost totally clear again. I’m hungry but not dropping weight as fast as I was on the Whole30. I’m trying really hard to eat a lot of nuts and coconut, nut butter, and generally bigger portions of all the other foods I eat. Like a huge yam with a tablespoon of butter rather than a small yam with a teaspoon of butter. It’s doable. I’ve been dairy-free before, obviously for years at a time, but never while nursing and that’s the kicker. I really feel those extra 600 calories that I’m using every day! Haters gonna hate, and I’m certainly happy to not be overweight, but I’m eight pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight and that sucks. I feel weak and my pants are falling off! I know that in addition to eating enough I will have to start lifting heavy weights again if I want to put the weight back on, but I’m not willing work out until I’m consistently getting decent sleep.

My perfectionist tendencies make it hard to accept that I cannot do it all right now. I can’t eat perfectly, look amazing, feel amazing, take care of my kids, keep my house spotless, etc. So I’ve decided to focus on eating food that nourishes me (because food is either medicine or poison, really) and getting more sleep. Hopefully once those become second nature the other pieces will all fall into place. It’s hard to cut myself slack even though Mira is only five months old, but I am going to try. If I could go easier on myself I bet I would be so much happier!

Turn the Beat Around

Today I begin my first Whole30. I’ve never done one before because I’ve never needed to. My usual diet is pretty spotless. Out of all my clean-eating friends, I’m the one who eats the cleanest and doesn’t “cheat.” And it’s not even hard for me because I have such a sensitive constitution that I feel like crap if I don’t eat really, really well. However, my diet tanked when I got pregnant with Mira. I was so sick for the first 22 weeks that I ate whatever I could keep down (which wasn’t much, I lost a lot of weight early on). Although I wasn’t throwing up much during the second half of my pregnancy I was still queasy most of the time, so I was picky. Kale just didn’t sound delicious, but ice cream, french toast, and french fries sure did! I ate roughly a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every day for the last couple of weeks. Ew.

Things have been better since Mira was born (four months ago! where did the time go?!) but I am still eating ice cream and french fries regularly. Last week Brian traveled to DC for work and brought back cupcakes from Cakelove in the same flavors we had at our wedding. Of course I had a few…and then this past weekend my wonderful mother-in-law ordered a pizza. We’d done a hike that morning and even though I’d had lunch I was still hungry and the pizza smelled really good…you know where this is going. I had two pieces and am still paying the price two days later. And even worse, so is my sweet baby girl. Based on her gassiness, fussiness, and obvious stomach pain, I think it’s clear that she’s as sensitive to wheat as I am.

So, I’m going clean. The funny thing is, the food prescribed by the Whole30 is basically the same stuff I usually eat, minus the occasional grain-free “treat” like paleo apple crisp (I need to post this recipe for you guys, it’s amazing), almond-butter cookies, or paleo granola. I used to eat a treat like that once every couple of months at most. For the next 30 days I will have no treats, as honey & maple syrup are not allowed during a Whole30. There is also no dairy allowed during the Whole30, which normally wouldn’t be an issue for me as I am sensitive to dairy and don’t usually eat it. But when I’m pregnant or nursing and need more calories I often eat cheese or goat yogurt. In fact, I think the hardest things for me to give up will be the cheese and yogurt. I will miss them more than my beloved Green & Black’s 85% dark chocolate. I must be insane!

If you’ve read this far you’re probably wondering what my motivation is for doing a Whole30. In simple language, I feel like crap. I stay up too late, wake up too late (with aches and pains, brain fog, and zero energy) and am cranky. My skin doesn’t look that great, my muscles all feel incredibly tight, my joints are stiff and achey. My digestion is out of whack. It’s clear that my system isn’t functioning anywhere close to optimal. I also need to reset my taste buds. The past year (!) of eating so many refined foods has really screwed with my sense of taste. I want to get back to the point where I feel like a Lara Bar is too sweet. It can happen, trust me. If you eat clean enough for long enough your cravings for crappy food disappear, it’s wonderful.

