Friday, April 11, 2014

The One Where I Tried Oil Pulling

By now I think everyone has at least heard the term, "oil pulling."  {If you haven't, you can catch up here.}

It's everywhere. 

The hosts of The Today Show have talked about it, Home and Family mentioned it in their "10 Best Beauty Secrets" segment, and celebrities have been touting it in interviews for the last few years.

I even read a Kim Kardashian interview in a magazine last week where she said her whole family does it.

 "My mom read about it in her Scientology book a few years ago.  She, like, insisted we all start doing it.  After just the first week, we were all, like, addicted.  I've even started North on it when she was 3 months old.  Not with the whole tablespoon, of course, I'm not crazy!  I just give her a teaspoon at a time and then tell her to spit.  I can already tell her teeth are going to be, like, really white when they come in."

Kourtney is crediting oil pulling with keeping "bad energy" away from her kids and Rob said he was feeling suicidal over his weight issues until he started oil pulling.  "The oil took all of his cravings away and the weight started coming off.  Slowly, he just came out of the dark hole he'd been in for so long."  Kim explained.

She went on to say that oil pulling is what helped her redistribute the baby weight to her infamous ASSets. 

"I'm still about 15 pounds heavier than I was before I got pregnant, but the oil has really helped move the weight to where I want it.  It has, like, magnetic properties in it."  Kim explained.  "I just take a spoonful and while I'm swishing it around in my mouth, I rub some on my butt.  The oils attract each other and that's what moves the fat.  It's like, the best diet I've ever been on!"
Judging by this picture that was released earlier this week, the magnetic properties in her oil appear to be extremely strong!

Wondering where you can get some of Kim's magic oil?  According to the magazine article, her family has the cold pressed, organic, lotus oil specially expressed from one of the most ancient trees in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt specifically for their oil pulling--to the tune of 2.3 million dollars each year.

If you are like me, without an ounce of Kardashian blood in your veins, don't worry, you can try oil pulling, too!

I went to my local Trader Joe's and picked up a jar of cold pressed, organic, coconut oil for $5.99.

When I got home, I was a little nervous about swishing something around in my mouth for 20 whole minutes, but finally decided that the pros outweighed the cons.

{Some of the pros are:  Brighter, whiter teeth, healthier gums, prevents bad breath, increased energy, clearer mind, decreased headaches, clearer sinuses, alleviated allergies, better sleep, clearer skin, regulated menstrual cycles, improved lymphatic system and improved PMS symptoms.} 

I unscrewed the top to the jar nervously and was pleasantly surprised when the smell of tropical suntan lotion emanated from the oil.  It smelled exactly as I would expect a coconut to smell and I actually wanted to eat it. 

I grabbed a tablespoon, scooped a big rounded spoonful of the coagulated oil and put it in my mouth.

The texture was something that I was not expecting.  It was a hard clump of...I don't know what just sitting on my tongue.

How am I supposed to "swish" this through my teeth?  I thought, slightly panicked.

Within a minute or so, my mouth became flooded with saliva, the oil started melting and I started gagging.

Once the oil had melted completely, there was so much fluid in my mouth that my throat began trying to swallow on it's own.  I persevered and continued swishing even when little spurts of spit laced oil started squirting through my lips and onto my shirt. 

I ran upstairs to my bathroom, positive I was about to violently expel the liquid solution from my mouth.  I placed my hands firmly on each side of the sink ready for the worst retching of my life but it didn't come.  After a few minutes of focusing on how tired my mouth was becoming from all of this swishing, I was calm enough to check the clock in the bedroom. 

4 minutes had passed. 

That was it.

I continued swishing, with my exhausted mouth, while I googled the proper directions for oil pulling. 

{In hindsight, I probably should have read those first.  I thought I knew the basics; 1 tablespoon of oil, the oil had to be cold pressed and organic.  Swish for 20 minutes and done.} 

What I learned while googling was that the time you spend swishing is dependant on your body.  As you swish and the oil pulls toxins from your body, the oil will get thicker and thicker.  The goal is to spit those toxins out before they become reabsorbed by your body.  Most people only need to swish for 5-10 minutes and never more than 20.

