Sonya and her 3 teen boys

American Ninja Warrior Decathlon for (40 something) Moms

Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, go!

What would this competition really look like if we had American Ninja Warriors with only 40-something moms as competitors in appropriate mom tasks? I’ve chosen 40-something moms because those are the ones that usually have teens and this is a teen oriented competition. And besides, I’m a 40-something mom…I’ve come up with a few events I think may be worthy of an American Ninja Warrior Decathlon…

  1. The Midnight Round-Up

Also known as — Where’s my teen? It’s past curfew. I’ve become a stalker. What are good teen stalking techniques in this day and age? A network of other mom’s? Facebook (or Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc.) following of all your teen’s friends? Hmm, let’s be creative here. How long will it take you to find your teen? Maybe this one should be measured in how long it takes your teen to respond to your text/call? Or maybe it should be measured in how many minutes late your teen is after curfew? Should we allow bonus points if your teen uses the “pick me up no questions asked” card before curfew expires?

  1. Bunk Bed Sheets Wrestling Match
This bunk bed has three mattresses to make up.

This bunk bed has three mattresses to make up.

Wrestling sheets onto a bunk bed without breaking a sweat is a tough task, but moms can do it. How long will it take you to wrestle sheets onto bunk beds against a wall? Without breaking a sweat! Bonus points if you have more than one set of bunk beds in your house. Making up loft beds count for even more bonus points because who doesn’t hit their head on the ceiling (and bed) trying to make up one of those?!?

  1. Sneaker Smell Quashing
Really? Whose shoe is this?

Really? Whose shoe is this?

Who knew that kind of smell could actually exist on Earth? (NO fair if you’ve been to see the Grossology exhibit when it was in town, you already know the answer to that (rhetorical) question!). How can we get rid of that stench? Oh my God! Don’t take those shoes off in the car! Maybe we can see how long we can stand the smell before we pass out? What would this competition really look like? Would it be measured by how long you could stand the smell or how long it takes to get rid of it? If we do this as an event, I think maybe Gas Masks could be a potential lifeline, but you lose points if you use one!

  1. Pout and Eye-Rolling Combatant
The perpetual pouty teen look.

The perpetual pouty teen look.

How fast can you embarrass your teen into eye rolling or pouty behavior? If you can even get them to attend the competition at all. If not, you might have to borrow another teen for this event! I can hear it now, “Anyone up for a game of Cards Against Humanity?” “No, mom!” Swiftly followed by “How could you (even suggest something so lame; we are not playing this with you)?” And the biggest eye roll known to man… Maybe this competition should be measured in how fast you can get your teen not to eye-roll or pout and actually smile? That kind of event might be more difficult! Nigh impossible in some households…

  1. Teen Driving Nail Biter
The 1st licensed teen in the family.

The 1st licensed teen in the family.

Although this event is self-explanatory, the pain can be measured by the length of the nail raking scars on the dashboard or by the depth the nails have dug into your palm. Am I right? Or perhaps we can measure it by the amount your auto insurance increases once your teen actually becomes a licensed driver… I think there may be special award points for moms of boys if this event is measured by the astronomical changes in your insurance costs… especially if they have an accident their VERY first week of driving.

  1. Logistics Planning

Who hasn’t had to be in three places at the same time with their children? This event involves planning the logistics for three teen sports tournaments at the same time, in different states. It can be measured by the loss of parental sanity multiplied by the miles put on the car odometer for the weekend and divided by the money spent on food/equipment/entry fees during the trip…

  1. Snappy Comebacks

What are your snappy comebacks (or are these behavior modification techniques?) that you use as a parent when your teen proposes doing something completely preposterous? Or is making excuses not do a chore they have been asked to do? Or is procrastinating from doing their homework? I think this one is best summed up by “a funny” making the rounds on the internet: “Breaking News: The Pity Train has just derailed at the intersection of Suck It Up & Move On, and crashed into We All Have Problems, before coming to a complete stop at Get the Heck Over It. Any complaints about how we operate can be forwarded to 1-800-waa-waaa. This is Dr. Sniffle Reporting LIVE from Quitchur Fussin’.”

  1. Git Ur Butt Off the Couch and Find a Job…

Teens have amazing ways of wheedling money out of their parents. How many ways can you say no? In how many foreign languages? Bonus points for more than 5 foreign languages. How about “Hell No!”

