Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

karen's super awesome nutrition-crammed muffins

This muffin recipe was created as a way to sneakily cram nutrition into my son, who is TERRIBLE EATER (see the blog just before this one). Anyone can make these, and you can interchange various ingredients to create the muffin you like best. Kids usually love these, and adults do as well.


*1 cup whole wheat flour

*1 cup high fibre cereal of your choice (ie; bran flakes, raisin bran, cinnamon cheerios, or any combination thereof) ! Note: if you're making these for kids to take to school, make sure there are no nuts in the cereal you choose.

*1 tsp baking soda

* 1 tsp baking powder

* half tsp salt

* half tsp cinnamon

* half cup brown sugar (not packed)

* 1 packet your choice of instant oats (or, 1/3 cup regular oats)

Liquid Ingredients

*Note: liquid ingredients (not including butter) will equal 1 1/2 cups total

* 1 or 2 small containers (individual serving size) of probiotic yogurt in your flavour choice (I like Activia Strawberry a lot)

* 1 egg

* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

* enough apple juice, berry juice or milk to top up liquid ingredients to 1 1/2 cups

** 1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your 12-cup muffin tin either by brushing with melted butter, spraying with non-stick cooking spray, or popping in oh-so-handy paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, and mix together. Melt butter in a mug or other microwave save container in microwave, or on the stove if you just don't trust microwaves like my husband. In a two-cup measuring cup, or a separate bowl if you feel like washing more dishes, toss in egg, yogurt, juice/milk until liquid ingredients reach 1 1/2 cup mark. Stir briskly, like you're not really interested, with a fork. Make a hollow in your dry ingredients and dump liquid ingredients in, as well as melted butter. Drag your fork through the whole darn thing vigorously and quickly until the whole thing is wet and free of blobs of dry flour, but not overmixed.

Spoon even amounts into muffin tin, and bake on middle rack in oven for 20 minutes, or until muffins no longer look shiny.

Pat yourself on the back and enjoy.

* makes 1 dozen muffins

! Tips: If you want to add raisins, other dried fruits or blueberries, I like to add them to the dry ingredients and mix through before I add the wet.

- if you use "berry" flavoured packaged oatmeal, you can also use a berry based juice for a really nummy muffin

- maple flavoured oatmeal and orange juice in the wet ingredients is a good combo

- apple cinnamon oatmeal and apple juice give you a nice little apple cinnamon muffin.

Picky? Picky?!? You haven't Met Jack

Irrisistable? Yeah, maybe to just about everyone else on the planet...but not Jack.

I'm not trying to sound like a smug dickhead, but when people tell me their son or daughter is picky when it comes to eating, I get this mental wry smile, because unfortunately I can usually top them.

Feeding Jack is a total nightmare. When he was first starting to eat solid food, he loved just about everything. I got right into making homemade baby food. Why not? That jarred stuff tastes like total crap, and if I don't want to even taste it, why should I expect my baby to love it? I got a great cookbook for making various baby and toddler food recipes, and there I'd be scooping portions into the ice cube tray to freeze, and then store the handy little cubes in labelled freezer bags. Then, at meal time I'd thaw out a cube of "chicken stew," or some actually tasty melange of cooked mixed greens. I have to admit, most of those recipes were really tasty. The only revolting one involved a can of tuna simmered in tomato sauce. Yecch. Oh, in case anyone is interested, the book is called "The Baby's Table" by Brenda Bradshaw and Lauren Donaldson Bramley, M.D.

Great book. Seriously. I even made the chicken stew for our own dinner one night.