I glanced at the clock again, I'd been swishing for 5 whole minutes now and the oil felt thicker to me, {whether that was all in my head or not I'll never know.}  I spit the oil into the sink and ran hot water to prevent the oil from clogging the drain.

While the water ran, I finished reading the directions.

"Never spit the oil into your sink, it'll cause clogs.  Instead, spit it into the trash can or a bag to be disposed of."

Spit it into the trash can or a bag?  Do they make special oil pulling spit bags?  Spitting it into the trash is an absolute deal breaker for me.  There is no way I could handle a garbage can full of spit on trash day.  I'll have to look for a cute little spittoon...  I thought.

{Later it occurred to me that I could also spit into the toilet.  No need for a spittoon which my older sister once mistook for a "pretty glass of tea."  *shudder*}

"Always rinse your mouth out with cold water and brush as normal after oil pulling."

Whatev.  I thought as I turned off the water and went back downstairs.

Within seconds my mouth filled with saliva again and I had to turn and RUN back up the stairs.  I spit, rinsed and brushed then all was right with the world again.

Now, I'm not saying I'm a believer, but what I am saying is that after spending the morning sneezing, scratching my throat and rubbing my eyes I haven't sneezed ONCE...{oh my gosh!  I JUST sneezed as I wrote that!}

Who knows maybe the whole idea is crap, but I've got a 16 oz. jar of coconut oil to use up now and the only thing I know to cook with it is fried chicken. 

The jury's still out on this one, folks!

{By the way, that whole Kim Kardashian interview was made up for my own entertainment.  Ha!}

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Part Two of March Madness

As my back began to heal, the numbness in my left arm started.

It was like a clutch and gas pedal thing.  Just as one let up, the other pinched down.

I noticed it first as I was washing my face.  The ring finger and pinkie of my left hand didn't feel like they were my own.  I could feel them on my face, but I couldn't feel my face on my fingers.

This has happened once before so I didn't really think anything of it.  The last time, it lasted about a week, then just went away.

A week came and went and it seemed as if the numbness was spreading.  Now, instead of just two of my fingers, it was my entire hand.

I couldn't hold a plate in my left hand to wash it, I couldn't tie my shoes, I couldn't do the girls' hair.  I felt like I couldn't do anything. 

You know on those SNL skits where Kristen Wiig has those little, tiny, plastic, baby hands?
 I felt like I, too, had a little, tiny, plastic, baby hand.
So anyway, I was talking to some mom friends of mine and telling them all the gory details of my stretching.  When I got to the part about my hand, one of them gasped and one of them was looking at me with her mouth hanging open.
"You should really get that checked out.  I mean, the left side of your body is your heart side.  What if your heart goes numb?!"  The gasper said.
"You know, I was having some back pain earlier this week and I went to a chiropractor.  He popped me and it was instant relief.  Have you thought about seeing one?"  The other one asked.
"Uhhh...I don't know.  I mean, are they even real doctors.  I think I'd be too scared.  You could become a quadriplegic, you know?"  I said, knowingly.
"Yeah, I wouldn't be too worried about that.  They go to school and learn how to do this.  They learn specifically how not to paralyze you and it might just solve your problem within minutes.  You should really think about it."
I went home and talked to Hubs about it.
"Brandy* thinks I should see a chiropractor.  She said he might be able to pop me and release the pressure that is making my arm numb."
"Yeah, do it."  He said, barely glancing up from the game on his cell phone.
That night I laid in bed weighing my options.
Do I want to live the rest of my life paralyzed and in a wheelchair or with a tiny, plastic, baby hand?
I thought about Kristen Wiig's character again.
She seemed to be telling me to go to the chiropractor, so I sucked it up and went downstairs to do a Google search for some in my town.