  1. Grocery Bill Tally
A real grocery list from our household in 2014.

A real grocery list from our household in 2014.

A lot of meat!

A lot of meat!

Yes, our pancakes really do have meat in them!

Yes, our pancakes really do have meat in them!

How much do teens eat? How much does it cost when you go to the grocery store? I don’t even go to Costco anymore – that’s $400 a pop. How much meat do teen boys eat? Let’s find out… in the grocery bill tally event. What groceries would you buy to feed your teens for a week? Enough said. I’ve got to go rob a bank now!

  1. Homework Hell

Do we even need to discuss this ring of hell? Perhaps we need to call this event “Are you smarter than a High Schooler?” Could you survive doing one night of their homework load? Once you’ve been through a couple of hours of running and exercises (to simulate whatever sports practice your teen was at that afternoon/evening) and you gulp down a meal (probably pizza and a coke), you get the pleasure of doing a calculus problem set, a chemistry lab write up, writing an AP English paper, and studying for a Spanish test. All the while, texting and chatting with at least a dozen friends/classmates. And listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify. Oh, all of this is to be done without coffee! All before 10 pm (or is it 11 pm) bedtime? I didn’t think so.

Now, if we were fashioning this decathlon competition after the Amazing Race, we could add a few detour type events that are centered on common teen activities (legal ones only, because the illegal ones often involve a real life detour with serious consequences):

Emergency Room Detour – how fast can you drive to the emergency room? How many broken bones were found? How long did it take to be seen in the emergency room? Bonus points if you’ve been to the emergency room more than once in a day… even more bonus points if it was with different kids! (Not saying this happened with my kids or anything…)

Clothes Shopping Spree Detour – You have XX minutes/days/years to find something your teen will actually wear that YOU bought for them without their help or input. This event cannot really be a part of the competition because it could go on for years and we don’t have that long to judge a winner…

Sports Equipment Search Detour – Where is the football tee? The Lacrosse stick, the volleyball knee pads… this list could get very long if your teens play three sports and have a regular schedule of games and tournaments. It gets really hairy if they are playing more than one sport at a time. We’ve set up an obstacle course of sports clothing and equipment and it is your job to assemble a complete sports uniform so that if your child had to step on the “playing field” once you are done, they would meet the sporting regulations to be able to play… I pray that there are swim trunks somewhere out there in this event; they don’t really need goggles do they?

Lifelines – Even though we aren’t playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire (although we could be, because as parents of teens, we are merely seen as an ATM most of the time), I already mentioned the possibility of a gas mask lifeline in the Sneaker Smell Quashing event. I think the other two lifelines need to be “Phone a Friend” and “Where (the Hell) is the Wine.” These lifelines are self explanatory to most parents, even if your kids aren’t teens!

Now, I know this competition is a little very boy centric. But, I’ve earned the right, as a mom of three teen boys (yes, count them), to make this competition whatever the hell I damn well please… and I deserve big jewels… at least that’s what the nurse said as she handed me my (third) ten-pound child and told me not to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds as I recover from my C-Section… Seriously, if you do have teen girls and have suggestions for teen girl centric events, I am all ears! Tell me about it!

Author’s Note: This blog post was inspired by my Facebook posts of 7/28/2014 and 8/24/2014 and any similarity to my VERY real life with my three sons is purely coincidental.

Christmas post card

Christmas Letter or Cards?!?

christmas vintage snow postcardI admit it, I love getting Christmas cards, and pictures of my friends and their kids, and I especially love reading the Christmas letters people share. I think I just heard a collective groan. I hear ya – why would I want to read these letters about how great everyone is doing and how your child got straight A’s and is on the football team and honor roll and the debate team and, and, and… Most of the letters we get are NOT like that.

I love receiving Christmas cards. I love to hear from people and stay in touch. I love to hear what they are up to and I love how beautiful the cards are. Some people have their cards ready to go the minute Thanksgiving is over. Not me. Since we had kids, I’ve been known to send the “Christmas” cards by New Year’s or one year, in July. Now, some people like my mom, haven’t sent a Christmas card since 1972, and won’t. She’s more like, why would I send a card to someone I see every day/week/month? I get that point, but I like to send them anyway!christmas holly

I used to buy Christmas cards for the next year at the fabulous after Christmas sales. But since the photo cards are so easy to make now (and more personal), I have been doing those for the last few years. I usually think about ordering these photo cards and then by the time I get around to deciding on a picture for the cards, it is mid-December. The cards come and I’m busy doing other things by then and they sit, waiting patiently, to be sent out to friends and family.

