Is Anybody Home?

May has been eerily quiet around this here blog.

Not so around our house.  It’s interesting that chaos in our house has an inverse relationship with the number of blog posts I write.  I guess because I write all my posts after bedtime, so you get the very tired me.  Lately, that very-tired-me has been even too tired to entertain/inform/annoy/agitate you.  For that I apologize.  Especially the agitating, as I know many of you look forward to that.

The first reason for this absence is that 3 of my friends decided to have babies within less than a week of each other.  For most people that might not be a big deal.  But I am a birth maniac.  When my friends or family reach due-date (or in some cases, post-date) status, I go into overdrive.  I stalk them by checking in with their Facebook pages, my email and their blogs if they have them.  I pray for them, visualize for them, wonder about everything under the sun.  Basically I just waste a lot of emotional energy worrying about things I have no control over.  What’s that?  It’s not all about me?  Oh.  Well, anyway.  Congratulations to Michelle, Tania, and Cari on the arrival of their little bundles.  P.S.  Next time please space your babies so I can get more sleep.  Thanks.

The other big time-and-energy consumer has been a major diet overhaul for us.  People who know me in real life know that I am very interested in (read: borderline obsessed) with nutrition.  However, our daily diet since moving here has been less than exemplary and it was time for a major shift. And hooooo boy, did we make a major shift.

Since April 30, our family has been strictly no-dairy, and almost exclusively no-grain.  Some people may recognize this as similar to the Paleo diet.  The reasons behind this temporary move are myriad.  The main one is our concern that Gabe may have food sensitivities.  We decided to make it a whole family change to support him.  After this period of cleansing, we will try reintroducing certain foods and see if anything affects him negatively.

So, if your first thought is “I bet that diet went go over like a lead balloon with the kids,” well, you would be partly right.  The kids are understandably bummed about missing out on their favorite snacks and junk foods.  We’ve had our share of meltdowns and less-then-happy moments.  But overall I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how they are handling it, too.  We downloaded a couple kids books to help the understand the parameters of the diet, and we talk about what food we can have as much as possible.  I think the most helpful thing we’ve done is labeled it the Dinosaur Diet, a la the Paleo Parents.  (The funny thing is we’ve been using this dinosaur technique for months with Gabe.  Whenever he refused to eat a certain food, we would ask to look in his mouth and then inform him that his Tyrannosaurus (or Stegosaurus) was roaring for more.  I don’t want to jinx it but it works almost every time.)

Back to this crazy, nut-job, only-a-mom-with-too-much-time-on-her-hands-would-choose-this diet.
 Because I am, again, tired, and also I find lists fun, I’ve composed a pros and cons list.

Pros:
*I’ve begun to frequent more of the local markets to find fresher meat, eggs, and produce.  This leads to more interactions with Korean nationals, which is almost always a good thing.  Practicing my Korean too!
*We are eating much, much better.  More veggies, more fruit, more local and fresh foods in general.
*No more cereal, granola bars and box crackers for us.  I consider this a huge step.
*My kids, who have always been good at eating their vegetables, are eating some incredibly diverse foods. Today for lunch they wolfed down some curry rice, spinach and chicken. (Sprouted brown rice is one of the few grains we kept in, and we only have it sparingly).  Hello?  This is new level of open-mindedness. And afterward Gianna said, “Thanks for a delicious lunch, Mom!”  Coulda knocked me over with a feather.
*The food really is very good.  Everything we’ve had is flavorful and not at all bland.

Cons:
*None of this food comes prepared, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  It may be getting a little better, but the first few days I felt like I spent my whole day preparing food, eating it, and then preparing more.  This is really hard when you have lots of littles around.
*Sad to say, fresh food is much more expensive than boxes, cans, and frozen items.  Granted, I am a newbie at this, and I live in a foreign country, to boot, so I imagine there are ways to cut costs that I haven’t figured out yet, but still.  A big con, even if it is an unfortunate statement about our society.
*The first few days I was ALWAYS hungry.  Like nothing really filled me up and it made me homicidal, uh, er, let’s just say it made me pretty cranky.  It seems to have subsided a bit, but there is no denying that bread and pasta give you that cozily-full feeling that just veggies, protein, and fats can’t really accomplish on their own.
* I don’t care how the old saying goes.  It’s really really hard to take candy from a baby. I’ve had to confiscate numerous candies given by friendly local shopkeepers and the look in the kids’ eyes is almost enough to make me give in.  Almost.

I think I could go on forever, but I’m going to stop here.  My tummy is rumbling and I need to fix a bedtime snack.  From scratch.

P.S. We have not one but TWO birthdays coming up this week.  Kevin and Ezekiel are back-to-back.  Don’t worry I’ve already gotten their Paleo desserts planned.  Kevin’s is here.  Zeke’s is here.  Yeah, I know.  I prefer Kevin’s too.  But don’t tell Zeke.