A Novella About Food and Superman

Just fair warning that this post is going to be more about food and life than running…..and sorry it’s been 6 days since my last post.  I feel pretty guilty about that actually, since I enjoy blogging much more than I ever thought I would.
R’s swim lesson last Wednesday was funny.  She cheats!  She’s in a small group of older kids in the advanced swimming, and every time she’s supposed to do the front stroke for the length of the pool, she flips onto her back as soon as she passes her instructor.  I’m trying to get her attention and tell her to turn back onto her stomach and swim like she’s supposed to, other parents are giggling, and meanwhile, her instructor is unaware (until I start telling her that R’s cheating!).
I have to mention Survivor on Wednesday.  D and I haven’t really ever watched this show.  We tried one season a really long time ago, but never finished it.  We decided (really I decided) to enter a pool at work, which means we actually have to watch it this year.  The rules are $10 buy in, and whoever gets voted out first gets their money back.  Of course, I get the crazy goathearder Wendy….and who is the first to go??  Crazy goathearder Wendy.  Now I have to vote for Chase, who D has in the pool.  Wish him luck!
Thursday I had late meetings up in Newport News, so I stopped at Fresh Market to pick up dinner fixings.  I made pork chops in a mushroom gravy, rice, and stir-fried mushrooms for D and the kids.  I had a really late lunch (almost 3pm), so I had a bowl of soup.
Thursday also marked the return of the neti pot in my house.  R has really bad allergic rhinitis.  For several years (and she’s only 7), she’d get a sinus infection every 6 weeks or so between September and May.  They’d often lead to ear infections, and the poor baby was miserable.  Last year after much research, I decided to start using a neti pot on her (and got one for myself as well since my sinuses aren’t exactly happy in the fall/winter either).  It worked wonders!  She didn’t get a single sinus or ear infection last winter.  I told her pediatrician I was using it, and she was very happy and recommends them.  Anyway, we did this several times per week, and R would get very excited when the gross stuff came out of her nose.  We made a big deal about washing away the nasty germs.  Anyway, she was starting to get snuffly early last week, so I told her it was time to start washing her nose again.  She starts jumping up and down and getting all excited about how much she misses doing that.  To back up a bit, she drew a big picture last winter that is still hanging on the door between the kitchen and the garage.  It’s done on those really big sticky notes we use in meetings – so it’s about a third of the size of a standard door.  Anyway, she drew this picture into quadrants with the activities she likes to do with each one of us.  With dad, she’s riding on her shoulders.  With A (her older sister), they’re swimming together.  With M (the older brother), she’s playing video games.  With me??  She’s bent over with me flushing water up her nose and nasty boogers dripping into the sink.  I have a strange child.
Friday was a light meeting day, and I got quite a bit done.  I took off a little early so I could pack for my trip on Saturday.  I made crock pot brats in beer for dinner.  I made a batch of marinated and baked tofu squares to take on my plane with me so I’d have something to eat.  Not a typical plane snack, but hey.  It worked for me, and no one from TSA stopped me.
By Friday evening, D was feeling particularly miserable, and it only got worse on Saturday.  Originally, he was supposed to take me to the airport, but I decided it probably best if I just drove myself, so I left around 1045 so I could stop at the bank and head to the airport. 
The plane took off about 40 minutes late.  My boss and one of the physicians I work with were on it too.  My boss and I connected in Detroit and headed to Madison.  The physician connected in Detroit and headed to Green Bay for the Packer game.  I learned that my CEO and CIO also went to the game.  I must also mention that the woman sitting behind me on the flight from Detroit likely had every communicable respiratory disease in creation.  I ordered orange juice in case the extra vitamin C could stave off the inevitable illness I figured was coming.
I picked up my rental car and drove into Brookfield to meet my parents for dinner.  My Dad picked out Cafe Manna, which is a vegetarian restaurant that was recently written about in the paper.  It was fabulous, and pictures of all our food are below.  I didn’t get shots of the appetizer – which was a baked potato skin thing with a cilantro sauce.  It was paired with a very yummy organic Malbec, and I was in heaven.  There was also a cashew/coconut hummus and crackers on the table.  Dad and I both enjoyed it a lot.  Not sure Mom tried it.  I have to give my mom a lot of credit for actually eating there.  It’s not like she had much of a choice probably, but she’s a pretty picky eater, and was a very good sport.  She loved the appetizer…not her dinner so much.  My dad liked both his and my mom’s.  We all liked dessert.