I used to have a little ritual of sitting by the Christmas tree in the near dark, enjoying the twinkle lights and writing the cards I would send to my friends and family. I would include a personal note and inquire about the recipient. As we had kids and we got busier, this became more of a production especially when we started writing a letter. So my Christmas cards take a little more effort than the hand writing days – (updating and) printing address labels, writing and printing the letter, folding it to fit in the card, blah, blah, blah! Now, I just put on a good holiday movie and work on the cards and letter while thinking good thoughts about the recipients!

Christmas calendar vintageWriting a Christmas letter is a good way to remember what you actually did that year… it’s a good way to keep in touch and hear everyone’s highlights or low lights (we’re getting more of these kinds of letters involving the death of a loved one or cancer or other illness). I love to hear about where people have traveled to, what they learned, how their job is going. Although, I’ve noticed that we get fewer letters with the rising popularity of Facebook. Some people get really creative with their letters and make them into a poem (but don’t expect to see one of these from us, unless Bryce writes it), and some letters are humorous, and others are serious. Whatever form they take, I love reading these Christmas letters.christmas bell

Writing the letter, not so much, Greg is a closet editor and never likes what I write, so I procrastinate about writing it. I try not to only include the good stuff. I try to include things like our multiple visits to the emergency room on the same day, with different kids. I try to include funny happenings as well as the ups and downs about our Cal football season (but no one needs to be that depressed, do they?). No matter how many times we read through it and edit it, there is always some silly typo. No matter, we just want to share a little of our life from that year with you.

Now, do you send pictures of you (with your kids, if you have them) or just the kids? I love seeing how my friends and family are, in pictures. But please, send a picture of your whole family!!! I don’t want to just see pictures of your kids or grandkids (or god forbid, just your pet…), I want to see you too! We always try to include a picture of all of us at one of the National Parks we visited that year. One of the reasons I love the photo cards (like the ones on Shutterfly) is because you can choose more than one picture. You can get a little view into life that year. It’s fun to see what everyone has been up to!

Click here -> 2007 Christmas in July and you can see what I’m sharing as one of my all time favorite letters, which we sent as a Christmas in July letter. Enjoy!

2011xmas401a

Favorite Christmas Foods

12Days20I have a few favorite foods that only make an appearance at Christmas. Like candy canes, mulled wine, eggnog, and gingerbread cookies.

I used to love getting the giant candy canes that were about a foot long and an inch in diameter. I could eat that for days. I remember we had a gift exchange in elementary school and I received one of those giant candy canes. I was thrilled. My other favorite as a kid was the Lifesaver books. I always tried to trade the butter rum flavor for a roll of cherry flavored ones – they were much better, in my opinion. I still try to put one of these Lifesaver books in the kids’ stockings.

One of the things I love to make for the kids classes during the holidays is giant pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate and then rolled in crushed candy canes or other sprinkles. I think gain 5 pounds when I eat all of the “broken” ones while making these treats.

I really enjoyed the holidays in Europe when I lived in Germany. My mom came to visit and we went to the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremburg and later when she lived in Munich we visited her during Christmas and went to the market there. Both markets are amazing and worth a trip. One of our favorite things to do was to get the sausage sandwiches and a mug of mulled wine. That combination made a heavenly dinner.

Marzipan, covered in chocolate. I lived with the town baker when I lived in Skt. Augustin. He made really amazing marzipan. None of the commercial stuff even comes close! Enough said.

Two other treats I associate with my time living in Germany are Spekulatius (yes you can get a version of these year-round at Cost Plus, but I love the ones made in the shape of varying holiday scenes. I also love Lebkuchen, the soft gingerbread cookies; the Weissella ones that are covered in chocolate are my favorites.