My criteria was simple;  they had to have been in practice for at least 20 years and they couldn't have any lawsuits pending.

I found one that looked okay-the "doctor" had a nice, honest face.  The office was new, although he'd been practicing for 22 years.  I wrote down the phone number and promised myself I'd call in the morning. 

Just as I was about to click Google off, something in Yahoo! Answers caught my eye.

"Can you have a stroke by seeing a chiropractor?  Answer:  Yes."

"WHAT?!"  I thought.

I knew there was a chance of becoming paralyzed, even a chance of having your neck broken, but a stroke, too?

I clicked on the link and was taken to a page where a man described his wife, a young mom with small kids, who had lifted something wrong and went to a chiropractor for an adjustment.  On her drive home she had a stroke that left her brain dead and now he was going through the process of suing the doctor.

I quickly googled "what are the chances of having a stroke after seeing a chiropractor?"

Long answer, short:  there's about a 20% chance.

Then I saw a link for an article called "7 Things You Need to Know About Chiropractic Care."

#1 on the list was that the whole idea of chiropractic care was founded by a quack who was later "allegedly" killed by his son so the son could take over the new found "medical profession."

Googling only leads to more googling and 3 hours later my eyes were red, glassy and watering.  Hubs was up for work and asked what I was doing.

"I'm NOT going to a chiropractor, that's what I'm NOT doing!"  I declared.  "Did you know that chiropractors have to practice their "medicine" on only 15 bodies to get their license and only 5 have to be ALIVE!!  I'll go see a massage therapist or something, but I am NOT going to a chiropractor!"

He sighed.

"Just make the appointment, Kim."

2 days later, {March 28th for those of you who are keeping track} I found myself at Rainier Valley Chiropractic Care.*  The receptionist greeted me and gave me a clipboard full of paperwork to fill out.  I filled out the first page, which was basically just my name and address, that type of stuff.  I turned it over and found the waiver I'd have to sign to be seen by Dr. Bighands. 

One paragraph stood out to me like it was written in golden, glittery lights:
I signed the waver with shaking hands and gave it back to the receptionist.
Dr. Bighands came out a few minutes later and took me back to the exam room.  I relaxed a little when I saw that the room looked more like a massage room than the Red Room from Fifty Shades of Grey.
I explained everything that had happened and how my husband was now complaining that I couldn't do the dishes due to the numbness in my hand.  He tested my reflexes, my pinch and poked around a little on my neck and back, asking if I felt pain when he did "this" or "this." 
There was none.
He clasped his hands together and sat down on the chair in front of me.
"Well," he began, "at this point I don't feel safe treating you.  I need you to go get an x ray so I can check for bone spurs, obvious misalignment, things like that.  Assuming the x ray is clear, we can start with some spinal adjustments.  Your symptoms will either get a lot better or a lot worse and we'll have to go from there.  Now, we might be looking at taking it a step further and having you get an MRI.  Depending on what those results are, this whole thing could be a referral for a neurologist."
A neurologist?  Doesn't that have something to do with the brain?  Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy is a Neurosurgeon and he operates on brains.  Dr. Bighands thinks I've made this whole thing up in my head!
The following Monday, {the 31st} I went for my x rays and back to Dr. Bighands that evening.  He said my x rays were all clear and completely normal so he'd go ahead and give me an adjustment to "see what happens."
Let me tell you, after his last statement ^^, my confidence level in this man was at an all time high.  :-/
I climbed onto the table and he used a little handheld massager to "loosen me up and get the blood flowing." 
Once I was good and relaxed, he told me take a deep breath in then let it all the way out.  I did and--CRACK!  He pushed hard near my left shoulder blade.
"Turn over on your back."  He said.
When he walked over and grabbed my head, my whole body tensed.  This is where I have my stroke.  I thought. 
He wiggled my head back and forth a few times.  "OK, now just relax your neck...relax it...go ahead and relax."  He said.  I was trying, I really was, but I just couldn't.
"I can't!"  I finally said.  "You're gonna crack my neck and I'm freaking out, man!"
He laughed, kept wiggling my head, and assured me in his hypnotic voice that it was safer than taking an aspirin. 
{I wanted to tell him that I don't take aspirin because of the risk of Reye's Syndrome, but I didn't.}
I was distracted just long enough to accidentally relax and he jerked my neck to the right. 
My eyes flew open and bugged out of my head.  I instantly wiggled my toes to make sure I wasn't paralyzed. 
{By the grace of God, I wasn't.}
"That's it," he said turning to his computer.  "Just stop by the receptionist's desk to make a return appointment on Wednesday and we'll see how you're doing, ok?"
I went back that Wednesday and again on Friday.  After each appointment, my hand felt slightly better, but not enough to justify the pain that I felt in my checkbook.  Since I was paying out of pocket for this, I was in it about $300 dollars so far and he wanted to continue the appointments every other day for another week at least.
I told him I was going to take a break from treatments and asked about using Ibuprofen, ice packs and stretches for at-home treatments.  He said that was fine, but if I noticed any backslide I should come in asap.  He showed me some stretches and I left.
So that's where I am with it now.  I go through times where I have to clench my fist to make sure it's not 100% healed and times {like now} where I've over used it and I can barely get my fingers to move to reach the keys on the keyboard.
My next plan in treatment is massage since Dr. Bighands and Dr. Google seem to agree that it is a pinched/pulled/stressed muscle in my back and neck that is pressing on the nerve that runs down my arm.  I have also started doing yoga regularly to prevent achy, needs-to-be-stretched muscles in the first place.
What I've learned from this whole ordeal is simple:  The older you get, the tighter and more rigid your joints and muscles get.  In short, getting old sucks!

