Monday, September 30, 2013

Challenge Accepted

In a recent post, I wrote about how Cooper was determined to try to break free of his plastic collar after his surgery, which included a photo added later in the day. The caption under the photo of Cooper wearing his new ProCollar read, "Try and get outta that, you little shit.' I hesitated writing those words - partially for profanity's sake, but also because those are fighting words. I should know better than to tempt the universe.

I suppose it was just a matter of time. It's sort of like the Tootsie Pop riddle, 'How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?', except our version was 'How many days can Cooper go before destroying the inflatable collar?'

After submerging the inflatable insert to find the leak and
repeatedly duct taping spots, the insert never stayed inflated.

The answer to that question is four. Within four days, Cooper managed to get the ProCollar over his head and pop the insert. Arrrgh! 

Cooper and collar numero dos.
All that rebelliousness is hard work!

Thankfully, Petco replaced it. Let's hope this collar lasts 5 more days until the sutures come out. 

*crossing fingers*

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Neutered I have to?

Before: On our way to the veterinarian, right before we got out of the car. I know intellectually that it's necessary, so why am I so sad? I'll tell you why. Aside from worrying about my chocodile being put under general anesthesia, I will kind of miss Cooper's testicles. They were like two jolly fellows bouncing around between his thighs. It was like a train wreck; you couldn't *not* look. It gave him swagger, sort of like his balls made him a force to be reckoned with...which I suppose is the way nature intended.

Hey! You said I was going to get 'tutored'!

After: 'Um, Momma? YOU SUCK.' Cooper came home tonight groggy, and slept most of the evening. He cried a little before crashing hard under the table by my feet. We all fussed over Cooper, with Mr Doll whispering to him that it was all my doing. 

How's the cell phone reception? Can you hear me now?

This morning: Within thirty minutes after coming out of his crate, Cooper had tore his bonnet. I frantically taped it up with Boydoll's help. I was in tears while I watched him try ripping it off, and then run from me every time I tried to get him to stop. I had visions of him tearing his stitches. Here is the frantic email I sent this morning, looking for a sub to teach my spinning class:

Help!! I am home with our puppy that was neutered yesterday, 
and even with his cone on I cannot leave him alone for a second :(

He has ripped the cone off once already and the limited duct tape 
that I had on hand to repair it is being stripped away. 
If he gets it off, he will tear his sutures in a second.

Please let me know if you can teach my cycle 45 today at 12:15. 
I'll swap classes with you for a future date! I'll buy you lunch! 
I'll be your best friend! Heeeeeelp!

It will be amazing if the bonnet holds up for 10 days, but he finally settled down and stopped fighting the cone by this afternoon. It's been a long day. 


ETA: Despite several duct tape reinforcements, within 36 hours Cooper succeeded in tearing the bonnet off completely. 

Revenge is sweet.

It's come to this. Boom!
Try and get outta that, you little shit.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Recipe For Disaster...Or Not.

Now that my palate is officially reset after not eating refined sugars for almost three months, I decided to try out some low glycemic dessert recipes.

Here are the ingredients to my avocado pudding, minus the unsweetened vanilla rice milk:

2 small avocados
1 t mesquite powder
2 1/2 T cocoa
1 c rice milk
2 T coconut crystals

Blend well and enjoy. What? Yeah, it's weird...but pretty yummy. It also satisfies a sweet craving without setting me off on a tear eating the house down. 

Here is a link to my friend's blog and her banana pancake recipe: 

I have seriously made her recipe five times over...I love it! 

A *different* Cowgirl, who helped me make can peaches, gave me this recipe for coconut whipped cream:

Chill coconut cream in fridge overnight before opening. Open from bottom of can into large mixing bowl. Add a scant amount of flour, agave syrup to taste (I used about 2 tablespoons) and beat with hand mixer until thickened. 

Right after I whipped the coconut cream, I put it on the banana pancakes and then refrigerated the remainder. 

I decided to try a dollop of the whipped cream...and liked it even better after it had chilled in the fridge. I put fresh raspberries on my chocolate pudding, and I was pretty stoked with my treat:

Avocado pudding: Eat yer veggies

(Almost) all done! Yummy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I was talking with my hygienist today...well, she was talking, I was lying there with my mouth open and my teeth being picked out of my head. 

Anyway. She was telling me that her kids were doing homework at the table together. Her daughter announced that all the fourth grade girls were going to a special class to learn about their periods. 

Her son replied, 'That's silly. Why have a special class only for girls? Everyone knows a period comes at the end of a sentence.' 

I'm still chuckling. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


Yesterday, Babydoll and Cowgirl canned peaches and nectarines. It was my first time canning whole fruit. My previous experience was about 10 years prior after picking bags of fresh apricots from a friend's tree and making preserves for the first time.

