The Year of Me

2015 was a shit year all around for many people that I know, including myself. 2016 hasn’t started out so great, but I am optimistic. One of my best friends told me to make this year the “Year of Me”, and that is what I am doing. It hasn’t been easy by any means, and I keep encountering toxic people and situations that try to hold me down. I will prevail!

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This year I am doing things that I have always wanted to do, naysayers be damned. I am focusing on straight up ignoring the haters; they only hate because they hate themselves. I am living my life for myself and my children, and not doing it according to anyone else’s rules or ideals. I’ve had enough of feeling bad because of other people’s expectations. There’s the old saying that I cannot control other people, I can only control my reactions to them. Well, I know for a fact that toxic people thrive on reactions, and I’m not going to do it anymore!

I thought about making a sort of bucket list, but really I’ve already got a good sense of what I do and do not want to happen this year. So far I have eliminated two soul-sucking relationships from my life, cut ties with all but two people related to the mothers’ group, come to terms with my horrible marriage and the fact that it wasn’t my fault and he will fthisnever change, and stopped trying to cling to this guy who clearly only had one objective in his mind. I’ve taken charge of my life. I bought myself all new Batman t-shirts because mine didn’t fit anymore, and I finally threw away or donated all the clothes that don’t fit. I joined a hot sauces of the month club. I am doing pretty well sticking to my low-purine diet, which is basically a vegetarian diet. I plan on getting more into juicing, just because it seems interesting to me, and I really want to get back to creative cooking. I am focusing on making JI the best kid he can be, not despite but in conjunction with the autism. I am teaching Squeaks to sign and speak, and I want to learn ASL fluently. I’ve been updating my Instagram on a daily basis and getting lots of followers!

I can’t do this stuff with people barking their negativity at me.

You can speak your mind, but not on my time!

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The Knife in my Back

At the beginning of February, the mothers’ group I belonged to did something amazing for me – they collected $300 and tons and tons of groceries, including personal care items and diapers, for me and my sons. I was shocked and beyond grateful. Nobody had ever done something so nice on such a grand scale before. Yes, I’ve had donations given and friends and family have helped me with bills. On the day these women delivered, my house was literally full, from kitchen to living room, with stuff. I thanked them in our Facebook group over and over for the next several days. I couldn’t believe it happened to me. I used the money to catch up on the utility bills, and with the little bit that was left over, I went out to karaoke one night.

Fast forward about three weeks, and I’m kicked out of the group because two of the three admins have decided that I lied about something menial. Despite giving them proof that I didn’t, they don’t care, and they ban me. I’m shocked. Most of the members are shocked as well, and then I find out that this girl went on a rampage that week that I took off from society and banned a whole bunch of members. So, I didn’t feel so bad. Clearly they are the ones with the problems, and not me. I know I did nothing wrong, and I’m an adult, and I don’t need to prove it to them.

Fast forward another two weeks, and I’ve received my tax return. I paid back my parents, paid the bills current and up through May, gave Poke some money, bought myself a few items of clothing, and got myself a couple of tattoos I’ve been wanting for a very long time. I still have almost 20% of my tax return still sitting in the bank. But here’s what happened: It’s now been about five weeks since those women donated their hard-earned money to my cause, yet someone got wind that I got those tattoos, and they decided that instead of using my own money, I must have used their money to pay for them, to get drunk, and to hire a maid. It doesn’t matter that if I hadn’t gotten that $300 at the beginning of February, I wouldn’t have had electric or gas heat for March, it doesn’t matter that $300 wouldn’t even cover all those things they said I bought, and it doesn’t matter that charity is supposed to be done out of the kindness of your heart without restrictions and expectations.

I was never bullied as a child, and I’ve always been thankful. I had plenty of fodder for which to be bullied, but it never happened. Unfortunately, this left me unprepared for adult life. These women are bullying me hardcore. For almost three days straight they sent me private messages on Facebook, texted me, commented on posts in another mothers’ group and tagged me, and even went so far as to attack me in a public forum on a subject completely unrelated to the situation. It is disgusting. Many, and I mean almost all, of these women claim to be Christians. They talk about loving God and praising Jesus, then turn around and call me a cunt. It’s been incredibly hard on me, even getting to the point where I thought about committing suicide just to get some relief from the emotional pain they were causing me.

Luckily I have real friends I can count on, and when I reached out to them they were there to help me and keep me from going to the dark place. I was able to recover in a matter of hours. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I did, and I’m so glad. They made me realize that there is something seriously wrong with those girls, and that they must truly hate their lives if they need to sit around all day and think about me and my situation. I mean, in the end, I know they’ll never believe me because people would much rather believe the bad than the good. But I know in my heart that I did the right thing, and that’s all that matters.

