Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Athletic Ability

I am not an athlete. I have never been an athlete. I tried in middle school to be on the swim team. I was horrid. There is at least one of my friends from back then that reads this blog and can attest to that. (I am not counting my mother, she always remembers things as being rosy) I gave up swimming for theater and speech team. I even made up my own game in gym class (with some other equally non athletes) to get out of playing the dreaded volleyball. (my hate for that game rises from the fact the damn ball always hit me in the face, on my glasses)

My one and only stint of decent fitness came from Tae Kwon Do and some incredibly well channeled anger from my first broken heart. Also, I got a kick out of impressing the guys in the weight room at the CC with my ability to do squats. Which may relate back to the broken heart more than a little.

Today was Couch to 5K - Week 3 - Day 1. Today I jogged (very slowly) for three minutes straight. I didn't pause, I didn't give up, I didn't walk. I made sure I went from "now" to "now". (now is the trigger word I have set to the exact times on my podcast) Then, I did it again. I did something I would have never thought I would be doing. It took real work not to break down and cry when I finished that first three minute interval. I knew that hyperventilating would not be good for my recovery walk. I felt like a real athlete.

When I am doing those running intervals I feel powerful. I feel like I can take on the world. I feel like a runner. I feel like a real athlete.

I work to make sure my posture is good. That one is hard because my inclination when my boobs are squished down is to try to hide my stomach. The more I run, the easier it gets. I also have been focusing on breath control more. I know that with asthma, specifically exercise induced asthma, it is is important that I not let myself get too out of breath. I pay attention to my hips, knees and feet. I have to conscientiously make sure that I am not favoring whatever body part was recently giving me trouble, for fear of messing something else up in the process. It is very much a meditative process for me.

The process I started last year, with the Shredheads, then with walking all summer, and then starting C25K this year, is something I don't ever intend to give up. I have passed the 21 days to a new habit many times over. I have taken breaks for cold weather, but by the time spring arrived I was already itching to get out and back to my routine. Spring picked a good year to come early.

I cannot thank Liz & Missy for being the final push I needed to embark on this. I cannot wait until we can all get together and celebrate this together.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Those Flowers Are Rosa!

On Sunday I took M out to a little garden/monument on the parkway by our house. The main purpose was to get some updated pictures for a little Mother's Day project for the Grandma and Nana. M got to stretch her imagination and legs. I got the pictures I wanted for the project, as well as a lot of blog friendly pictures as well.

Missy (I swear I'm not picking on you) blogged yesterday about her presentation to the MN Baby Expo. Specifically about blog privacy. Before she did the presentation she asked if she could use one of my photos of M and talk about my psudonym. I completely agreed to it because while I don't use my real name on my blog, I don't hide the fact that I was not blessed with such a cool name. I also use my real name when I meet people in person, though I will answer to Amelia now.

Her comments about it made me think about the photos that I take. I think that getting blog friendly photos has made me a better photographer. By the time that I had this blog, she was running around enough and it was nice to know that even if I didn't get her face, I still had a use for the pictures. It can be very freeing to not have to care about her face when you have a kid that could care less about having her picture taken. It allows me to capture some moments I wouldn't normally get.

She can be out of focus, but you still get the feeling. When I combine these pictures with the ones where I get some or all of her face, it can show a more complete story.

Like how the scraggly trees were her houses and forts. How she rode horses, and discovered that she is a tree climber.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sugar... Oh Honey Honey

If I were like the other members of my family, my addiction would come to some illicit or controlled substance. I really consider myself lucky that this is not the case. Instead, I deal with having an unhealthy relationship with food. Which sort of sucks because I can't just give up eating cold turkey.