It was a blast! Seriously, I  completely geeked out over canning. Cowgirl referred to it as 'homesteading', an expression that I loved. It was enormously satisfying and a fun way to spend an afternoon; two hours felt like only 20 minutes had passed. 

Canning itself isn't difficult - it's just time consuming. I learned that creating the seal is key: it's what keeps the food airtight and from spoiling. I also learned that it takes 24 hours for the jars to cool and for the seal to fully set. All our jars put up perfectly...but I'll know for next time they need to sit undisturbed after being pulled from the canner, instead of tapping each one to test for a good seal. D'oh! 

Foreground: Boiling peaches to remove skins
Background: Warming agave syrup and water 

Pretty peeled peaches! The shine makes them look nom nom!

White nectarines in spiced syrup, sweetened with coconut crystals
and 'spiced' with whole cloves and allspice.

Finished product! Canned peaches, cooling on counter top.

The aesthetic alone totally makes me swoon. And to think that this was the way families preserved their foods for the winter months gives me a historical hard-on. In all seriousness, I have an enormous appreciation for how difficult meeting just the basic needs of a family were two centuries ago. It was a full-time, dawn-to-dusk endeavor. 

Now that my confidence is up, the sky is the limit! I'm thinking of trying a few of the more exotic recipes - like Okra Pickles, Cinnamon Watermelon Rind Pickles, a homemade ketchup or know, since I'm completely sick of peaches. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Metabolize This

Three months ago, I stepped on the scale to weigh myself...and I weighed more than when I was pregnant with either one of our children.

It's one part age and a slowing metabolism, and one part poor nutrition. I have developed some terrible habits while I was depressed in the last year: drinking soda, eating out more frequently (minimum of 3-4 times a week), eating meals while watching TV or looking at my phone, exercising less and eating larger portions, and less-than-stellar food choices (candy bars, frequent high-calorie coffee drinks, minimal fruits and vegetables, white flour and tons of processed food). These poor habits crept in slowly, and started a spiral of starving myself during the day in an effort to lose weight...only to hit a blood sugar crash and sabotage my efforts by eating the house down, while I was preparing dinner. And then I'd eat dinner. 

I finally asked a friend for help. Our girls play basketball together, and we've known each other since they were infants. She is a personal trainer and knows tons about nutrition and metabolism. I made myself accountable to her by keeping a food journal on my phone and emailing it to her daily. The rules are simple:

1. No processed foods, and I eat only food that I prepared myself. 

2. Drink 64oz of water before consuming any other beverages. 

3. No refined sugar or processed flour, and limit my starch intake to two slices daily of high protein, high fiber bread or whole wheat rounds. 

4. Tons of veggies and variety of fruits. Berries are the preferred fruit for their positive metabolic effect. 

5. One serving of cheese and nutmeat a daily. 

6. Weigh myself once weekly, right after awakening and using the restroom. 

I've lost about 12 pounds so far. I've had to tweak my diet a half dozen times throughout my lifetime, and went through something similar about 8 years ago. When I made many of the same changes as above, the weight came off quickly. 

The fact that it's taking longer both frustrates me and confirms my resolve; no high-calorie dessert is worth the amount of hassle it takes to burn off. While I think the expression 'feeling fit is better than any food tastes' is trite...because OHMYGOD CUPCAKES, the sentiment is certainly accurate. 

Here's a typical breakfast:

Trader Joe's Steel Cut Oats with blueberries

Steel cut oats take over a half hour to prepare, which is precisely the reason this powerhouse breakfast keeps me full and satisfied longer. I add a tablespoon of coconut oil at the beginning of cooking to keep it from sticking and add a nice, nutty flavor, and throw in blueberries right before the oats are done. If I include a poached egg, I'm good to go all morning.

The key is to have healthy food stocked in our kitchen, and to plan accordingly and pack snacks or my lunch ahead of time for busy days. Hopefully these changes will affect my kids in a positive way. For now, it's a source of stress for Boydoll, who would happily consume the cheese food group only: grilled cheese, pizza, cheese burgers and quesadillas. I'm trying not to sweat it; he can make himself PB&J if his palate can't handle the food we're having, but only after he's given it a chance and tried what we're having. 

The biggest drawback to my new diet and preparing all my food? Doing a Thanksgiving's worth of dishes most nights. It is what it is, I suppose. I try and make things easier on myself and double recipes to eat late in the week as much as I can. 

Eventually, I'll earn a cheat day...but for now I am pretty stoked: I can see the weight loss in my hips, stomach and in my face. More importantly, I feel a thousand times better. No more food hangovers or huge sugar crashes, and my anxiety is a now a blip on my Crazy Radar. That alone is worth any feeling of deprivation I might have.