As I was saying, Jack would eat anything, and with enthusiasm. I even have this home video segment which shows a chubby baby Jack eating profferred bites of apple pie like it was the best thing every created, and in the background I say something cheesy like; "I think Jack would eat apple pie until he bursts!" Ha ha, isn't that delightful...well that all went down the toilet. By about one and a half years of age, Jack started to hate all food. He wasn't really advancing through textures any longer, and his total dislike for almost all food just got worse and worse. When he was four, he actually loved pizza. It was one of the few foods he would eat. By the age of five we had to remove ALL toppings (you know, the yummy part?). When I say "all," I mean ALL. He would sit for a good few minutes inspecting that slice for the tiniest, tiniest spec of cheese that might have been missed. Now he won't eat pizza at all. He liked it in November, now, four months later, he won't eat pizza at all. We bought the kind he likes recently as a supposed treat, and he literally gagged on the first bite, which I evilly had to coerce him into taking for about twenty minutes in the first place.
Here is a list of foods, off the top of my head that Jack will NOT eat:
- chicken
- fish
- beef, though he will RARELY eat a McDonalds cheeseburger
- any pasta
- rice
- potatoes in any form, with the exception of a few McDonalds french fries
- all vegetables except the occasional carrot or celery stick

Oh hell, this list could go on endlessly. It would be faster to list the things he will eat:
*strawberry yogurt
*a peanut butter and jam sandwich, made with smooth peanut butter on crustless whole wheat bread (note, until the past few months, I made enough grilled cheese sandwiches to feed a nation, but he will no longer eat these)
* chocolate milk
* plain dutch chocolate
* mint chocolate
* chocolate pudding
* chocolate ice cream
* mint chocolate ice cream
* medium or mild cheddar cheese
* packaged instant oatmeal
* apple or berry juice
* the occasional McD cheeseburger
* the once in a blue moon weiner; usually after he's been eating very little due to illness, and his body has demanded protein whether he likes it or not
* rubbery grocery store Polish sausage, but once again, infrequently
* an infrequent bite of banana
* one begrudgingly consumed wedge of apple without the peel
* my super fantabulous nutrition crammed muffins (recipe coming soon!)
* a 'sprinkles' donut (the only kind of donut he likes)
* pancakes with syrup

Well gee whiz, I think that's about it. Imagine trying to feed this kid! Imagine that when his appetite is 'off,' like say, when he's sick, and he won't eat his pb&j sandwich. So much fun. Imagine what it would be like to go to a restaurant if you were that picky; "hey, do you want to come out and eat with us?"
-"No thanks."
"Why not?"
-"Yeah, I don't really like food."
"Whattaya mean you don't like food?!? Everybody likes food!"
-"Well, will they have peanut butter sandwiches on the menu?"
"Um, I doubt it..."
-"yeah, that's what I figured. No thanks."

I have tried everything to get him to eat. I've done all the bad things: blackmail, trying to force a lick of it into his mouth, anger. I've tried all the "right" methods: putting the food down before him wordlessly and letting him choose to try it or not. Yeah, good one. That one is a picky eater's favourite. I've tried to put out the meal and if he wouldn't eat it, not make him anything else till the next meal. That means I had the pleasure of his super bad behaviour for the next few hours, thanks to hunger. Plus, I don't think he'd ever, ever choose to eat something he thinks he hates. I know it's written in all kinds of books that a kid needs to be offered a new food fifteen times, or that a kid will never starve themself, but I honestly don't believe that in Jack's case. Call me crazy, but I believe he would indeed starve himself rather than eat certain things.
So, I've read lots of stuff, and I have come up with a personalized plan. More than a plan though, it's a hard, fast rule: Jack must try a bite of one thing that the rest of us are eating. It's his choice, but whether he likes it or not, he has to try one thing. I will make him his sub-par dinner, but he has to choose something from our plates. With much moaning, screaming, carrying-on, drama, tears, hitting me, calling me "poo poo," telling me to "shut up," trying to run from the table, etc, etc, he does in the end try something every night. He almost always gags, but sometimes he does not, and then he's always proud of himself. So, I figure I'm on an extremely long, long road to getting him to eat like everyone else. I figure he's lost about three years of advancement through food, via various textures, so he basically has to learn to eat all over again. Oh my white hairs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some Thursday Rambling

I'm tired today. Hella Tired. Actually, as the week progresses, I become so tired that by the end of the week I no longer hear my beloved husband snoring at night. Snoring. That's a word that hardly suffices. I often wonder what a person with a fully efficiently functioning thyroid feels like on any given day, at any given time, because I have to say, I usually just feel like a worn-out dish rag. As I was putting on my makeup this morning, and feeling like death warmed-over, I kept getting this mental image of what I figure I REALLY look like: you like that? I drew the face on the pillow myself.