I'm going to oversimplify this a bit, so forgive me. My body has a number of cells that are insulin resistant. As in, they resist the effect of insulin to process sugar. My pancreas responds by producing more insulin. (which can cause my pancreas to eventually wear out causing Type II Diabetes) I have an excess of insulin in my blood stream, not all cells are resistant, and those non resistant cells in turn tell my body to feed it more sugar to balance out the insulin. The resistant cells are likely fat cells. The non resistant ones, the important stuff like my heart, lungs, muscles. I eat more sugar. I get more fat. It is a vicious cycle. (see a more scientific explanation here) Fun side note, excess insulin also causes production of excess male hormones. Hello hair!

Add to that an unhealthy relationship with food. I eat to celebrate, and I eat to deal with unhappiness. So basically I am giving myself an excuse to overeat all the damn time.

The solution is, give up sugar and kick my behind in to high gear to lose those resistant cells.

Missy asked this question on my post about the hairy issues, and I sort of want to answer it, because it is something I've actually given a lot of thought to. Since this is my blog, I figure why not do it publicly.

I wonder - and these are just thoughts for you to ponder, not to respond publicly -but if you've considered Overeaters Anonymous?

I have actually. While no one in my family has ever managed to maintain sobriety with the assistance of AA, it has helped. The part that unfortunately doesn't work for me is the faith one. Over half of the steps deal with God directly. I wish there were other common alternatives, but alas there are not. There are eating disorder programs however, and I am looking in to those along with therapy.

I also wonder if a program like Weight Watchers might help you set goals and keep that immaculate diet you speak of?

I have tried WW before, to varied success. Unfortunately the points program doesn't specifically deal with the limitations my dietitian suggested for me. You can get away with a LOT of sugar in WW and not have it effect your points. (they do a combo of cal, fat & fiber) If all I am watching is points, it doesn't work. The better thing for me to do is track my food and watch my carb/protein/fat percentages. I have not started doing it yet, that requires some meal planning, which I did this weekend. I start on Monday getting back with the site they recommended. ( I will track my food, good or bad, 6 days a week. I find it is nice to give myself a day off since there are times when I want to just go out to eat and not care if I can find nutritional info online. Especially since I love local ethnic restaurants more than chains. It doesn't mean I make bad choices, it just means I don't track.

I'm damn serious about the sugar thing. Since Wednesday I have had some really good dark (low sugar) chocolate, two bites of some stellar local ice cream (from M's dessert on Friday at Sen Yai Sen Lek) and a sip of A's coke. I have passed up free cookies, a churro from Boca Chica Taco House, and pastries from Sarah Jane's for A's birthday.

It is so much easier to just say no to everything then try to negotiate in my head what I can get away with and what I will have to give up later to make up for it. It is not 100 percent. They put sugar in everything. There is more sugar in "Healthy Request" soup than there is in just plain old "Select" soup. Take a look at two of the same product side by side, one regular and one "light". In many cases when they remove fat, they replace that flavor with sugar. Salad dressing is infamous for this. If sugar is your issue, you are better off just using a small amount of the full fat stuff than trying to do a full serving of the light. Better yet, make your own vinaigrette so you know exactly what you're eating. For the most part, I either make it, or try to find the least offensive option. No High Fructose Corn Syrup (for a good piece about what that does, see this) (and my reaction to all of that here), and as little added sugar as I can. There are sacrifices (sweet pickles), but the payoff is completely worth it.

One last thing from Missy.

The times in my life when I try to do things my own, on my own sheer will, are usually the times I fail. But those times when I lean on others and let them help hold me up? Those are the times I am victorious. :)

This is absolutely me relying on others. I would NOT have had any kind of success like I have without the support of people who read my blog, people who respond to my silly tweets, and the information I learn from other people willing to write about it on the Internet. That last one is why I'm being so honest about this.

I got some good news on Friday night, in the middle of that dinner. While I don't have the exact numbers to compare, I know that my insulin levels went down from last January. I'll know more at my next Dr. apt. It was just the encouragement I needed to know that I'm on the right path and that I can do this.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


In my life, I have had pixie cuts, I have had long hair, I have had any variety of in between. I've even had a Mohawk. I have used my hair as a way to mark changes in my life. I have used my hair as a way to mourn losses. I have used my hair to piss people off. It has been pink, orange (I was trying for blond) and it is now pepper, with a liberal amount of salt mixed in.

