Thursday, March 08, 2007

Let the Sun Shine In

Vickie asked me to elaborate on what I men when I say I "call" my husband on something he says or does. My husband has a bad habit of pushing people's buttons. He loves to figure out what will irritate or set off a person and use it to get them riled up.

I don't scream or yell at him. I try to matter of factly say, "I know you're trying to get me fired up by saying x, and I don't appreciate it." Or I'll ask "Why are you doing this?" If he asks why, I'll tell him how it makes me feel. "When you correct me in front of our friends it makes me feel hurt and sad because it makes me look stupid," for example.

Sometimes I don't think this tactful way works. Sometimes he'll immediately understand, apologize and tell me he'll try not to do that again. But sometimes he laughs it off and can't figure out why it would bother me.

Getting angry doesn't work. When he wants to push my buttons this is exactly what he's aiming for and he finds it hilarious. When I've probed him about this he thinks my angry is a "going along with the joke" anger. It's all a game to him. When I tell him how upset I am, he's almost always surprised.

If he continues doing something that I've already "called him on," I go past the angry point and go into Shut Down Mode. This gets his attention, because I'm not playing the Push My Buttons Game and he feels shut out. This works, but only as long as I later address with him what shut me down.

So I hope that clarifies it a little.

This morning, for the first time in weeks, I woke up antsy and ready to leap into the day instead of forcing myself out of bed and dragging my tired body to the bathroom. It got even better when the sun rose and shone brightly through our house as we got ready for work/school. My mood was so good, even when we realized right outside the school that Mabel forget her glasses (again) I didn't go into a five minute rant on her forgetfulness. I got about 10 seconds in and said to her, "I'm not bothering with this. It's not the end of the world."

This is a good thing, because I do have a habit of going overboard about things like this, and then she picks this habit up and does it, too. Do you other mothers find certain habits of your children so incredibly annoying, and then realize it's because it's a habit of yours that they've adopted? This also works in the other direction -- there will be something my mother does that bugs me, then realize it's because I do the same thing. It's definitely been an eye-opener for me and makes me more aware of correcting my bad habits -- mainly over-reacting, perfectionism, indecision and playing the martyr. Gee, I've got a lot of bad habits, don't I?

Food went well, despite some temptations. We ate out last night after another round of allergy shot/orthodontist appointments for Mabel. I got the grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies, and salad with low-cal dressing. The rice I packed up and saved for Mabel for supper tonight. My temptations? Besides the bread (which is wonderful), my daughter ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and only ate about a quarter of it (because she ate so much of the bread!). I easily resisted the bread, but oh boy, that grilled cheese sandwich looked and smelled so good! It's one of my favorite comfort foods, and seeing it sitting there on her plate virtually untouched was quite tough. But I resisted.

And when we got home I "rewarded" myself by digging into the strawberries I bought at the grocery store. They smelled so good in the store, and when I bit into the first one it was like biting into summer. I wound up eating two cups of berries with some fat free Cool Whip, and I was able to treat myself guilt-free with delicious food for 150 calories.

Then sister and brother-in-law stopped by to pick up their Girl Scout cookies, and Mabel and Hubby both felt compelled to open our boxes of Thin Mints and Somoas and started chowing down on them. My only saving grace was that they didn't touch my Tagalongs. I don't think I would have been able to resist that.

Today I've got a lunch date with my mom and her sisters. We're going to our usual restaurant, which has been closed the last two months as the new owners remodeled it. So I'm not sure what changes they've made to the menu. I know there's a new "lunch buffet" which I'm sure is pretty dodgy. I'm hoping to find at least one or two healthy choices, and I packed my lo-cal dressing in my bag just in case they don't carry any. You'd be surprised (or maybe not) how many restaurants don't carry any lower calorie or fat free dressings. A lot of restaurants' "healthy" options are salads full of cheese, fried chicken strips and even French fries(!!), or mayo-laden tuna or chicken salad. So I'm hoping I can find something I can eat without guilt or giving the waitress a list of special instructions.

Mentioning waitresses, my daughter calls male wait staff "mantresses." I've told her they're called "waiters," but she likes her word better. I don't know why that just popped up in my head, but it did.

While we're at it, a quick addendum to my muffin recipe I listed a few days ago. I miscalculated the calories on the flaxseed meal, so I figured out that one muffin (if you make 15), is actually closer to 250 calories. That's pretty high for a muffin, but they are super concentrated full of healthy things. And honestly, I've been eating one in the morning, and they are very filling and make a substantial breakfast.

In addition, we have affectionately started calling them the "Poop Muffins," because they will make you regular! So be forewarned!


Vickie said...

Sugar (1 cup) substitutes:

when replacing sugar with a liquid sweetener - reduce the liquid (milk, soymilk, water) content of the RECIPE by 1/4 cup - if the recipe contains no liquid other than the sweetener, increase the flour by 1/4 cup.

honey 1/2 cup
date sugar 1 cup
sucanat 1 cup
maple syrup 1/2 to 3/4 cup
rice syrup 1 3/4 cup
barley malt syrup 3/4 cup
raisen juice - soaked and blended 1/2 cup
mashed bananas 2 medium
molasses 1/2 cup
apple juice concentrate 1/2 cup

I also know from personal experience that you can OFTEN reduce the sugar the recipe calls for by 1/2 and have the recipe taste the same.

Jen said...

So proud of you for choosing the strawberries and fat free cool whip! Great job!