When I was in high school my mom dated a guy named Chris who made the best eggnog ever. I’ve not even attempted to try to recreate that special treat. The stuff in the grocery store is too thick and needs to be diluted. My two favorites are the Southern Comfort version and the Bud’s ice cream version. The kids drink it like it’s going out of style and I just get them the regular stuff – they drink it all and don’t seem to be that picky!

I love making French toast with the Italian panettone bread that seems to make an appearance only during the holidays. Although eating it toasted and buttered is pretty good too!

Jasper decorating cookies

Jasper decorating cookies

My favorite Christmas food or treat is all of the Christmas cookies that we make and share. Others make treats like fudge, toffee, almond bark, but I love to make cookies. We make the same set of 5-6 cookies each year and we try 1-2 new ones as well. We make thumbprint cookies, Finnish Kakor (a shortbread with slivered almond and cinnamon and sugar on top), Russian tea cakes (also known as Mexican wedding cakes), molasses crinkles, snicker doodles with various sprinkles. Sometimes we make macaroons or shaped cookies. Sometimes we are really ambitious and try to make press cookies – it’s always more of a wrestling match than anything else.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite holiday foods are!

2003 Chistmas with santa

Pictures with Santa

Bryce, Santa, McKinley, and Jasper 2012

Bryce, Santa, McKinley, and Jasper 2012

I love the pictures we have taken with Santa throughout the years! Most of the time we can get the kids to all smile at the same time. Sometimes not. Sometimes there is one kid that is just grimacing enough to show that he is participating but not willingly. Most of the time we have gotten a really cute shot of the kids with Santa that we can share with the grandparents.

Planning a visit to Santa can be a strategic endeavor. Most of the time over the years, we have gone to dinner at California pizza kitchen (or some other mall restaurant) and then taken a picture with Santa on an early weekday evening. This strategy usually works really well. Everyone has eaten. No one is too tired because it’s an hour or two before bedtime still. This strategy has resulted in some really cute pictures through the years.

When the kids were smaller, I could dress them in matching (or close to matching) outfits, which only added to the cuteness. The last few years, I’m lucky to get them to even take the picture with Santa. These days with teens, I hear tons of complaining when I let them know it’s time to take a picture with Santa. So, I let them wear what they want and they have come up with some deusies!

The picture we took with Santa this past year has to take the cake. We went on a Sunday morning, first thing, so that we could get in and out of there before people got out of church. We were wrong. Everyone else had the same idea! The line snaked through all the fences and around the huge tree decorating the center of Hillsdale Mall. Seeing this and heading off a mutiny of epic proportions, I sent the kids off to the Apple Store, Brookstone, Hot Topic, and the LEGO store with strict instructions to come back when I texted them.

I waited in line, patiently, and was sandwiched between three girls in 49er clothes and a mom with a stroller, and behind her a mom with two daughters in matching winter white satin holiday dresses behind me. I used to covet those little dresses and outfits when my boys were young. The boy clothes just aren’t the same and they aren’t nearly as cute. But as I watched the youngest daughter, who was probably 4, climb all over everything and her mom berate her for messing up her dress before they even took the picture with Santa, I was thanking my lucky stars I hadn’t had girls! That mom couldn’t just let her kids be. She constantly was trying to get them to stop whatever they were doing (bumping in to me and others in line, touching everything, generally being kids) and stand quietly next to her. I was so glad I sent my kids off to window shop.

Part way through, after I’d been waiting for 30 minutes and we’d only rounded one corner, I really had to go to the bathroom. The woman behind me said she would hold my spot. So, I climbed over the fence and headed upstairs to the nearest bathroom. Boy, the mall sure was crazy that morning. I guess everyone else who had procrastinated through the month of December was there the weekend before Christmas. I finished at the bathroom and on the way back to the long, snaky Santa line, I went past See’s Candy and couldn’t resist stopping. I was so sure that a little marzipan would help me stand in line with more patience until it was our turn.

I come around the corner to get back in line and I see a gulf in the line, plus security guards standing around. Uh oh, now what? I head to the fence closest to the lady who was holding my spot and I see that some kid has barfed all over and that gulf was a breath’s width away from the barf. Ugh! Now what? What else could happen? The little girls behind could come up and step in it? Oops no, the mom saved her and then yelled at her daughter some more…where was her patience and Christmas spirit? I just played on Facebook and texted friends while I waited, and kept an eye out for the boys (I could see into the whole Brookstone store from where I was waiting.)