I hacked off a good portion of it earlier this year. I had been growing it out, but it was getting scraggly, ugly and tangled easily. It was nice. I told my lovely stylist she only needed to leave it just long enough for a ponytail. It was right above shoulder length.

I wasn't nearly so concerned about ponytails today. It is about as short as it can go shy of a pixie cut. It is awesome. It is off my neck. It is something I can have fun with. It is wildly curly at this length.

I may, just maybe, consider coloring it. Not to cover the gray so much as turn them a fun color. Like blue.

In the mean time, here it is. To run tonight I had to do itty bitty pigtails and a headband. Small price to pay for a little change to go with the big change happening with me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wake-Up Call

I have PCOS. I am insulin resistant. I'm still obese. (BMI of 33.9) All of those things add up to the one thing about it that honestly drives me the most crazy.

I have hair on my face like a fifteen year old boy.

In April of 2007, with a just born M. I look like I could use a shave. Also, damn I didn't realize how bad the edema was from the pre eclampsia. Look at my hands!

For the last year I've been taking a medication that blocks some of the DHT that causes the hair growth. DHT is dihydrotestosterone. Too much if you're a woman, and you grow facial hair. Too much if you're a guy, and you lose your hair. Fun stuff. The medication, spironolactone is actually a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure. I've just been abusing it for its side effect. I don't take the full allowed dose, so the plan was for me to up the dose, if everything checked out.

This last Saturday I went in to my Dr. office for some routine bloodwork. Spironolactone can cause high potassium, which can cause heart problems, so one of the tests that I have done with some regularity is to check for high potassium. I'm not an easy blood draw, but I have never had it go so badly they couldn't get enough blood to do my tests. Until Saturday. I ran in to what has to be the worst and most obnoxious phlebotomist ever. She absolutely destroyed my one good vein, and made another four holes in the process of trying to get something out of me. The good news, she got enough of a dribble for them to do my fasting tests. Bad news, my potassium was high enough for the Dr. to call me somewhat panicked about it.

Since a stressful blood draw can cause your potassium to get out of whack (endorphins and adreneline FTW!), I requested a retest. I specifically tried to make sure that someone else would do my blood draw. I took time off from work so that I could get in as soon as possible (today), and I drove the 45 minutes from my house to their office.

Only to be greeted by the same vein mangler again. Guess who was the only tech available.

I lost it. I screamed and cried all the way home. I called in sick to work because I could not stop crying. If I can't get that test redone, which would now require missing more work just to possibly have the same result, my only option is to stop the medication, and watch the hair come back.

I have spent most of today trying to find information about options. I have IM'd my husband trying to talk myself down off of this ledge. I joke about the hair, but the reality is that it bothers me. Bothers me like I don't feel like a real woman with all of this hair. If I laser it off, it will grow new follicles. The other medication choices I have are out of reach financially. I'm doomed to have to grow it out to a length that can be plucked or waxed regularly, and I'm telling you, those mothereffers grow fast.

There is another choice however. One that I think scares me almost as much as a life spent both overly hairy and fat.

Diet and exercise. Like, lots of it. No sugar, no bad carbs, no junk food, no fast food. Just an hour or more of intense exercise five times a week and an immaculate diet. On the plus side, I would be able to eat all of those potassium rich foods I have had to avoid because of the drugs. On the down side, it would seem that now is the time to confront my demons regarding self worth, and food addiction. Sweet! I've been maintaining my weight, which is great. I've also been able to exercise more than I have since I was in high school. The real story however is that I have yet to completely deal with my bad relationship with food.

At least there would be shopping still, because the idea is that I would get myself down to a healthy weight, and quickly. Now if the Dr. would just call me back so I could run this all by her, I would go out for a run. That would be better than trying to forget there is chocolate sorbet in the freezer.