In addition to the Whole30 I’m also working on resetting my sleep schedule (normally a morning person, not so much since sweet Mira arrived) and adding in some exercise to my routine. I went back to CrossFit for the month of May and it was horrible because I wasn’t sleeping enough or eating well. Until I can get my food and sleep sorted out I am going to stick with things I can do at home (post-partum ab rehab being the big one, along with yoga, Pilates, and some simple bodyweight stuff like squats, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, etc.). I will be reporting on my progress here as often as possible, maybe even every day so that I have a record for myself.

What are you doing for your health? Do you want to join me for a Whole30?

Letting Go

I recently sold some clothes that I no longer  wear and had a sort of bittersweet moment where I almost didn’t want to let them go. They are beautiful, they are designer, they are valuable, and they look fantastic on me. I hesitated to sell them for years for all those reasons, and now that I have a daughter I even thought that maybe I should save them for her. But I don’t wear them anymore, and even when I did wear them I felt a bit like I was in someone else’s skin. They were never quite right, never quite me. So, I decided to let them go. In doing so, I am making space for things that better suit my taste, and I am freeing up my never-worn clothes for someone who will love them and wear them all the time. It feels good!

As much as I envy women with expansive wardrobes I know I could never be one of them. I don’t have the space, and even if I did it would stress me out to have a lot of stuff hanging around not getting used. I can’t remember if I was always this way (maybe? probably.) or if this stems from the insane amount of time I spent going through my mother’s belongings after she died. It was awful! Of course, when I was a little girl I was super appreciative of her tendency to hang on to clothes she no longer wore–the dress-up options were endless and amazing because she had countless furs and sequined cocktail dresses, fancy bags and shoes, and enough costume jewelry to adorn a small army. I wonder if I’ll be depriving my kids of some of the magic of discovering old things around the house by my constant cleaning out of things no longer used. Or am I modeling a healthy detachment from “stuff” by periodically getting rid of some of mine? All I know is that I rarely, if ever, miss the things I’ve let go, and there are only a few things I could never buy again if I felt I needed or wanted them. I’m thinking a lot lately about that William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful,” and it feels like a good touchstone for “stuff” management. And yes I include wardrobe in the “stuff” category!

When I told Brian I had sold a particular dress he said he felt a bit sad because he had such sweet memories of me wearing it when we’d meet on a street corner in Dupont Circle after work to drive out to my father’s house in MD (we lived at my dad’s for a few months after we sold our apartment in DC and before we moved to Seattle). I also have wonderful fond memories of those times, some of the best of our lives because we got to spend a lot of time together and because we were almost totally unencumbered by belongings or responsibilities (funny what living in someone else’s house with all your possessions in storage will do for your psyche…hmmm…). That’s when I felt a tiny little pang of, well, not regret, but maybe uncertainty about my decision. And then I remembered something I’d read a while ago in reference to belongings and life:

The things are not the memories.

It feels good to let go of the things and hold tight to the memories.

More Thoughts On Parenting

I should probably have an “Anna Quindlen” category on this blog. Especially when I consider that I posted 12 times last year and two of those posts were me either reprinting the brilliant Mrs. Quindlen’s wise words or linking to an essay she wrote. But whatever. The following essay really speaks to me and I bet it will strike a chord with all you other parents, too. I need things like this to help remind me, in the craziness of adjusting to a new baby, what it’s all about.

“All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief. I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast. Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like. Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach, T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education,all grown obsolete. Along with “Goodnight Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are”, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, finally, and what the women on the playground taught me, and the well-meaning relations–what they taught me, was that they couldn’t really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything. One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome. To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow. I remember 15 years ago poring over one of Dr. Brazelton’s wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet,and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made. They have all been enshrined in the, “Remember-When-Mom-Did Hall of Fame.” The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs. The times the baby fell off the bed. The times I arrived late for preschool pickup. The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp. The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded,”What did you get wrong?”. (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald’s drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. Even today I’m not sure what worked and what didn’t, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I’d done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be.

The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top. And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world, who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity. That’s what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me a while to figure out who the experts were.”

Spring Reads

I’ve been doing more reading! I’m not sure what the typical “spring reads” are but my recent reads are all over the place in terms of content. These are all highly recommended, but I will warn you that Room will make you cry (in a good but still very emotional sort of way).