Meanwhile, Santa’s helper came around and told us that Santa would be taking a lunch break at 12:30. Really? We were all frantically doing the “Santa line” calculus. If every crying kid takes 7 minutes, and every happy kid takes 5 minutes and there were 50 families in front of us in line, would we make it before Santa took a lunch break?!?

Finally a sanitation worker came to clean up the barf, which still smelled to high heaven. The woman who came to clean it up didn’t even come over the fence to clean it up. She put a bunch of paper towels on the end of her mop and proceeded to move the barf around (and around). She slowly cleaned it up using this method from the other side of the fence. Then she was preparing to walk away. As you could hear the sound of angry parents and disbelieving moms tittering behind me that she wasn’t actually going to clean or sanitize the spot, I stepped forward to ask her to sanitize it and actually clean the floor. Her response, “No hablo English.” It was a plain and simple response. No facial expressions, no empathy, no smile. I tried again. With two more moms stepping closer. And again. With more moms talking louder about the need to actually clean the floor. Finally the woman mopped the floor, with the gray water that was in the mop bucket.

No one near us could believe what had just happened, and none of us would step anywhere near that barf spot. So the wide gulf remained in line. But that would dissipate once Santa took lunch and people inched closer thinking they were going to get a picture with Santa anytime soon, with their patience in tact. Those of us in the front part of the line were still doing the “Santa line” calculus and hoping against hope that we would make it before Santa’s lunch break.

Bryce, McKinley, Santa, and Jasper 2011

Bryce, McKinley, Santa, and Jasper 2011

The boys joined me in line after observing the barf cleanup, and ate all of my chocolate. Even eating marzipan didn’t quell the remaining stench. Finally, we inched our way towards Santa and took our traditional picture with him. Some of the boys smiled and some didn’t. I might have to use photo shop to get one picture where they are all smiling with Santa. The boys protested that they had to take, but in the end they did it because it was important to me. I think (or is it just hope) they will thank me later when they are trying to wrangle their own kids onto Santa’s lap for a holiday photo. In any event, we will not be waiting until the weekend before Christmas to take our picture with Santa!

We generally just have the kids take a picture on Santa’s lap but one year we did take a picture all together. Maybe that was a strategy to keep all of the kids happy enough to smile for the picture, I don’t remember. The girls in front of us in line were sisters along with a family friend. They had been taking pictures with Santa for year and they continued that tradition, without their own spouses or kids in the picture (although everyone waited in line with them). This year they took their picture all dressed up in 49er gear. It was a cute picture with all of them smiling, happily.

This Santa at Hillsdale Mall is fabulous. It is usually the same guy, who has a real beard and is very patient and very kind! They usually give the kids a little book or toy at this mall and this year was no exception. When we were done with our Santa picture, Santa handed us a book, T’was the Night Before Christmas.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your family traditions are with Santa pictures.

2002 Tree with Jasper

Real or Fake (and I’m not talking about boobs, here)!

I love the smell of pine trees. I love the adventure of going to a tree farm (or in the woods) to find the “perfect” Christmas tree. I love the act of choosing and cutting it down and wrangling it into your car/onto your car roof. I love the entire ritual.

My kids hate it. You can tell they are children of a lawyer because they all ganged up on me one year and each had different arguments why we should get a fake tree. No needles to clean up, no one has to water it, it won’t be messy, it’s faster to put up the fake tree, you can adjust the branches of the fake tree to hang whatever ornaments you want on it without touching the other branches, it looks better (more uniform and even), it’s less expensive, and on and on.

12Days03

The Fake Tree in Mid-Decoration

One year, after Christmas, I finally succumbed to their pleas and I bought a fake tree. We used that for a few years and when I moved to a house of my own, I went back to getting a real Christmas tree. I think real trees are perfect in their imperfection. Something is always amiss with a real tree – a large hole just where you want to hang an ornament or it lists to one side, so badly that you have to resort to many, many adjustments to get it to look straight. I used cinder blocks this past Christmas to elevate my short tree (the tree farm had small trees that year and we decided that we should have just gone to Home Depot and gotten an 8 footer. Oh well, there is always next year.)