Side note: If by chance, my German heritage is also partly to blame for the hair, then once I am much much thinner, I could get zapped in the face for a nice sum of money. Awesome huh? Also, this site, though pushing supplements (that I might look in to, with the help from a naturopath), has a lot of good information.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


If I were a SAHM, or a WAHM, I am sure by now, at age three (crap, three!) M would have had her fill of classes and playgroups. It would likely be one of the only things keeping me from completely going bonkers. There would be ECFE (or as Julia likes to call it, Communist Playgroup), there would be music, there would be something physical to keep her from tearing up our very small house.

Instead, of course, I prefer to leave my child in the care of (very very capable) others. These others do pretty darn cool things. They teach her to put away her toys, to try to correct my Spanish for yellow (I swear to god kid, I know I'm right, I may have flunked it three times, but I know amarillo), and once a week a hippie with a guitar comes in for music class. She then sings songs that I only vaguely remember from the kid's tent at the Winnipeg Folk Festival when I was a kid. She also spends a state mandated minimum of 30 minutes outside climbing on a climber. It is good for her.

When she was younger I tried to be the overachieving parent who sends their kid to daycare, still does mommy and me classes, and works hours and hours of overtime. I nearly lost my mind. For one thing, there are very few classes for the under 5 set that accommodate a working parents schedule. I don't get this. For one thing, even if mom (or dad) stays home, wouldn't the other working parent want to do stuff on the weekends to bond with their kids? Not to mention, I don't need to do laundry, I have plenty of time to for tiny gym music geniuses right? I kid, but it is rough out there. None of the YMCA's near my house offered much in the way of options for me. The only things that were available, were seriously over priced. The city of Minneapolis does great swim lessons, and we live less than a mile from a city pool, but they offered no swimming lessons on weekends.

I sort of put it out of my mind. Otherwise it was going to drive me crazy. However, now that she is three, we have a number of other options available to us. Now there are dance classes available (including some downtown at Zenon dance company, yay!), as well as a wide variety of park & rec programs. Which is good for us, because the girl needs some lessons on coordination.

I am not graceful. I can climb a tree (I think I still can) and I can ride a bike, and use power tools, but I am not graceful. Not even some ballet as a kid helped that. I can can still walk in to a doorway despite watching where I am going. It is a rare gift, I know. It is a rare gift that I seem to have passed down to my daughter.

After reviewing all of the options, as well as my budget, I signed M up for a toddler tumbling class through the Minneapolis Park Board (love those guys). It started three weeks ago, and we missed two classes already, but we went on Monday. I also signed her up for the follow up class this summer. It is weekedays, around dinner time, but I can pack a snack, and A had dinner on the table when we got home. She loves it. She loves it so much that she asked me on Monday on the way home if she could go back on Tuesday after "workandschool". She loves it so much that I am pretty sure she will be heartbroken when it takes a break for a month inbetween sessions in May/June.

I'm not sure it will actually help her coordination, but her big feet are coming in handy for the balance beam. I knew we had them for a reason. ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Running Without Being Chased

After five times doing Week 1, partially because I wasn't sure if I was ready for week 2, partially scheduling, and partially who are we kidding, it just scared the crap out of me, I am ready to move on to Week 2. You know, on Monday. Well, maybe tomorrow. To heck with resting days.

So far, this is going incredibly well. Better than I could have ever hoped for really. Music motivates me and the podcasts are doing exactly what I want them to do. However, after three times, the same sequence of music does tend to get a bit old. So, I went out and bought myself a USB microphone, and recorded my own podcasts. (why yes, I am a geek, nice to meet you) All of a sudden, having a Mac makes perfect sense. I have a very, very, very, trust me, eclectic music collection. It makes for some pretty fun and interesting running music choices. Think, Beyonce' meets the 80's and a little roots rock for good measure.