Anyway, before I forget, here are a couple of verbal gems the kids offered up today:
Jack, while I was helping him with his rainboots before school: "when I get bigger, I can use bad words." Gee, this is what he can hardly wait for?
Ella, while getting ready with me to go pick up Jack from school: "You're my best mummy, and daddy is my uncle." She said this full of love, and Jon replied; "yeah, that's great--NEVER say that in public." ** Note, Jon is not Ella's uncle.

So, as I was getting my daily dose of knowledge from the computer, I cam across an article titled "Why Naps Are a Smart Idea" (see link at the end of this article), and I thought HELLO, and took a little read. The article tells me that "napping can boost and restore brain power." Let me just cut and paste a nice little chunk:

"Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap," Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the lead investigator of the study, said in a news release.

And not surprisingly, those who suffered from sleep deprivation also showed a significant decrease in cognitive performance. In fact, researchers found that pulling an all-nighter -- a common practice for students during exam time -- decreases the ability to learn new facts by nearly 40 per cent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation."

!!! Mon dieu! My poor brain! I haven't had a decent night's sleep since before I had my two children. From about 6 AM on, I start to have a near anxiety attack waiting for my daughter to stomp downstairs and begin her day, and my son to follow soon after. I also hear nearly everything at night now, thanks to my MOMMY EAR. You know what that is: it's the ear that is always awake to hear the children, no matter what else I am doing, day or night. That's the ear that let's you know your child has woken up and barfed all over themselves at some point during the night, or the ear that tells you your daughter is shouting for you from far away to come wipe her bum. Lousy MOMMY EAR.
As I was lying in bed last night, with a monster headache, awash in my own self-pity, I was having this really indulgent "remember when" session. It went something like this:

Remember when (before you had kids):

* you could sleep any damn time you wanted, and if you wanted to, you could sleep until NOON?
* if you got sick, you could lie in bed all day and nurture and love yourself back to good health
* you used to buy clothes specifically to go out, and you used to refer to them accordingly as "bar tops," ie; I need a cute "bar top" to go out in this Friday
* you used to go to bars and have enough energy to dance till closing time, and roll out of bed the next day and be able to put in an 8 hour shift at your job
* your feet used to be half to one full size smaller, and you never, ever looked to see if that cute style you just tried on came in "WIDE" widths
* you could say; "I'm going out for a bit," and if you didn't make it home in time to fix dinner, nobody gave a crap?
* the last cold you had was five years ago
* the last time you had the stomach flu you were in highschool
* nobody ever pee-peed the bed, so you just changed the sheets because it was time to
* you and your husband/significant other would go out and feel jealous if a member of the opposite sex looked at him?
* it wasn't the best thing in the whole world to eat a whole bag of Doritos while watching Dirty Dancing on tv
??? Remember all that? I could go on forever. I mean, come on--surely you remember this:

Okay, all of that is very nice, but if I never had my kids (one of whom just shrieked at me in rage when I told him I wasn't finished my blog yet, and he wants to go on YOUTUBE), there'd never be this:

or this:

The weekend's coming--we've almost made it. Happy Thursday

** Here is the link to the full article:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good(ish) morning

As I sit here decompressing, and waiting for my oatmeal to magically turn into breakfast, I can't help thinking how revolting mornings are. I cannot ever remember being a morning person. Ever. Not even on Christmas morning. Yeah, that's right--not even on Christmas.
Anyway, this morning was like most. My son Jack was getting ready for senior kindergarten, and my daughter Ella was getting ready for nursery school. Ella's into super girlie things lately, and almost never wants to wear pants anymore. This can be challenging when she only has a few skirts, but manages to dirty about two or three different outfits a day. Just picture a 3 year old wailing in horror when her fairy shirt gets covered in chocolate milk. So, Ella was all dolled up in her skirt, tights and short sleeve shirt, and Jack was about to get dressed.
"I want to wear my Rolling Stones shirt," Jack said.
Okay, no big deal, right? But, it is if you live in my house, because a) where is it, b) is it clean, and c) where the %@$* is it???? Just yesterday my mother told me;
"Clothes are the BAIN of your existence."
She's right. I'm always doing laundry. The kids rip through so many clothes each day, or capriciously decide they just don't like what they're wearing, and they throw them on the floor in their bedroom, and the living room, and maybe the kitchen (if a shirt has just become COATED in applesauce, let's say). There are baskets of clean clothes ALWAYS waiting to be put away, and they don't, because the ONLY ONE who puts them away is ME, and ME is too BURNT OUT to put them away in a timely fashion. Oh, and there are at least two bags on the go, at any given time, which are the SPARE CLOTHES BAGS that I must bring with me EVERYWHERE I go, because one never knows when there's going to be a CLOTHING DISASTER whenever I'm out somewhere. In the meantime, the laundry baskets are happily getting fuller and fuller each day, and they're mocking me: "hey there washer-woman, shouldn't you have started the laundry by now? Chortle, chortle, chortle." And while we're at it, let's take a little trip to Jack's bedroom...
Pure nightmare. Okay, my son does not like toys, or, he likes them, but does not know how to play them. Or maybe he just doesn't like them. Whatever. That's a whole other topic for a whole n'other time. How can I explain this...he uses his clothes for toys. No, I don't like it. He's always setting his room up like a stadium, ready for a massive rock concert. So, socks and underwear become extra drum kits (I'm not kidding), and pants become AMPS. I have to hide his underpants from him because he will constantly swipe them for his "socky band." He also likes to dig his clothes out of his drawers to consider them for different components of his band. Do I like this? Do I? OF COURSE NOT. Have I turned into SCREAMING IDIOT MOM over it? Plenty of times. Have I attempted to PUT MY FOOT DOWN over this issue. Of course.
Okay, so that's a little background on the clothing situation in this house. So, Jack said; "I want to wear my Rolling Stones shirt." I lost it. No, not the shirt. I lost IT; "YOU'RE GIVING ME A HEART ATTACK," I said, and; "THE CLOTHES SITUATION IN THIS HOUSE IS A NIGHTMARE," and, "WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO EVER PUTS THE CLOTHES AWAY???" I could actually feel the heart beginning to pound. Here's where someone would tell me to just get him another shirt. Ah, ha ha, you don't know Jack. Jack has some issues, which are also for another time to discuss, so let's just say that as soon as I tell him; "I can't find the shirt, you'll have to wear something else," this will initiate a fifteen minute sobbing/wailing/real tears/total anxiety fest.
Found the f*cking shirt. Teeth brushed, hair brushed, kids had a smack fest in the bathroom, Jack went to school. Ella informed me as I was about to get her coat; "I don't WANNA wear my coat. I want to wear my jacket." Fine. Fine. The kids have mostly beaten me into a fine, malleable paste by this point, so I thought "christ--instead of arguing about what coat to wear for a two minute drive, she can wear her spring jacket." The lovely young teacher at nursery school told me today; "we're going to go for a walk today." Great. It was cold out this morning. Ella's in a flimsy spring coat, with no mitts. Fight the urge to scream, and drive home defeated.
But then I went for a walk with my oh-so-trendy ipod, and started to feel better. By the time I got home I was thinking how beautiful a sunny morning is. I sat down in my backyard for a moment on the weights bench (don't ask why it's still there, that might bring the chest pains back), to listen to a dove, as it "Ooo--ooo-ed" up in the tree. How peaceful. And then, SPLAT, the dove shat on the recycling box that was about five inches on the ground in front of me. And that about sums it up.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Zhu Zhu Pet of Terror