12Days02

Santa’s Tree Farm in Half Moon Bay


I love the adventure of going to the tree farm, traipsing through the field, looking at every Noble Fir. I like the kind of tree where you can see between the branches and the ornaments can hang freely without touching anything else, not a branch or other ornament! Santa’s Tree Farm in Half Moon Bay is usually where we go to find a tree. They have a little train that roams the farm, a barn with pre-cut trees (so that’s where my perfect tree ended up…), warm cider and hot chocolate, and wreaths and other decorations for sale. It’s a nice, homey atmosphere. In our hunt for a tree, I usually have to check out each part of the farm with Noble Firs before choosing a tree.

2002 Tree with Jasper

Christmas 2002 with Jasper

This picture from 2002 is one of my favorites. Not just because of Jasper’s awesome smile and the way he is clutching his blanket, but because this is the perfect tree. This tree had tons of spaces throughout to hang a LOT of ornaments and it was tall enough. This particular tree shows a lot of free space at the bottom because of toddlers (at that time, Jasper was 4, Bryce was 3, and McKinley was 1) and we had a  fun-loving, tree hugging cat. Sonic (the cat) loved to play, chew on the light strings, and climb into the tree. What fun!

2011 Fake Christmas Tree

2011 The Fully Decorated Fake Tree

This picture is of the fake tree. Yes, it was truly quick and easy to put up and take down (and to store in the attic). Yes, it was clean and didn’t drop needles. But it wasn’t scented (although the kids did volunteer to spray some pine scent around the living room, which just seemed plain wrong, if you ask me!) It was very uniform, but in my opinion didn’t have enough space between the branches for the ornaments to hang freely. I do love the ribbons that hang down from the top, which was full and lush, just like the rest of the tree.

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The Beautiful Ribbons

2011 Work Lobby Tree

2011 The Two-story Tree in our Lobby at Work

What I really want is a two-story living room so that I can put a huge tree in it that spans both stories. Then maybe I would have enough tree space to hang my entire collection of Christmas ornaments from around the world – it contains ornaments depicting music, bears, cows, National Parks and other places we have visited, our Danish heritage, and there are also a ton of vintage ornaments in this collection!

Maybe I would be willing to consider a fake tree if I could find one that was 1) prelit with white lights and colored lights that wouldn’t quit three years into the fake-tree’s life (let’s not even start with the white v. colored light debate), 2) was like the Noble Fir and had tons of space between branches, and 3) could be stored somewhere in my house the rest of the year (I’m thinking a two story tree would be hard to find in the first place and definitely hard to store the rest of the year). But until then, during the weekend after Thanksgiving, I’m going to lasso my kids and take them to the tree farm in search of the perfect tree!

What kind of tree do you prefer to have and WHY?

Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins & use non stick pans. This makes the sides brown & easy to take out. Let them cool for almost 10 mins (depending how brown the sides are)  I use tongs or a spoon then de-wedge them and pop them out.

Frittatas Galore

Today’s blog post is a guest post is from Tiffany, who is one of my fellow Stanford Nutrition Study participants. We have been learning about nutrition, while concentrating on eating a low-fat based diet. One of the suggestions we received was to make frittatas for breakfast so we focus on eating good healthy food with protein in it to begin our day. Tiffany has been a frittata making mad-(wo)man! Her message and recipe:

I hope you will share some pictures & low-fat recipes that are working for you too. I know we have the internet, but since we are all in this together i wanted to share and hope you will too!

Hi5
Best-
Tiffany

This is her recipe:

I put a huge amount of veggies in the. Iron skillet. it varies but this is this weeks brew. 1 onion, 1 shallot, 1 orange & 1 yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, 2 zucchini, 3 sm. patty pan zucchini. I start the onions and then toss in a small splash of lemonade or just water to make veggies not stick. Sauté.

I put a huge amount of veggies in the iron skillet. The veggies vary, but this is what is in this week’s brew: 1 onion, 1 shallot, 1 orange & 1 yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, 2 zucchini, 3 small patty pan zucchini. I start the onions and then toss in a small splash of lemonade or just water to make veggies not stick. Sauté.

6 eggs, 1 box of egg whites, 1/3 cup milk. The egg whisk is a total "game changer" making the eggs super fluffy. I was not doing this before last week and they weren't as fluffy at all. This amount makes 12 large frittatas, 6 for him & 6 for me! I assume each is 2-3 grams of fat.