An Object of Beauty: A Novel by Steve Martin

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

I also started Life by Keith Richards and I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley, but I couldn’t get into either one. I think Life is better suited to winter reading, though I’m not sure why. I kept it on my list to try again later. As for I Was Told There’d Be Cake…well, ugh. It came highly recommended by multiple people who tend to like the same kind of stuff that I do, but I found the author’s voice annoying. Or maybe it was the subject matter? Either way the book was way too self-indulgent for my taste (this coming from a huge David Sedaris fan) so I stopped halfway.

I am currently about halfway through Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes, which is awesome and I can already say you should read it, especially if you give a shit about family and community and living life on your own terms. Also on the bedside table are Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell (this has been on my “to read” list for years; I’m very excited to read it especially because Outliers was fantastic!) and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (as a mom, how could I not read this?! Also, I’ve been on the waitlist for it at our library since January).

I wish I had something more insightful to say about these books, or a cute photo of my current reads stacked up on the floor next to my bed, but as I type this there are SIX sweaty men digging up the sewer line in my front yard and I am having trouble concentrating because I can physically feel the money being drained from my bank account. Also I have a headache (unrelated to the sewer line. I think). Here’s hoping that your spring is getting on well and that you are reading or otherwise expanding your mind and your horizons. I have lots to tell you about and hope to see you back here a little more frequently in the coming weeks!

Relax, just do it.

I am having one of those days (weeks? months?) when I realize that I really just need to relax. I am taking everything so seriously, especially in regards to Dylan, that I am sure to have a nervous breakdown and also drive my family crazy if I don’t find a way to chill out. I am just amped up and cranky. Is it the season? The moon? Bad personality habits? Too much chocolate?

Dylan has been up at night the past three nights. Not just waking up and we go in, change his diaper, and put him back down. Oh, no. He has been waking up and staying awake and getting all kinds of emotional if we try to leave him in his room. Brian has slept on the floor in Dylan’s room, with Dylan, for at least some part of the last three nights. Have I mentioned that the foundation of our house is concrete slab, and that the carpet in the bedrooms is laid right on top with just a thin layer of padding between? Our floors are hard. I guess this is just another of those little “phases” that babies go through, but every time we encounter one I feel blindsided. Like, everything was working so great, what did I do to cause this? I search my brain for the reason (daylight savings time? not enough outside time? staying up a little too late a couple days last week?), but I know it just is what it is and I hope that it ends soon.

I think a lot about this blog, one of my few creative outlets, and I still don’t know what I’m doing with it besides neglecting it. I have a lot of recipes in the queue and some posts on gardening and fashion and design, but in the spirit of cutting myself a break I am going to try not to worry about the drafts piling up in my WordPress dashboard. Right now what I need is less computer time, more productivity, and to shake up the routine a bit. I think part of my crank is coming from just feeling like we are in a rut of doing the same things, eating the same foods, bickering over the same stuff (we don’t even really know what it is, don’t you hate that? fighting and then stepping back and saying, hey, what are we fighting about? I think we are all just tapped out around here), etc. I also think I am missing my CrossFit! It’s been two months, thank GOD I am going back on Monday before my butt completely disappears. I am not 100% but definitely much better and the plan is to just modify and scale as needed. My ass needs CrossFit for sure, but after this break I am certain my mind needs it more.

The weather in Austin is amazing lately, kind of hot for the season but I’ll take it over the cold. I bought all the transplants and seeds for our spring garden (no such thing as a summer garden in Austin, really) and am working this week to get the garden prepped, planted, and outfitted with a new fence! We are also going to build a trellis for the tomatoes and cucumbers since we do square foot gardening and don’t have the space to let them spread out–they need to grow up up up! Maybe I will turn this into a photo blog and just post some shots from around the house and garden and call it a day. I dropped my iPhone on the patio yesterday but it still works so I still have my trusty everywhere camera. Ironically, I dropped it while trying to take a photo (and shoo away a mosquito, WTF, it’s only March!).

Also, unrelated, my house is such a mess and I want a maid so badly that when the across-the-street neighbor’s maid shows up on Tuesdays (I am watching her unload her cleaning supplies right now!) I just want to cry. In my future life of riches and leisure I will have a maid. Just putting that out there now so the universe can work on it for me.

What are you all up to? Gardening? Spring cleaning? Traveling? Exercising? I think a lot of us get a little funk or a little bug to change things up around this time of year, so what’s doing?