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The One With The "Important Discussion"

I think it's time we had an important discussion, friends.

It's the kind of discussion that has to be done every so often.  One that will clear the air and we'll all feel a lot better about things after it's done.

The time has come to talk about...our television viewing habits.

Before we get started, I want you to know that this is an interactive post.  {They all are, but this one is even more so.}  If Hubs and I aren't watching something that you feel we should be, tell me

I suffer from a self diagnosed ailment that I have tentatively named, Acute Primary Insomnia.  {It's sort of a real thing, but it's more of my googling different types of insomnia and gathering the names of the ones that listed my symptoms.  I am in no way poking fun at or making light of a very real sleep disorder, it's just that I don't seem to fit in the neat little boxes of symptoms for chronic or plain ol' acute insomnia.}

Anyway, I said all of that to say this:  If I'm not watching something that I should be, tell me because I've got a lot of "extra" time to enjoy new-to-me television programming.

Ok, so, there are a few shows that I NEVER miss whether I watch them when they air or later on demand, I always watch every episode.

They are...

1.  Resurrection
This show is pretty new, it's only 4 or 5 episodes in, but it has quickly become one of my favorites.  It's about a little boy who died 30 years ago, but suddenly turned up alive in China.  The cop who reunites him with his family suddenly finds himself trying to figure out what is going on as more of the towns deceased residents begin reappearing-alive. 

I could be so into this show because I lost someone close to me and have actually had dreams that he came back or it could be because it's good TV.  Either way, I highly recommend it!

2.  Parenthood
I don't even know how to describe this show without giving too much away or without sounding like a TV critic. 
If you don't watch it, watch one episode and you'll be hooked.  If you do watch it, who's your favorite Braverman?  Mine changes with each episode, but I am partial to Crosby {who doesn't love Dax Shepard}, Kristina and Amber.  Bonus:  Ray Romano is also in it!!
3.  Survivor
I have always watched Survivor, off and on.  It was when I was breastfeeding Smalls and sitting on the couch more often than not that I got hooked.  I started ordering the DVDs through Netflix and have now watched every single episode.  The only complaint I can think of is that with each new season it seems to get watered down more and more.

