The day I went from “Mommy” to “Mom”

There are certain “firsts” that all parents remember vividly.  The first time the baby smiles at you, the first time they roll over, and my personal favorite, the first time my kids decided to use the potty instead of diapers.  As you may know, most preschools only accept 3 year olds who are  potty trained.  I’m still a little sore that my eldest, Hugh, waited until the DAY BEFORE preschool started to decide he was done with diapers.  Damn kid!  He’s never going to live that one down! haha!


I always got excited about the firsts that happened beyond babyhood.  Yes, it is a thrill the first time your baby takes his own little steps, but let me tell you, it’s just as exciting the first time his bat makes contact with a T-Ball.  I went berserk the first time each of children rode a bike with no training wheels.   I was bursting with pride when my kids passed the “deep end” test at the pool.  These are the unsung moments of parenthood that never seem to get mentioned in baby books.


Other “firsts” are more bittersweet.  The first time a baby refuses the breast.  The first eye roll.  The first time your kid doesn’t want affection in public.  Maybe I should call them “lasts”.  I remember the circumstances of the last time I nursed each of my kids, even though I knew it was winding down.  For Hugh, it was immediately after coming back from my friend Marlo’s wedding in the Bahamas.  I woke him up, nursed him, and the next day he wanted no more.  Jack was at a neighborhood playdate at Stephanie’s across the street.  I nursed him, put him to sleep under an end table in the corner, and that was that.


Jack was my cuddle monster.  Both of my kids were, but being the youngest, he was so into Mommy and I guess I remember it better.  Praying at the kneeler at Mass, a little head would try to wiggle its way between the pew and the crook of my elbow.  Then a slightly larger head would do the same on the other side.  Here was a vivid reminder of the very things I prayed for, and about!   Sitting on the couch with a blanket an a novel, along would come Jack wanting in, and wanting me to hold just him.  I got kisses constantly, looks of loving adoration, hugs and more hugs.  Did I mention the cuddles???


Then he turned eight.


Literally, the day Jack turned eight, the hugs and kisses and longing looks stopped.  No longer did he need or want to be cuddled.  No longer did he want to spend quiet time with me, demanding all my attention.  He stopped trying to shove his way into my praying hands at church.  Like an English schoolboy who stops wearing shorts and graduates to “big boy pants”, Jack embraced all that the transition from little boy  had to offer.  He could venture beyond my line of sight because he had the confidence to find his way back.  He could do more things, climb higher trees, ride larger bikes, jump off higher rocks into the lake because he no longer needed “Mommy”, he only wanted “Mom.”  Yes, of course I still get the occasional kiss and hug, but it’s not the same.


I know this is completely normal behavior, and I do embrace it.  God rest her soul, but I had a mother who always wanted puppies to remain puppies and babies to remain babies. I find it much easier than my mom did to let my kids go through their normal developmental milestones – even the annoying ones.  A 13 year old putting maturity on and off like a too big sweater is especially fun.  Note the sarcasm.  But still, I expect it, I know what’s happening, and I know it has to happen.  I do not want my kids to feel like they are disappointing me somehow by growing up.  Nor do I want them straining from the shackles of  eternal babyhood and feel the need to rebel or grow up too fast.  Like I did.  I want them to go through what they need to go through to become the men God wants them to be.  It’s all part of the beautiful process.


Still, to be “Mommy” one more time.  I think that’s a longing most women have, despite ourselves.



Quiche – The Crust = Frittata for breakfast! Or lunch! Or dinner!

Ding ding ding!  Call me slow on the uptake, but a brilliant thought occurred to me yesterday.  I have two absolutely  delicious Quiche recipes, courtesy of my very good friend Dorothy.  Why not just lose the crust and make it primal friendly???  I always used the store-bought, pre-rolled generic anyway, so it’s not a big sacrifice .  After I bake it when I have time, just slice, nuke and enjoy the next day!  Why didn’t I think of this easy, easy grab and go breakfast before???????  It is so much quicker to have eggs pre-prepared.  Add an orange and it’s breakfast!  Add a nice salad or soup and dinner is served!


Anyway, here it is.  Please keep in mind that the oven times might vary due to not having to cook the crust, so I may be off.  Start checking it after about 30 mins.  This does include a few teaspoons of flour, but I’m not picking nits.  This is primal/paleo friendly enough for me!


Grease glass pie plate with butter or spray canola oil

1 1/2 cups grated Swiss (.35 lbs.)

4 tsp. flour

Mix together in your pie plate

Add small dices of ham


Combine in another bowl:


3 eggs (pasture raised if possible)

1 cup light cream

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

Grated onion (2 tsp or to taste)


Beat – Pour over ham and cheese

Bake at 350 for 45 mins (give or take, see above)


You can also freeze this mixture.  Wrap in plastic wrap, then tin foil.  When ready to serve, uncover, put the frozen frittata into the oven at 400 for 1 hour.


Another variation is 1.5 cups of Gruyère, and no ham.  Top the egg mixture with mushrooms and thawed and thoroughly squeezed frozen chopped spinach.  Cold and tedious, but necessary!  This one is actually my favorite.