So, this is the toy that everyone freaked out for at Christmas time. Okay, well it looks kind of cute, and yeah, it makes little squeaky noises. It zips around the floor, and spins around, and rights itself when it bumps into walls, then heads the other way. Mostly it seems desperate to head under the couch, and it doesn't really have a lot of play value...but I digress. My three year old daughter LOVED it last Wednesday, and now--five days later--she's bored with it.
My son, however, is terrified of it. When you push the little button on its back to turn it off, it sings "la la la, la la la" to the tune of "lullabye and goodnight." It sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks. It's supposed to be cute. To six year old Jack? Utterly terrifiying.
"Why does it sing a lullabye?"
Me: "I don't know. She doesn't talk, so she's (daugher assigned a gender)telling us she's going to sleep with a song."
"But WHY does it sing a lullabye?"
Me: "I don't know. I guess it's supposed to sound cute and funny or something."
Then, after pondering this for a while, Jack ran screaming and crying up to his room. Now, before you start to think oh my god, what's that kid's problem, dig through your own memory box and see if there were some ultimately stupid things you too used to be afraid of. Occasionally the phone gets left off the hook by accident, right? Well, when that recorded voice would come on and say; "PLEASE HANG UP AND TRY YOUR CALL AGAIN. THIS IS A RECORDING," followed by that "ANH ANH ANH ANH" beeping noise, young karen used to just about lose her mind with terror. And, does anyone remember that novelty song from the 60's or 70's, about the guy going crazy and singing; "they're coming to take me away, ha ha, they're coming to take me away ho ho, hee hee, ha ha, to the FUNNY FARM...?" Yeah, that made me want to crawl into my bed and shriek too.
Zhu Zhu Pet of Terror!

So, Jack tried again to be friends with the Zhu Zhu pet. And then I heard my husband say; "no--don't put it by your hair!" Yes, there's a warning on the package that kindly asks to "please keep away from your hair." Sheesh. Then, my husband leapt up and said; "bring the scissors please, Mummy," as Jack sat wailing on his lap. Took a while to get that clump of hair out of the little wheels on the bottom. So much for that second attempt to enjoy the "it" toy.
I need a giant cup of coffee.


I just learned that "meme" is pronounced "meem," not "mehmay."  I'm disappointed, and clearly, not very bright.  Whatever.

Remember when I put on so much makeup I looked like a sexy clown (CLICK HERE) ?  Want to get in on the wacky fun? Just grab the photie and the text below, and tramp yerself up. Then, drop me a line or leave a comment letting me know you did, and your link, so I can see, okay?  Hooray!!!

Make yourself delicious!  

Karen is a blah, boringly natural housewife and mom most of the time.  But she made herself DELICIOUS.  

Here's what you do:  throw a shovel-full of makeup onto your grill.  Take as many before and after photos as you want of your transformation.  Post these insane photos for all the world to see, with the "karen-licious" banner.
Invite your friends to pass it on and be ridiculous too! 

Then go wash your face.  You're fine just the way you are.  But not today!  Today you are



Come on!  It's fun!  Look who became more DELICIOUS in a ridiculous Jerseylicious way for a day:

Sherilin @ Laughing My Abs Off

Elizabeth @ About Half A Bubble Off 

More About Me

Why did I start this blog?

Because at that time my family drove me bat shit.  No, seriously--things were way more retarded when I started writing in 2009 than they are now.

I had a 3 year old daughter who was hurting herself constantly (clumsy--so, so clumsy), and having glorious 3 year old moments, and a 6 year old son who was basically flipping out over EVERYTHING.  I was the stay-at-home-mom who was going mental, trying not to turn into SCREAMING IDIOT MOM all the time, fighting CONSTANT TIREDNESS, and writing status messages on facebook like

"So tired...must find quiet place to die..."

Some people actually thought I was being hilarious, and said I should start a blog.  I actually forgot that there used to be a karen with a much smaller waist, who didn't have fight club kids, who LOVED to write, once upon a time.

But you know, melt-downs and wrestling matches aside, things have gotten much better.

I don't talk about Autism Spectrum disorder all the time. I just can't.  I live it, eat it, sleep it, breathe it, obsess over it, ignore it, accept it, deny it, loathe it, shake my fist at it day in, day out.  So, sometimes I'm going to write about it, and how it affects my little guy, and other times I'm going to crop my head and photoshop it into something much funnier, or do a post on how my daughter won't stop grabbing my hoots.

This is going to be haphazard as hell, but that's how I roll.



Psycho: The Murder (Shower Scene) by Esa-Pekka Salonen on Grooveshark

Well, you asked for it.
See?  See?  See how awful the PMS bloat face is?!?

I'm burning that fucking hat.



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