Remember back when they went to Australia?  The survivors went home loving each other like family and barely alive.  It seems like it used to be more about outplaying and outlasting whereas the current survivors haven't even lost any weight.  The men grow beards, but the women have freshly shaved legs and armpits.  Everyone prances around in their underwear and no one so much as bats an eye when the entire basket of rice gets dumped out.  {Sure sign that the producers are giving them food when the cameras are off.}  {But that's just my opinion.}  I still watch every week though, and it never fails to amaze me how cocky people can get.  And let's be honest, I love it when they get blindsided and cry as Jeff puts out their torch.  ;)

4.  Last Man Standing
Tim Allen.  Enough said. 

I love his manly man views and how in a world that's so afraid to say, "Don't let your son take ballet.  He'll turn out to be a sissy!"  He still does. 

{Side note:  If I ever have a son, you better bet that the only make up he'll ever wear will be dirt smears on his face and the only dress he'll ever don will be made of leaves.  He'll be free balling underneath and playing Aborigines or something.}

5.  Dateline
I think I've professed my love for Dateline enough in the past.  The murder, the mystery, the intrigue...I love it almost as much as I love solving the mystery before the cops do. 

The only new thing I have to add to that is that now they have Dateline Saturday Mysteries!  Yay!!

6.  Impractical Jokers
Like the picture says, "Actual friends.  Actual dares.  Actually funny."  That pretty much sums it up.

Judge for yourself.  Here's a clip:

If you're not crying tears of laughter right now, we can't be friends.

Friday, April 4, 2014

March Madness {AKA The March That Nearly Drove Me Mad}

March is over--finally.

It was a horrible month for me, from the very first day to the very last, and I am more than glad to see it in the rear view mirror now.

Late in February I noticed that my lower back felt achy-like cramps but not crampy.  Does that make sense?  Basically, it just felt sore. 

By the beginning of March, there were times when it was unbearable.  I spent more than one rainy day laying around because it was just too uncomfortable to stand, much less do anything.

One morning, during the first week of March, {Thursday, March 6, to be exact} I woke up early and had about an hour to myself before the rest of the family got up.  I came downstairs and checked my email, read some blogs and dinked around on the computer.  When I stood up from my uncomfortable computer chair, {it's uncomfortable on purpose, so I don't spend too much time sitting there} I couldn't stand straight.  The arm of the couch caught my attention and I thought, it would feel so good to drape myself over that and really stretch these lower back muscles out. 

So that's what I did.

You know when you've had a hard day moving or you've spent the day lifting little kids in and out of car seats, shopping carts, swings, etc. and you lie down in bed that night only to have your muscles cramp up and it hurts to relax them?  That's what I was feeling.

Ahh, it hurts so good, I thought, but when I tried to sit up I quickly realized something was not right.

I managed to get myself upright only to find that I was standing on the legs of a baby giraffe.  Or so I thought.  My legs were wobbly, weak and felt as if they simply could not hold my body up.  I started walking towards the kitchen with the goal of getting upstairs to wake everyone else for the day. 

I didn't get far.

With every step I took, I was getting closer and closer to the ground.  Even in excruciating pain and complete bewilderment at what was happening with my body, I still had enough presence of mind to think that if my backyard neighbors were looking over the fence and into my undressed French doors, it would look like I was practicing walking down an invisible flight of stairs.

It didn't take long until my baby giraffe legs couldn't hold me any longer and I found myself on all fours in the kitchen.

Oh my gosh, I thought to myself, what the heck is happening to me?

With no other choice, I crawled through the kitchen, around the corner and up the first few stairs to the landing. 

The pain was worse than anything I've ever felt.  Worse than breaking a bone {and I've broken many}.  Worse than when my epidural wore off just as Bigs started crowning and I finally understood why people used the words "ring of fire" when talking of childbirth.  Worse than anything.

I was about two and a half stairs past the landing when I couldn't take it anymore.

"Hubs..."  I called out weakly.  "HUBS!"

"What?"  I heard from the bedroom.