I spent Saturday night at my parents and was up at 6am to get dressed and head up to my sister’s house.  We spent a little time there, and then drove into Fond Du Lac to see our grandma.  I also got to see my Godmother for the first time in almost 7 years, so that was nice.  After our visit, we went back to my sister’s house.  I stayed until half time, and then had to head back to Madison to check into the hotel and conference.  It was a whirlwind 24 hr trip, and it made me wish I had more time to see my family. 
I will mention that by early Saturday morning I couldn’t breath through my nose and my throat hurt.  Not sure if it was infecto-lady from the plane or being re-introduced to Wisconsin fall and my allergies protesting violently.  My brother in law gave me some Zyrtec – which helped a LOT – and I picked up some Emergen-C Immune Defense packets and a homeopathic sinus spray that worked wonders.  By Monday late morning, I was feeling fine.  That brand of homeopathic remedies has done amazing things in my family.  We’ve used the Pink Eye drops a couple of times – once in Florida on vacation when M got pink eye.  The stuff works miracles, and I highly recommend the entire product line!
The conference this week has been going well.  I gave a big presentation yesterday, and that also went very well, so I was happy.  There was a really large crowd (about 10 times more than I was anticipating).  The software conference is held by Epic Systems, and they really do a good job and have fun with it.  They do a theme every year, and this year is musicals.  Lots of skits and costumes.  They also have activities going on in additional to the conference sessions…things like horse drawn carriage rides, tug of war, bikes and helmets to go exploring, hiking trails and maps, outside picnics, bocce ball and croquet games constantly going on….it’s a lot of fun and very well done.  I imagine Epic would be an incredible company to work for.  They have a very large and eco-friendly campus, almost everything is organic and recyclable, and they provide a very liberal and groovy work environment.  They even have this HUGE tree house where staff can hold meetings, etc.  It’s pretty cool.
Dining has been fun this week.  I’ve had food from Nepal, Afghanistan, and India. I’ve been to a strictly vegetarian restaurant, and got to shop at Whole Foods.  As far as I know, the only one of these things I have back home is an Indian place!  I’ll have to check that out to be sure though.  The Nepali food was fabulous.  The Afghan food was pretty good.  Indian is always good. 
D has had to deal with a mountain of drama this week back at the home front, and he’s proven to me again what an incredible person he is.  He’s mom and dad, chauffeur, chef, and housekeeper (though he’d be fired if he really were a housekeeper) all in one.  He’s handled everything thrown at him and then some.  So thanks baby.  For being you!  My Superman!!!
Speaking of D.  He set it up so we could video chat while I’m away.  While it’s pretty cool, I think it just upsets R more when she can see me, but I’m not there.  She usually ends up crying and saying how much she misses me.  She doesn’t do that when we just talk on the phone.
After the conference today, I got back to my room and laced up my shoes.  I didn’t have my Garmin, so I’m not sure how far I went.  I was gone an hour, so I’m guessing 4-5 miles.  It worked out well – I walked to the Afghan restaurant, ordered my food to be ready an hour later, ran, picked it up, and walked back to my hotel.   
So this has been my week.  I’ve been gone long enough, and I can’t wait to head home tomorrow evening.  Friday is going to be a long day, but that’s okay too.  Saturday is R’s birthday party, so that should be an adventure.  I’m nervous because we invited 25 kids, and only about 5 or so have RSVP’d.  I’m hoping a lot more just show up!  D found an allergy-free cake lady, so I don’t have to make the cake for her party.  Yeah!  Sunday I go on nights for a week of go-live fun at one of our hospitals.
Hopefully between all this I’ll have time to run and blog…
  Mom’s BBQ Tempeh Burger and raw food slaw and roasted corn on the cob.  She loved the slaw and corn…not so much the burger. 
  Called the Peace Bowl.  Quinoa, brown rice, and veggies in a coconut curry sauce.  It was awesome.  Doesn’t look appetizing….but it tasted great.
  A blurry picture of Dad’s Penne Puttanesca.  An Italian dish with eggplant.  He said it was awesome. 
  The vegan chocolate berry tart.  Dad and I split half of it.  Yummy.
 Mom’s flour less chocolate cake.  She said it was good, but rich.  It wasn’t vegan, so I didn’t try it.

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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