The other thing that is going well is managing my asthma. It was rough there for a bit, seeing as my major allergy is to trees, and well, it has been a bad spring for that. However, getting the diagnosis and getting the treatment last year has really changed how I feel about exercise. I am pretty sure that this has been a lifelong thing. I grew up with one of my primary caregivers smoking in the home. (My grandma Marie) I also grew up around wood smoke, lots of it. I tried once, just once, to run after realizing that I forgot to use my inhaler before I left the house. That will never happen again.

Running right now, with it's intense exercise, is keeping me sane. A knows this too, which is why when I say "I have to go run" he never argues, never complains about who is doing more primary kid care. Meeting my goals of running a 5K seems very much in reach now. In reach enough that I may be just crazy enough to say that at some point in my life, I want to run a half-marathon. Well, maybe I should start with small steps. How about a 10K?

PS. I am trying to figure out a way to publish my podcasts. As well as maybe polish them up a little bit. I really enjoying hearing people's suggestions for music, so at a minimum I am going to do a post at some point with the full play lists. If nothing else than to make somebody laugh.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Party Perfect

As much as I would like it to be different, I am not one of those people who easily writes about things and services. I get offers to review stuff and I turn them down, not because of any superiority or anything, but because I suck at writing reviews. I have a review blog, I could use it if I wanted to. I'm just more comfortable writing about my feelings and emotions. However, there are times when you'll just have to forgive my horrid writing.

When M turned 1, I was a wreck. I wanted everything to be perfect. I wanted to be the mom that threw the best parties. While the cupcakes were good, and everyone survived, it sort of made me not want to do parties again. Fortunately for her 2nd birthday, we had a good excuse. It was on Easter last year and we decided it would be best if we just had a low key family only day. It was then that I realized that among other things I am no good at birthday cakes/cupcakes.

Fast forward to this year. Well, maybe late last year. Basically I finish Christmas and then start worrying about M's birthday, in April. I was determined to have a different kind of party this year. Fortunately I had a lot of really good help in pulling off a good party. This is my half-ass attempt at thanking those responsible.

First, my sister-in-law. The woman throws a great party. She has a house made for entertaining. She can bake a cake too. This year she dealt with the challenges in our family for scheduling weekend parties by having a Sunday morning brunch for the youngest niece's first birthday. It was brilliant. Breakfast/brunch foods are easy to make. You can clean the night before, not worry about the house getting dirty, and everyone leaves early enough you still have most of the day. It also accommodates those who still need naps (M and the youngest niece) and my FIL who doesn't really drive after dark. She also told me how she invited the in-laws up an hour before everyone else. This gives them extra time with the kids (being her out of town in-laws) and keeps the kids entertained while you finish getting ready. I made my famous Creme Brulee French Toast, cut up some fruit, made a simple quiche, and grilled some killer sausage from Kramarczuk's.

Second, Salty Tart Bakery. There is a reason that Michelle Gayer is a national finalist for a James Beard award. For those of you that care, those are the Oscars of food. Also, Minnesota rarely has national finalists. We tend to get shoved in the "regional" section most of the time. They did an amazing job on M's Pinkalicious cake. Their butter cream frosting is creamy, smooth and not overly sweet. The vanilla bean cake was laced with strawberries, and there was so much strawberry compote between the layers that the middle of the cake basically broke down into strawberry heaven. The richness meant small slices so if anything, I would say we could have gotten away with a 6 inch cake instead of an 8 inch. The party was on Sunday, I've given away two larger slices, and we still have cake left. They also did nice matching cupcakes for M's daycare classmates that I picked up two days later. At my request, they had less frosting to make them more young kid friendly.

Third, Litin Everything Party & Paper. They are a local paper warehouse type place that has every color of paper/plasticware imaginable. They have paper decorations to match. We were able to make a very pink party at a very reasonable price. When we catered out own post wedding party (we went to Vegas), we got serving dishes, spoons, etc from them. I even got balloons that were able to pick up early on the day of the party.