Is he freaking kidding me?!  When have I ever woken him up by yelling for him?  Can't the jerk hear the pain and barely held back tears in my voice?

"I-I need you."  I called back, trying to keep the anger out of my voice.  "Come here."

I tried to crawl up another step, but just couldn't.  A wave of self pity, embarrassment and anger {I get mad when I'm hurt} washed over me.  I dropped my head to the stair and started crying.

"What are you doing?!"

Hubs was looking down at me from the top of the stairs--as were Bigs and Smalls.

"MOM!"  Smalls, seeing the tears, ran to me.

I laughed a nervous laugh and looked back to Hubs, "I hurt my back and I can't move."

He looked at Bigs, Bigs looked at him, then they both looked back at me. 

Another wave of embarrassment washed over me and I started crying again.  I immediately dropped my head back to the stair as Smalls rubbed my back and whispered, "it's okay, Mommy, don't cry." into my ear.

I pulled myself together enough to explain the whole back stretching episode to him.  "I really can't move.  I-I don't know what to do..."  I sobbed. 

Suddenly I realized it was Thursday.  Smalls had no school and would be home all day.  The two kids that I babysit for would be here in just a few hours.  Bigs and one of those kids needed to be dropped off at their schools and the youngest one is only two.  He would need to be picked up, played with, have his diaper changed.  I couldn't even crawl up the stairs.  How in the world would I make it through the day? 

"You have to stay home today.  YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME HERE WITH ALL OF THESE KIDS!"  I pleaded.

"Okay.  I have to go call my boss."  He said.

Now it was relief that washed over me and I started crying...again.

I sent the girls their rooms to get dressed for the day and was about to force myself up the stairs when I heard Hubs in the living room talking his boss.

"...hurt her back and can't walk...stay home with her today to take care of the kids...don't know what she did.  She's trying to crawl up the stairs now, but she's stuck on the landing..."

I looked at the stairs looming over me.  There were 7 more to the top.  I gritted my teeth and forced myself up them, around the corner and across the room to my bed. 

I could hear the girls arguing in the bathroom which meant that they were brushing their hair and teeth.  I only had a few more minutes of privacy to get myself up onto the bed before I had to do it in front of an audience.  I closed my eyes and held my breath then flung myself onto the bed.

"Uuuuuggggghhhh!"  I groaned.

I could hear Hubs' footsteps on the stairs. 

With an urgency I didn't know I had in me, I grabbed the sheets and pulled myself up to the pillows as I would imagine someone paralyzed from the waist down would do.

I had just collapsed on the pillows when he came into the room.

"What did he say?"  I asked without lifting my head.  "More importantly, did you have to tell him I was stuck on the stairs?"

"He said, 'okay,' and I wanted him to know how serious it was, so yes, I had to tell him.  I'm going downstairs.  Do you need anything?  Water?  Coffee?  Breakfast?  What am I supposed to feed the kids for breakfast and what time do the other kids get here?"

I gave him a run down of how the day typically goes and he went downstairs to feed the kids.

Lying in bed, I was no longer in pain.  A day off might be kinda nice.  I thought.  Especially if he's going to wait on me like this...

It was 1 o'clock, I had gone to the bathroom twice which left me vowing to neither eat nor drink anything for the rest of the day.  My legs were still as wobbly as baby giraffe legs and couldn't support me which meant I had crawled to the bathroom both times.  Getting from the floor to the toilet was excruciating and as embarrassed as I am to admit it, Hubs had had to help me pull up my pants.
I was sick of TV, sick of reading, sick of staring out the window and desperately wanted to take a shower. 

By that night I'd begun to imagine myself as the 600 lb. man that I had watched on a TLC documentary.  Lying there, in crumb riddled sheets with hair so greasy it could practically stand straight up, I was sure I'd gained at least 40 lbs. 

