Monday, April 30, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge - Day 1

Our Crossfit gym is hosting a 30-day Paleo Challenge that begins today.  In our wisdom, Buttercup, Valiant, and I decided participating in this challenge would be a good idea.  (This was obviously made in the haze of caffeinated happiness.)  To read the specifics of our challenge, you can head to the site here, but in a nutshell:  no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, and pretty much nothing processed. 

Now, this little subset of Nagles has already given up grains, legumes, and most dairy, but, we've really struggled since the holidays (four months, I know!) to get the sugar back out of our diet, thus our willingness to embark on this little journey.  We spent a week cleaning out our kitchen and getting rid of stuff that would tempt us.  I even ordered a dehydrator to make my own beef jerky (it arrived today)!

Which brings us here to Day 1...a day full of "whine".

Don't get me wrong, we're all committed.  No one wants to be the one to mess things up and do something that costs us points.  Still, the caffeine withdrawal headache has been horrible.  Buttercup has a nasty cold and can't taste anything, so she's craving processed food, and Valiant?  He's just hungry and is stubbornly refusing to eat fruit.  The games have begun...

Friday, the kids and I all had our weight and body fat % was a good/bad reality check.  This is what I wrote in my log book following that experience:

Of course I had to make my log book something cute!
"Reality checks are a difficult thing to deal with.  While my weight was a happy surprise, I have to admit that I was dismayed by my body fat percentage. All these weeks of slippery nutrition have taken their toll or, at the very least, slowed my progress tremendously.  Today's numbers helped my resolve to give this challenge my total commitment.  I'm curious what can be accomplished in 30 days of strict adherence."

It will be an interesting ride, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lawn Mowing Barbie

When one is a 13-year old girl with a lawn-mowing job, the execution of your duties presents the possibility for sartiorial splendor. 

Unlike her brothers before her, who quickly wilted in the heat of the day, my Buttercup decided to give the sun a run for its money in the brightness category, all the while, maximizing the potential for a little bit of a tan. 

I tell you, despite the fact that she's now lived more than half her life in Eastern Washington, this young lady is definitely a Southern California girl.

An hour and a half later, she had pink cheeks and her shoulders and arms had definitely been kissed by the sun.  Mission accomplished in style.  Between you and me, I think she got lucky that she didn't end up with a tan line from her knee socks!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our Young Job Hunter

Look how tall!  See the
door frame?
Our sixteen-year old son, Valiant, has been tasked with getting a job.  Just as our parents expected of us, we expect our children to get jobs when they are legally able.  Oh, and to add to his incentive, we won't let him get a driver's license until he has a job.  No job, no driving without Mom or Dad.  The boy has incentive and a chauffeur.  Now he just needs to get a job.  As you might have heard, it is a tough job market out there.  Applicants need to be sharp, look sharp, and present themselves in a way that will set them apart from all the other applicants. 

Oh, and he whips out a smile
when he shows up to apply!
This is how our Valiant is dressed to drop off applications and resumes, to follow up on the same, and, of course, for any interviews he can snag.  (From a mother's point of view, it is even more impressive when you realize everything he's wearing other than the tie had to be special ordered because the boy is so tall!)

So, what do you think?  Doesn't he look sharp?   Wouldn't you give him a job?  Let's hope someone else agrees with us!  I'm ready for him to get a job and quit my job as chauffeur for the job search.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Growing like a weed...

Sometimes it is difficult for Superman to understand just how quickly our kids are growing...this picture taken at our gym really illustrated it for him.

This is Valiant with one of the other CF509 members:

Photo credit:  Crossfit509
Isn't it a fabulous picture?  They were both getting ready for pull-ups.  Guess he didn't need the box to reach the bar...

Did I mention he just turned 16 in February and that is the highest bar the gym has?   I don't know which bar he'll be using next!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cell Phones, Interpersonal Skills, and Rudeness

Now that I've well and truly entered the world of parenting teenagers, I've really been struggling to deal with the courtesy standards of cell phones/smart phones.  My 16-year old son, Valiant, is the proud possessor of a smart phone.  While I know this is much later than some of you have granted this privilege to their children, Superman and I feel pretty strongly that these phones are privileges kids have to earn.  With this phone, not only can Valiant text quickly to his friends, he can watch videos, play games, and read his email anywhere he'd like.  This newfound ability is requiring us, as parents, to come up with a whole new paradigm for etiquette concerning cell phone usage. 

After watching how Valiant and his friends use their phones, I've come to one simple conclusion:  Texting back and forth while you are with other people is no different than being in a group at the table and obviously whispering with someone.  We teach our children that it is rude to whisper when in a group; that pointedly excluding people is hurtful and rude.  When my son is texting back and forth with his friends, he chuckles, he chortles, he smirks, and the people sitting right next to him have no idea what is going, what is so funny.  I found it very disconcerting to realize I was feeling excluded, left out, and, more importantly, hurt by the feeling of exclusion.

Have you ever been to lunch with a friend and seen them set their phone on the table next to them?  As the meal goes on, you become aware that their eyes are darting to the phone with certain regularity.  Then, without warning, a beep, a tone, a vibration, and your friend says, "Excuse me," and, picking up the phone, texts a little something, smiles, and sets the phone back down.  Another beep, another text, and it may or may not be done at that.  You don't ask, because it is rude to inquire about a private exchange, was rude for that conversation to have happened in front of you. 

Maybe you are the person tied to your phone.  Maybe you constantly check for a text.   I wonder, though, how many of us have thought this through.   I don't know.  I just know that as I look around, I see this happening more and more.  Mothers pushing strollers while having energetic conversations via blue tooth, while the occupant of the stroller goes unacknowledged.  A group of kids standing next to each other, completely ignoring each other in favor of the handheld device in their palm.  A teenaged couple sharing a table and one or both are busily texting.  A modern-day date?  Um, I'm glad I'm from the Dark Ages.  That just doesn't sound fun to me.

Interpersonal relations?  More like parallel play.

We are marginalizing the people we spend time with in favor of the people who are connected to us by technology.

I recognize that our manners, our standards of etiquette, have not kept pace with our technological advances, but I think we need to try harder to treat the people in front of us, right there with us, with courtesy.  The truth of the matter, as I see it, is that cell phones/smart phones have allowed us to treat the people we're with poorly.  Whether they are our friends, our parents, the cashier at the grocery store, we really need to remember that the people in front of us deserve our full attention and to give them anything less is downright rude.