Fourth, the husband and his Pink Flamingo punch. This one was also initiated by my SIL, but he rose to my challenge to make it HFCS free. (it is not dye free unfortunately) Based on Froggy Punch, from A's childhood friend. (Froggy Punch - 7UP & lime sherbet) His recipe: 1 bottle Strawberry Jarritos. 1/2 a bottle of Simply Raspberry Lemonade. 6-8 scoops of Wild Strawberry Sherbet. 1 tray of ice cubes. The sherbet melts a little and it makes a nummy and not overly sweet punch.

Last, Mother Nature. Seriously, best weather. Considering it snowed the day she was born, the kid is continuing good weather karma for us. We had close to 80 on October 1st when we had our reception. It was risk to have something in our back yard, but we totally lucked out then too.

My SIL mentioned yesterday that I seemed relaxed, and I was. My house was clean, I had the food ready on time, everything turned out. I hadn't bitten off more than I could chew, I had outsourced to the best where I knew I needed it, and I got to actually enjoy M's birthday party. I really think she did as well. She cried when everyone left and she had to take a nap.

PS. Everyone/everything written about above was paid for with my own money. (except my sister-in-law, she came with the family when I married in to it) (the husband too for that matter) I was not asked to write about any of them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Tomorrow my dear girl will turn three. There is something about three that just seems to unbelievable to me. All of her life so far, I never worried about how fast it was going. When she was nursing, I marveled that I was responsible for making her grow. When she was a toddler, I worried more about her keeping up, with her late walking, clogged ears causing delays. Now it seems that time moves so quickly.

Two has been a trying year for us. Two has been filled with the challenges of developing language, developing motor skills, and developing free will. That last one of course being the roughest. There are parts of two I will not miss. Two sort of kicked my ass there for a bit.

However, lately, I just want to stop and savor. I crawl in to her tiny toddler bed with her, to help her nap (she apparently needs a crowd to do it easily, like at daycare), and at night for last minute cuddles. She whispers little secrets in my ear, observations about her day and questions about everything. Sometimes to get out of sleeping, sometimes just because. We giggle and laugh and I singer her Beatles songs and try to convince her to sleep.

Even when things are tough, and she isn't listening to us at all, and we yell to keep her from running in to the street, she so easily forgets and gives "I love you" kisses. She tries as hard as she can to curl in to a little ball for snuggles and hugs. She hugs tighter than just about anyone but her papa.

She is fierce and determined. She is nothing if not passionate. She is shy when she meets new people, but wild with enthusiasm when she is sees those she knows and loves. (future introvert anyone?) She is a contradiction. She loves pink and princesses yet picks the dinosaur book over and over again. She wore her pink spelunking hat, her wrists covered in new bracelets, while using her new tool set to fix a host of imaginary problems in the living room. She spins like a ballerina until How It's Made comes on, and then watches it more intently than any cartoon.

She is everything I could have hoped for, and so much more. The surprises and fun every day are worth every tantrum, every challenging little moment.

Happy Birthday my little Sprout.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Runner I Will Be

Last year when I started with the Shredheads, I started slow. I was starting close to 100 pounds heavier than most of the people who were doing it and I knew that going in to it the last thing I needed to do was burn out quickly. I didn't do more than level 1 Shred. When it got warm, I moved my exercise outside. I tried to run, but learned I have asthma in the process. I took it slow. I still made a lot of progress. By the end of the summer I could mostly walk (some short jogs) close to 3 miles without any issue. I was even able to do it in under an hour.

This spring, I started right back up. I was able to go 3 miles right from the start. Basically meaning that while the scale didn't move down over winter, I didn't really lose anything fitness wise.

Last year when the Shredheads moved on from Jillian to the Couch to 5K program, I wanted to go with them. Unfortunately I just wasn't ready. I was still figuring out how to manage my asthma. I also couldn't figure how to do the whole timed thing. I tried a stop watch, it didn't work. I looked in to runners watches, and new iPods, but they were all more than I was willing to invest.