Hubs, bless his heart, hadn't cooked all day.  He'd delivered Starbucks for breakfast, Burger King for lunch and pizza for dinner.  I could feel my arteries clogging, the fat congealing and sticking to my inner thighs.  I would have given anything to go for a walk.  During an especially dark half hour between Guy's Grocery Games and Restaurant Impossible, I wondered if I'd ever walk again.

By the next afternoon I had perfected the army crawl without using my lower extremities at all.  In fact, I hadn't used my legs in so long that Hubs asked if I could even feel them.

"Of course I can,"  I snapped, "I'm not paralyzed.  I'm just sore-really, really sore."

I laid in that bed for three days making weird promises like, "tomorrow I'm going to wash the sheets.  I promise!"  Or, "Monday I'm going grocery shopping.  I promise!"  Hubs, who was holding his breath, would just smile and run from the room which was beginning to smell. 

I was miserable.

Finally, I woke up Sunday morning and tried to stand AND I DID!  Holding onto the dresser I tried to take a step AND I DID!  That morning I WALKED into the bathroom, did my business and much to Hubs' relief, PULLED MY OWN PANTS UP!!

After a few hours of rest, I was able to take a shower.  I had to sit on one cheek on the bench and use the hand held shower head, but that was, hands down, the best shower of my life! 

After Hubs dressed me {both of us thanking the good Lord for easy to put on yoga pants} I went downstairs.  It was a short lived trip, there was nothing more exciting down there than there was in my room and sitting proved to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated, but I did it and that was huge!!

Monday, Hubs went back to work and I tried to function as normally as possible.  I took the kids to school, I wiped the counters and swept the floor, both of which Hubs hadn't done even once over the weekend.  I think I even did a load or two of laundry.

I was slowly getting better and that was great, but then I started noticing the arm numbness...


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Remember Me?


I'm Kim.

I used to blog here, but then things unexpectedly got a little crazy for me health wise and I had to take a little hiatus. 

I'm on the mend now and in the process of writing a post all about my own personal March Madness but, in the meantime, I thought I'd share with you my top 5 favorites.

Here we go:

5. I was killing some time in the waiting room of my chiropractor's office yesterday by scrolling through my Facebook feed when this rolled by.  The only thing I caught of it was the word "julyer" so I backed up to see what it meant. 
You guys...I almost hyperventilated.  I laughed so hard.  Out loud.  Alone.  In a waiting room.
Obviously, "julyer" is now a regularly used word in our house.
"Hubs, you said you were going to put the leftovers away.  JULYER!"
"Mo-om!  You said you were going to sew the button back onto my favorite shirt.  JULYER!"
It's hilarious every time!!
4. This movie.
I cannot stay awake for a whole movie to save my life. 
I did for this one. 
It.  Was.  Amazing.  {It doesn't hurt that the 1930's and 1940's are some of my favorite years in history.}  {I've heard the book is good too.  I'm hold number 140 out of 170 at the library so I'll let you know after I've read it.}
3. Spring.
I took this picture a weekend or two ago and it captures almost everything I love about Spring.  {If only the fluffy white clouds were tulip shaped or Easter bunny shaped, THEN it would capture everything I love about Spring!}

I saw this at Safeway last week and decided to try it out.  I don't know why they call it iced tea concentrate.  It should be called perfection in a glass cause that's what it is, friends. 
Sweet like McDonald's sweet tea, with just enough lemon flavor and you can make it a glass at a time, which is my favorite thing about it.  {The 50% off was just an added bonus.}
I look forward to having a carton of this in the fridge all summer long!
1.  You may remember my non-resolution that I was rambling on and on about back in January.  After a cold and rainy February and the pass I gave myself for March, I was excited to see that I had somehow, miraculously, made some progress.  I feel good, my clothes fit better and THIS accidentally happened!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The One With All The Holiday Excitement

It's no secret I love a holiday. 

Any holiday. 

What you may not know is that I seem to have unknowingly passed that love down to my first born.