Duh! They are made out of corn!

Yesterday, I had to drive about an hour and a half to get my car serviced at the dealership.  I have a Mini Clubman, which I love, and that’s the nearest place to get it taken care of.  No problem!  The dealership will drive you to… the Mall!  The one that includes Nordstrom!  Yay!   Since I don’t have a Nordstrom near me, I was in Heaven!  I actually controlled msyelf – I got a winter coat with a hood (which I needed) on a great sale.  Also, I got a cute open knit sweater with a cami underneath it.  And that’s it!  I was proud of myself for not going crazy in my favorite store!  this includes the shoe department!  Trust me when I tell you this is a big deal!


So, now it’s time to drive home, it’s rush hour, and I’m tired.  “Shop ’til you drop” is a cliche for a reason!  I am very prone to “highway hypnosis” and am terrified that I’m going to fall asleep driving.  Coffee only works on me in the morning.  I can have it after dinner and still go to sleep on time and stay asleep.  So, I need to eat something crunchy and hope for some good tunes on the radio.  The nice people at the Mini dealership had a whole basket of snacks, and I chose Bugles because I figured they are in the potato chip family, which is allowed under paleo.  Way better choice than a cereal bar or cheese crackers?  Right?


So I’m munching away on this extremely salty, crunchy snack.  I’m about 9/10 through the bag and it hits me – these damn things are made of corn!  So much for avoiding grains.  Ugh!  To boot, my weight was up this morning because of all the salt and the grain based carbs!!!!!  Double ugh!  Luckily the cute sweater I bought covers my stomach.  Thank God for small miracles.  I can’t wait to get my oil changed in 2 months (only needs to be done once per year.  Did I mention I love my Mini?).  More Nordstrom fun!  Woo hoo!



I’m a cheap date

One thing I’ve noticed is that ever since I’ve started the paleo diet, I can’t handle my liquor!  I love a nice glass of wine with a good meal.  Ok, I also love a nice glass of wine at the end of the day when the kids are finishing up their homework an I’m tired of telling them to stay focused.  But I digress…

Now, after one glass, I have to stop!  Two used to be my limit (on the rare occasion I’ve had glasses #3 or 4, forget it!)  Has this happened to anyone else?  Did all that bread I used to eat absorb that much alcohol???  Geez!  No fun!

I am proud of myself for passing up the mushroom ravioli at a fabulous restaurant near my house.  Instead, I had sauteed prawns, scallops, kale and homemade mashed potatoes.  Yum Yum Yum!  I should have taken a picture.  Even when you go out to a restaurant, it’s easy to stay with paleo!

What’s your favorite thing to order at a restaurant?  And, am I the only one who has turned into a real lightweight??


My Daily Constitutional

I live in the Pacific NW, and this is the most walk and bike friendly town I’ve ever seen.  Rain or shine, people bike to work, walk their dogs, and walk for the heck of it.  Being a New Jersey transplant (you should have seen my big hair in college in the late 80’s), I am still not hale and hearty enough to brave the weather out here and voluntarily walk more than from my car to the grocery store if it’s raining out.  Which is very, very often.


Well, following Mark Sisson’s 21 day transformation, I’m making myself walk in this mess.  I do love his advice of getting most of your cardio from nice long walks that get you in your “fat burn” zone of 60-75% of your max heart rate (plus a sprint or two every so often).   I really don’t enjoy running, and since walking for 60 minutes equals running for 30 minutes in terms of calories burned, no problemo!  Also, I’d rather be outside and say “oooh!  They got new landscaping, and those other people are putting on an addition.”  I really hate the elliptical and other cardio gym equiptment, even if I get to watch TV.


Yesterday, it was just overcast, and I took a nice 30 minute walk with my old, arthritic and cancerous dog Penny.  You may not know this, but West of the Cascades is a temperate rain forest.  It’s almost primeval – ferns everywhere and giant towering pine trees with moss and lichen growing on them.  In the summer we have lots of delicious wild blackberries.  They even sneak into my landscaping, those wily things!  Anyhow, it’s absolutely beautiful here, the forest is incredible, and I felt like my “nature deficiency” was being mitigated.


Today – not so much.  I really had to make myself get out of that car (sans dog).  Luckily, it was the normal light rain, but without the wind, so I was able to use an umbrella.  It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I could have used a pair of gloves at 40 degrees, but beyond that, it was fine.  I dread having to go out on a windy and rainy day.  No one around here uses an umbrella because it’s pointless.  The wind inverts it or rips it out of you hands.  Sadly, all of my coats (of which there are many) don’t have hoods.  I only own one thin raincoat with a hood.  I need another coat like I need a hole in my head, but it may be time to invest in a winter coat with a hood if I’m to continue with this walking thing. My husband will be thrilled.  Out here, if you wait for a nice day to do something, you’ll never get out.  It’s high time I learn to adapt to this wet climate.


Tomorrow I bang out my strength workout in the half hour between clients.  Maybe I’ll grab the dog and do another little walk.  She loves it and is impervious to weather. Unlike me!