This year is different. This year when Liz put up her challenge, I knew I needed to be done making excuses. When Missy brought up on Twitter that she had bought an iPod and was downloading C25K podcasts, I knew my last issue was solved. The podcasts allow me to get the music I love as motivation with someone else providing the timing information. Missy even pointed me in the direction of what seems to be one of the best ones you can find (given our age and musical taste). Carli's whole website is a great motivation.

I did Week 1 - Day 1 today. I thought it was trying to kill me at one point, but I beat it. I didn't cheat once. I ran when you are supposed to run. I walked when I was supposed to walk. I even did my regular 3 mile route and after the program was finished walked the rest of the way home. It took me longer than everyone else, and I am sure it will slow down and be hard and I won't go as fast as everyone else, but I will finish it. Liz's goal is the Liz Logelin 5K in September. I plan to do that to, but I will also do the local road race a whole two blocks from my house on Labor Day. If it being that easy to participate isn't a hint that I should get my ass in gear, I don't know what is.

A little side note:
Throughout the whole journey of exercise and trying to get healthier, the one thing I never wanted to do was feel bad about not always being as fast or as aggressive as everyone else. I knew there would be times when I wouldn't meet my goals. I refused to feel guilty, because those kinds of negative emotions just set me down the path of failure (totally have a duh! moment here as it relates to other parts of my life). If there is any piece of advice I can give to others, especially those with a lot to lose, that is it. You can't make excuses either, but you need to find your own pace as you move forward. You don't need to apologize to anyone or feel bad about that. All that matters is making progress.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Drinking the Pink Princess KoolAid

Before I was pregnant, before I knew I was having a girl, I was sure of so many things as a parent.

I searched everywhere to find the perfect little coming home outfit in a bright cheerful color. I would not give in to the pink, I would not give in to the ruffles. I would raise a smart independent girl like my mom had. I would not spank, I would balance a life as a working mom. More than anything, I would not let those damn princesses in to my house.

I was smug as I saw them invade my niece's life. I wasn't going to give in like that, oh no, not me. I was better than that.

What I didn't realize, is that the princess mafia always wins.

The start them young, younger than any other cosa nostra. The sneak up on you when you least expect it. Their indoctrinations are made subtlety, with sprinkle donuts and twirling skirts. Who doesn't love to twirl you think. A little twirling never hurt.

Before you know it though, the mean girls are in the gang, and they're making sure everyone knows who is in charge. Do you know the secret word to get in to play with us. We're not telling, but you'd better know your princesses.

So you let them in. You let them in through birthdays and little things here and there. You let them in because you knew what it was like to be different to be an outcast. Girls who like dinosaurs don't get invited to the tea parties. Boys who make shooters at girls instead of acknowledging that dinosaurs are awesome don't help. The marketing department at Disney has won.

What they don't know is I have a secret weapon. Princesses can carry swords, and always wear a helmet to protect their heads. Princesses can solve problems and dig up dinosaurs and still wear the twirling skirts. Princesses don't need princes, and princesses can marry other princesses. Princesses can save the world.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Good Day

You really can't go wrong when the day off from work is because it is Good Friday. That becomes sort of an obligation to make it a good day, right?

The day started great. A little breakfast and coffee (cocoa) out with my favorite girl, a little trip to Trader Joes where I let her have her own cart. Managed to keep her from running in to anyone. It was going great.

Until she ran away from me in the parking lot. The one full of cars full of people in a hurry to finish up shopping before Easter.

It was just the other side of the car, but my heart stopped for a minute when I couldn't see her. There was yelling (me), crying (her and almost me) and the day very nearly ended early. We went home, cooled off, and I decided that while I wanted to teach her a lesson about consequences, it wasn't worth wasting a beautiful day off.

So we went out for sushi (she tried two rolls and filled up on dumplings), had a great nap (both of us) and then got down to the real business.

The egg dying.

We were a little let down by the Paas pink dye, but we left it in there forever and got over it. After we were done, we celebrated with a little cold cocoa and lowfat cheesy poofs.

(what fun is it if your mom doesn't pile your snacks in pyramids)