This morning, after the two girls had gone to school, I made my rounds through the second floor of our house turning off all of the lights that they NEVER seem to remember to turn off.  It was while in Bigs' room that I noticed her calendar lying on the floor with a pen next to it.  As I stood over the February page I noticed that on the first couple of Sundays of the month she had written "Go Seahawks!"  On Valentine's Day, she had drawn two people {one with long hair} and had surrounded them with hearts.  Then, on every Friday, she had made notes to remind herself that it was "pokorn Friday."  {Her school sells little bags of popcorn after lunch on Fridays.  It's pretty much the highlight of her week.}

Curious, I flipped through the rest of the calendar to see what else she was looking forward to. 

In March she had circled St. Patrick's Day and written "Yee!"  {Luckily I already have St. Patty's day all mapped out in my head.}

In April, she drew smiley faces on April Fools Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  She also drew some sort of star looking thing on Earth Day. 

May brings us Mother's Day, {I was excited to see that she wrote my name on that day as well as drew both a smiley face and a present!}  It seems she's also anticipating Armed Forces Day, but not as much as Canada's Victoria Day which was both circled and  had a smiley face.

It warmed my heart to see that she remembered her sister's birthday in June.  Father's Day got the same treatment as Mother's Day and Summer Solstice was awarded the now infamous smiley face.  {We'll have to celebrate that somehow...possibly with some sort of party?}

Strangely, in the entire month of July only one day garnered a smiley face--Canada Day.  {Note to self:  brush up on Independence Day facts.  It seems your kid thinks she lives in Canada!}

August and September were boring months in the eyes of my 7 year old.  Her dad's birthday was noted in August and Grandparent's Day was circled in September, but neither got so much as a smiley face. 

October however...well, let's just say that it's apparent her birthday month is the most exciting of them all for her.  She circled Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Canada's Thanksgiving {again with the Canadian holidays?!}, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, United Nations Day and, of course, her own birthday.  I found it odd that 3 of her other family members have birthdays that she is well aware of in that month yet none of them were written in and Halloween was skipped over.

Lastly, it seems that November and December are fairly boring to her as well.  I got a shout out on my birthday in November and she wrote "trky" on Thanksgiving Day.  Then on Christmas Eve she wrote "Ooy!" and Christmas Day got a "Yey!" as well as a drawing of a present. {Clearly I have done a fantastic job of teaching her that Jesus is the reason for Christmas and presents are just a commercialized extra.}

As if I don't go completely overboard on the standard American holidays, I'm now going to be racking my brain for cutesy foods and crafty decorations for Yom Kippur and United Nations Day.  If any of you have any ideas, please, shoot me an email.  Until then, you can find me scouring the holiday pages of Pinterest.  Should you find yourself in need of homemade decorations for Shemini Atzeret, you can follow me here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Porcupine Meatballs

Everybody needs a good comfort food recipe once in a while.

There's always going to be those cold, rainy, wintry nights when you just need a good food hug and this is the recipe for those nights.

Porcupine meatballs are basically just a meatball with rice rolled up into it.  My version is an economical, flavorful, weeknight friendly dish that is sure to become a family favorite. 

Next time you find yourself in need of a good food hug remember this recipe, you won't be disappointed!

Mrs. Cader's Porcupine Meatballs
1 package beef Rice A Roni
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups hot water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1.  Combine package of Rice A Roni {set seasoning packet aside} with ground beef and beaten egg.
  Using a 1/8 cup measuring cup, shape into meatballs.  {Or use a 1/4 cup measuring cup, dividing each cupful into 2 meatballs.} 
Brown balls on all sides in skillet.
2.  Combine contents of Rice A Roni seasoning packet with 2 1/2 cups hot water.  Pour over meatballs, cover and simmer 30-35 minutes. 
Remove cooked balls to serving dish.
3.  In a screw top jar, shake together cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water.  Whisk into cooking liquid and boil for 1 minute. 
Pour over meatballs and serve.

For the ultimate food hug I suggest serving the meatballs along side mashed potatoes with the gravy over everything.  Yum!