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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Summer Blog Day 2: Eating Healthy

The dog’s butt landed on my face with an uncomfortable thud.

And that’s how I greeted the new day.

But, I can’t blame the dog for my rude awakening. I had moved to the foot of the bed in the wee hours, placing myself directly under the ceiling fan. Combatting hot flashes and night sweats is a 24/7 proposition.

Murphy, unaware of all this womanly stuff, only knew he hopped up on the bottom of the bed every morning. I think my face was just as much a surprise to him as his butt was to me.

Because I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, I didn’t take this as an omen for the day. Instead, I decided there was nowhere to go but up; determined that a butt to the face was going to be the low point.

After walking Murphy, I poured myself a cup of coffee and commenced my new favorite past time, pouring over every inch of the kitchen for ants.

This is harder than it sounds, people. It is an art form because my kitchen has hardwood floors with all kinds of natural striations and grooves and my countertops are flecked with black. The sign at the kitchen store should list my counter pattern as “Ants Incognito.”

Ok, maybe this was my new low point. But, no.

Because I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, I reveled in this task because I was winning. Antmaggedon had passed.
All three boys also reveled at this moment because it meant Mo’s kitchen was reopened for service.

One look at the refrigerator shelves reminded me that while on vacation we made a commitment to eating healthier once we got home. The microwave’s ego was going to take a hit as we ate more fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade food.

The rigors of this new regimen hit me hard in the grocery store. It took foor-ev-errrr. Squeezing produce. Plucking vegetables. Consulting recipes. Reading labels.

I was completely out of my element.

Because I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, I focused on the fact that this trip to the store was the first time I had been alone in a long time. Although, resisting the urge to just pick up Hot Pockets and call it a day was epic.

I sliced two cantaloupes, rinsed berries, chopped up celery and cucumbers and packaged it all for easy snacking. When I finished, my fridge looked like an As Seen on TV commercial for plastic storage containers. Mostly because I had miraculously found lids for everything.

As the boys munched on fruit, I turned to whipping up some omelets. No more sugary cereal, no siree. Bye bye Captain Crunch and anything magically delicious.

But, wow, did you know it takes a crap-load of eggs to make an omelet for everyone?

An eternity later, I served the omelets but not before the cubes of two whole cantaloupes were gone. We were one meal into the day and I was starting to question this whole healthy thing.

Because I am a glass-half-full kind of girl, I thought about how much better this was for my family as I washed the mountain of dishes, pots and pans in the sink. I admit, though, I reminisced about the days when the pop tart wrapper constituted morning clean up.

I had made it perfectly clear that we were not eating fast food, but that didn’t stop the kids from asking me every 15 minutes if we could “go somewhere.” Each time they asked, I went through the list of healthy choices. Fruit, roasted pumpkin seeds, veggie sticks. No, no and no.

I think their fight or flight instincts were kicking in as they faced the fear of being banished from their processed world.

I settled on smoothies and pulled out the blender and all the ingredients. More slicing, some scooping and pouring, and the kitchen was a mess again. Those damn ants were forcing my hand, I had to clean immediately and thoroughly after every food adventure. And yes, I realize that for a lot of people cleaning immediately and thoroughly is not unusual. Good for you.

I looked at the time and realized I hadn’t been out of the kitchen in hours.

Because I am a glass-half-full kind of girl, I concentrated on the fact that I had cooked way more than I had eaten which was a total bonus especially after I drank the entire vacation to drown my pest woes.

The rest of the day was a blur of culinary and cleaning activity. To make matters worse, two kids were working so I actually delivered those meals to them with plastic cutlery and more Tupperware in an effort to stop them from ordering fast food.

Healthy people are skinny because it is an exhausting, calorie burning process to actually live a healthy lifestyle. And it explains why Gwenyth Paltrow is sort of cranky and misunderstood.

Mac came home from work at 10 p.m. starving and proclaiming that the dinner I sent was a nice snack (which I tried not to take personally). I ticked off the available choices for the 1000th time that day and walked upstairs to bed as he bit into a peach and some veggie sticks.

Murphy hopped down off the bed as I crawled in, probably still traumatized from the morning’s face plant.
Because I am a glass-half-full kind of girl, I fell into a deep sleep and dreamed about Sunday; the day I promised the boys we could splurge and eat whatever they wanted.

As long as I didn’t have to cook it.

Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.

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