I wonder what Jesus would think of your behaviour.

Low Sodium Challenge

I went to the doctor on Tuesday because I thought I had an umbilical hernia – turns out, I was correct, and that means surgery. Not happy about that,
but I can deal with it, as I’ve had two successful C-Sections. The really really bad news was that my BP, which is normally incredibly low (we’re talking 110/55 here), has spiked to 142/96. Now, it’s true that I have been more stressed in the past five months since I was at the doctor than ever before. But it’s also true that I have been eating more fast food and processed food than ever before in my entire life. I used to be a 2-3x a week fast/processed food eater, and before this week I’d gotten up to every day, at least one if not two meals per day. Thinking about it, and actually writing it out, makes me feel so gross. I’ve also gained six pounds in the past five months, which is not good at all.

heartSo my doctor told me for the next month, until my appointment on December 28th, I am to follow the DASH Diet. I am tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal, and I am posting daily photos of my meals to my Facebook in order to hold myself accountable.

Thus far it hasn’t been too bad, 2313mg yesterday on my first try. I’m aiming for 1500mg. I think that once I get all the regular/high sodium foods out of the house, combined with giving up fast foods, I won’t have a problem staying under 2000mg at least. Today is going to be a bad day because I finished up some deli ham and guacamole for breakfast! But as I said on my Facebook post, I’m not going to beat myself up because I feel that giving up fast/processed foods is the biggest key to lowering my BP.

Follow me on My Fitness Pal: Rock_Kowgurl

Follow me on Facebook: Tales of a Play-Date Dropout

Rockin’ Crock Ribs

I LOVE ribs. I could eat them every day if it wasn’t so expensive! A full rack lasts 3-4 meals for me, but at $13/rack, it’s a lot. And, if JI and/or Squeaks ever decide they want to eat ribs, it’ll be even more. So instead, ribs are a once a month treat. Usually I only make them during the summer, so I can put them on the grill. I was so hungry for ribs the other day that I decided to try something new, and damn, it worked perfectly. I’m pretty proud of myself!

wpid-collage_20151023132541256_20151023132654153.jpgStep one: Put the ribs in the crock pot. I had to fold mine in half.

Step two: Season liberally with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, cayenne, and red pepper flakes.

Step three: Pour in two cans of cranberry pop – I used Diet Cranberry Sierra Mist!

Step four: Cook on low for 6 hours.

Step five: Transfer to sheet pan, carefully. They *may* fall apart.

Step six: Baste with BBQ sauce of your choice – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s!

Step seven: Cook at 400F for one hour. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Step eight: ENJOY!

Fried Zucchini

I love love love zucchini… but only if it is in something, like zucchini bread, or fried. The other day I found myself in possession of two small zucchinis, and since I didn’t feel like making bread, I decided to fry it. Also, I’m trying to get JI to try new foods, and Iwpid-collage_20151002090426006_20151002090514834.jpg thought maybe he’d be more interested in something that looked like a chip than bread with green flecks… I was wrong. He ate one teeny nibble and hated them. Whatever! I got to eat the rest!

Whenever I fry, I used the standard breading procedure: flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs. For the zucchini, I seasoned my flour with generic Italian seasoning, mixed one egg with 4T milk, and ran two cups of Italian croutons through the food processor. Dip, dip, dip! I deep fried them for 2 minutes – if you don’t have a deep fryer, you could easily heat oil in a deep pan and use that instead; make sure you have enough to cover the slices. Set on a paper towel to drain, but serve immediately because they get cold quickly! I like to dip mine in ranch. Yum!

Summertime Rules

There are quite a few articles going around right now about how parents need to let their kid have the “1970s Summer”, and I could not agree more! I remember summer being an amazing time of playing outside with my friends, riding my bike all over the neighborhood, creating adventures and fantastical stories, putting on plays and using my imagination in the most amazing ways. I had a computer, and I would use it on rainy days, and we had a TV, and sometimes I just wanted to stay inside and watch TV all day or play with my Barbies for hours. Regardless, my mom and dad basically did little to entertain me. My dad would take me to the park after he got home from work or on weekends, but otherwise I was left to my own devices. When my brother Scrod was old enough to play, they had a harder time with him because he wanted to do EVERY SINGLE SPORT in the world (except soccer), so they had to run him all over the place and go to practices and games and all that crap. Not me!