6 eggs, 1 box of egg whites, 1/3 cup milk. The egg whisk is a total “game changer” making the eggs super fluffy. I was not doing this before last week and they weren’t as fluffy at all. This amount makes 12 large frittatas, 6 for my hubby & 6 for me! I assume each is 2-3 grams of fat.

 

The cups are filled almost to the top, and these are the jumbo sized cupcake pans. I added 2 grates of low fat Jarlsberg or mozzarella cheese into each cup. I also ground fresh pepper into each one. In my hubby’s frittatas, I sauté and then add turkey chorizo sausage!

The cups are filled almost to the top, and these are the jumbo sized cupcake pans.
I added 2 grates of low-fat Jarlsberg or mozzarella cheese into each cup. I also ground fresh pepper into each one. In my hubby’s frittatas, I sauté and then add turkey chorizo sausage!

Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins & use non stick pans. This makes the sides brown & easy to take out. Let them cool for almost 10 mins (depending how brown the sides are)  I use tongs or a spoon then de-wedge them and pop them out.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 mins & use non stick pans. This makes the sides brown & easy to take out. Let them cool for almost 10 mins (depending how brown the sides are) I use tongs or a spoon then de-wedge them and pop them out.

Just add tapatio, or your favorite hot sauce! These are totally mobile when you brown the sides for breakfast on the go!

Just add tapatio, or your favorite hot sauce! These are totally mobile, when you brown the sides, for breakfast on the go!

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Man Down

IMG_3100Jasper, my oldest, is a big kid. He’s ~200 pounds and is almost 6 feet tall. Even as a freshman he was a big kid and people thought he was much older than he is (I think it might be the beard…). But, on the football field he’s not the biggest, not by a long shot.

As a freshman he was on the JV football team and looked forward to his first scrimmage. Unfortunately, a player on the Serra team head butted Jasper to stop him from continually getting to the quarterback. That head-butt  gave him his first concussion.

That guy was a helmet taller than Jasper and thus head-butted him from above Jasper’s head. [As a side note: I think these kids think the helmets and pads make them invincible, but they aren’t, not by a long shot!] Jasper was out for two weeks and he and the coaches decided to move him down to the freshman team.

Later in the season, Jasper sustained another injury and was laid out flat by a dirty hit, blindsiding him. As he lay on the ground, not moving, all I can think of, as I am standing helpless on the sideline, is that I’d like to clock that other kid. Not that Jasper shouldn’t play football; not that football is a dangerous sport; but, man, I want to hurt that kid, teach him a lesson about clean play. It was a total momma bear moment.

When the coach (or medic, I’m not sure exactly who it was) told Jasper while he was still lying on the ground, not moving, that he was being pulled from the game, he shot bolt upright and yelled an expletive. The coach took him out of the game. No arguing. The coach continued to keep him out of the remainder of the game even after Jasper tried to argue that he was fine, that he could go back in, that he was rarin’ to go! “Put me back in coach!” To the coach’s credit, the answer was an emphatic “No!” Better safe than sorry!

It turns out Jasper was lying there, stunned at first, but then stayed there out of frustration, not because he was hurt. I didn’t know all of this until much later, so I’m thinking that Jasper, as talented an athlete as he is, might be done with football 6 games into his freshman year.

IMG_6049A few weeks later at a Boy Scout meeting, the boys were playing basketball, goofing around really, and Jasper slipped and fell and clocked his head on the old, very hard and not springy, wooden gym floor. That concussion hurt much worse than either of the two hits Jasper sustained in football. Thankfully, kids are resilient. Thankfully, kids heal quickly.

Unfortunately, we don’t know what the long-term effects of concussions are. Will these kids have mush brains like boxers? Will they have early onset Alzheimer’s as they turn 50? What will those far-reaching consequences be?

I am not sure what the long-term consequences will be, and I had a very animated discussion with a dear friend over it recently. But we let our kids keep playing football because they love it. We’ve gotten them the best helmets possible and they are learning proper tackling techniques. And mostly, we let them keep playing because concussions can happen no matter what they are doing, whether it is from playing sports, skateboarding, bike riding, snow boarding, driving, or playing basketball at a Boy Scout meeting.