Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Castle on the wall

When my daughter was little, I painted a castle on her wall.  She loved fairies and dragons and pink.

Her dragon pictures are crooked.  I'd get a picture of the entire wall, but then I'd have to include her desk, shelf, and dresser.  No one needs to see those disasters.

Over the years, she's added her own touch.  I think the butterflies are kind of cute.  We also put glow in the dark stars around the castle so it lights up the night sky in the background.  You can see one of the stars between the windows.

Some stickers have been there longer than others.

Now she's growing out of her castle on the wall.  Some of the stickers she added are peeling off.  Some of the fairies she put in the windows are gone completely. She's almost twelve.  She's almost in middle school (for us middle school starts in 7th grade).  She's almost grown up.  (Sniff.  This blog is seriously making me weepy) I've come to accept the fact that she's no longer a baby.  We've had THE talk, and she was horrified. (Keep thinking that way, kiddo - at least for another ten years.)

We still spend a lot of time together, but we no longer talk about fairies and magic.  (Unless we're talking Harry Potter, in which case she will go on and on.) She likes to talk about boys and how weird they are. We talk about her friends and how awesome they are. I've been teaching her to cook and use a curling iron. There are days when I miss the glitter and fluffy pinkness.  I've thought about painting over the castle on her wall, but we plan to build a room for her downstairs, so I don't want to tear her room apart just to have her move downstairs in another year.

This morning I was telling the kids goodbye as they headed off to school.  My youngest was already on across the yard and my daughter's friend was across the street.  I yelled goodbye to them all and then said to my daughter, "Have fun storming the castle." We're pretty big Princess Bride fans.  I used to yell this to them all the time, but she sort of grew out of it.

My daughter looked around and a little half smile appeared on her lips.

Then she said in a voice loud enough for me to hear, but no one else, "Think it will woik?"
"It'll take a miracle," I said.
She grinned, waved, and yelled, "Goodbye!"

It was just a little bit of magic, a tiny spark of glitter, but it was enough.  My daughter is growing up, but is still my little girl. She will always be my little girl. I think the castle on her wall can stay for a bit longer.

Monday, April 15, 2013

How to lower cholesterol without medication

I haven't blogged for a while. (Hides head in shame.) I've had this blog for a little over a year and I've gone in all sorts of directions with it.  I've posted recipes, crafts, drawings, random stuff... My son asked me why I haven't posted for a while and I said it was because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the blog.  I don't have a lot of followers and I was worried that it was too random. He said it was a blog about me being a mom.  Ha.  He's absolutely right.  Being a mom is pretty random and no one listens to me in that aspect either.  So, I'm back with all my randomness. Hi.

Here's a follow up on my cholesterol thing.  I went back to the doctor at the beginning of the year and my cholesterol was back in the normal range (woot!). I thought other people who are avoiding weird medications would like to know how I did it.

My youngest actually said that one day when we sat down to a nice healthy meal of mostly vegetables. His tongue might miss cholesterol, but his heart won't. :)

1- Exercise.  Ugh.  It's one of those necessary evils.  The key to actually exercising is to find stuff you enjoy. Try: video games that require movement, hula hooping, walking, running, hiking, a variety of exercise videos, exercise balls, playing with your kids, grocery shopping (not kidding), intense house cleaning, or elliptical machines. Don't do the same thing over and over again.  Switch it up and have fun with it. (Yes, I just put fun and exercise in the same paragraph.) Just get moving for at least 30 min a day.

2- Cut back on red meat. I still had the occasional nitrate free hotdog, but that was it.  Now that I'm just maintaining my cholesterol levels, I'll eat the occasional steak or burger.

3- More leafy green vegies.  I ate a lot of green salads.  Spinach, grated cheese, croutons, and pineapple salad with a small amount of ranch dressing. Don't do the low fat ranch.  The cholesterol in ranch is the good cholesterol.  Just don't go overboard with it.

4- Smoothies in the morning. I tried green smoothies, but couldn't get over the fact that I was drinking something that looked like alien ooze.  My smoothies consist of fruit, lowfat yogurt, and water.  Berries in the morning are really good for you. I actually lost about 8 lbs just from the smoothie breakfast alone.

5- Cut back on all animal products. I went easy on the cheese, meat, and milk.  I used only egg whites while I was lowering my cholesterol.  I've heard that eggs are good cholesterol, but I cut back any way just in case.

6- More beans! Black beans and pinto beans are a good meat substitute.

7- Lemongrass essential oil.  I have no idea if the lemongrass helped or not since I was doing so many other things.  I actually use it for my knees and carpal tunnel, but it is supposed to also help lower cholesterol so I'm including it on my list.

8- Cut back on sugar.

9- No fried foods. (I admit that I snitched an occasional french fry, but fried foods are the worst for cholesterol.)

10- Use olive oil instead of butter for cooking and keep the heat low.

11- Substitute sugar free (no weird sweeteners) applesauce for oil in cooking.  It changes the texture, so you can do half apple sauce/half oil.

12- Read labels.  Get to know what you're actually eating.  If the ingredients list requires a chemistry degree to understand, you probably don't want to eat it. Fresh is best.

13- Drink more water.

Basically, you have to do all the stuff your mother has been telling you all your life if you want to lower your cholesterol without medication. I was willing to go for the medicine if I had to, but they always come with side effects. These few changes in my diet and lifestyle have given me more energy and helped me lose those last few baby pounds. (My baby is 8 O_o)