But I digress.

Having a four year old is a little different from having a five year old, and having a kid period is very different from it was in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s. These days everyone is in everyone’s business, and not in the good way like it was back then. Now, instead of the village helping raise the children and looking out for each other’s families, the village is poised ready to attack when they see another parent doing something they disagree with. You have probably heard recently about somwpid-20150530_121405_20150602000413349.jpge parents who ran into trouble with the law – twice! – because they let their kids walk home from school and go to the park alone. The kids were ten and almost seven years old! If I thought he’d come back at a reasonable time and could pay attention to traffic, I’d have no problem sending JI to the park by himself. He’s just a bit too young and irresponsible this summer – maybe next summer.

My point is, though, and I think the point of the other parents writing these articles, is that we really need to disengage from the idea that children run our world or our lives. I have a few more posts coming up that will be discussing this subject, and I look forward to discussing with my readers about the subject. Back in my childhood, my parents were #1 – not me. Yes, I got everything I needed and practically everything I wanted. I was not neglected in any way. But my parents didn’t bow to me, they didn’t hover over me to ensure success, they didn’t pave the way with pillows so that I’d never get hurt. I had to take my lumps and learn my lessons just like they did. I don’t know when the shift occurred from family centric (ie, do what is good for all involved) to child centric (ie, make sure each child gets exactly what they want/need at all costs).

This brings me back to the idea of an 80s summer (I wasn’t alive in the 70s hehe), which is what I want for JI, and what I will be doing my best to accomplish for him. Yes, that statement sounds like I’m being child centric, but let me lay it out for you. I wpid-20150530_092849.jpgwill not be planning many activities. I will not be driving him to COSI, the Zoo, a hundred play-dates, museums, classes, etc. etc. etc. Yeah, we will probably go to the Zoo once or twice a week – because I LOVE the zoo and we have a membership and it is free. Sure, we will hit up COSI a couple of times every month, because we have a membership and it is free. I’m not going to go broke trying to entertain my child. I want him to get dirty. I’m going to let him eat lots of popsicles. I want him to get scraped knees and bruises because he is playing so hard. (Disclaimer: I don’t actually want my kid to get hurt! But if he does, it won’t be the end of the world.) The way he climbs without fear makes me worried that this might be the summer of a broken limb. I’m going to utilize The Bored Jar. I’m going to send him out in the morning after breakfast, let him in for lunch, send him back out until snack time, and then maybe I’ll sit him down for an activity. If I feel like it. I’m going to let him get sticky and filthy and have black bare feet. I want him to remember this summer as an amazing, awesome, wonderful time when he got to grow up and be a real boy instead of mommy’s baby.

But he’ll always be my baby, we all know that.

So the rules of this summer are as follows:

  1. No whining.
  2. No begging.
  3. If it looks fun, do it.
  4. If you get hurt, tell me.
  5. Be brave.
  6. Be strong.
  7. Use your brain.
  8. Use your muscles.
  9. Drink from the hose.
  10. Have fun!
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This is what adults do for fun in the summertime…

Mystery Wings and Bang-Bang Sauce

Last night, I opened the meat drawer in the fridge, and there was three pounds of raw, whole chicken wings just chillin’ in their little packages. I thought it was two pounds, then I saw that each package was 1.48#. Okay, so, if you don’t know me, I hate chicken with bones. Every once in a while (as in, every couple of years) I’ll crave fried chicken or bone-in wings, but I generally stay away from chicken. I will eat nuggets or patties, as long as they are heavily processed. I had a traumatic chicken incident when I was eleven… it ruined me forever.

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Anyway, because I hate chicken so much, I rarely buy it. We eat a lot of pork and beef, or meatless meals. JI won’t even eat chicken unless it is in nugget form! Thus I was very surprised to see three pounds of raw chicken in my fridge, especially since I don’t remember buying them!

Well they had to be eaten, since I wasn’t sure when I had bought them but it had been at least 5 days. So I busted out the deep fryer and cooked the shit out of those wings. To go with them, because I hadn’t breaded them or marinated them or anything, I made some “bang-bang” sauce. I don’t really know why it’s called that, but apparently a restaurant somewhere has “Bang-Bang Shrimp” (which I’ve made before) and people go nuts over it. I don’t know if my sauce is comparable to that sauce, but I do know that it is freakin’ delicious. Yum and yum.

Bang-Bang Sauce (for two people/3# wings for dipping)

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/8 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Generous squirt Sriracha (to taste)

Combine all ingredients, mix well til no mayo lumps remain.

Enjoy!