Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why does everything smell like pooh?

I leave the house once in a blue moon without at least 1 child in tow and all I smell is pooh. Not my own clean hair, not my perfume, not even formula, but pooh! Wiping other people's butts all day, everyday has caused this foul odor to be burned into my nose, prohibiting all other 'nice smells' to enter.

Ironically, the child whose butt I reluctantly wipe after 2 1/2 years told ME that my hair smelled bad when I was putting him down for a nap.... Funny, YOU are the reason why I get to shower once every 2 days and maybe wash my hair once a week!!! Not to mention, that 'smell' is probably bacon grease from the delicious dinner I made you last night. Alas, he could care less about any of these details.

There are so many seasoned moms out there who say "Cherish these moments! They are only little for such a short time! It goes by so fast!" I plan to cherish the sweet moments, BUT there are moments that I WON'T miss about toddlers/infants.... wiping butts is one of them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I suck at parenting

I've never been fired from a job, but I'm pretty sure that if my kids could fire me, they would.

On more than a few occasions I have stated that I "suck" at this stay-at-home-mom-thing, or even just the mom-thing. I don't say it so that other people will say "No! You're a great mom!", I really believe that I am sucking at this gig! I lose my temper way too often, my kids watch too much T.V., I resent them when I don't have time for myself, I even curse them when I have to live on only a few hours of sleep. I suppose that most moms feel this way at some point in their parenting lives or their entire parenting lives. Which begs the question: What makes a successful mom?

If I looked at this gig as a regular job, how would you measure success? Well, it seems that most often times we measure ourselves by how our children act or how they turn-out. For instance, I will be seen as a good mom for having a well-behaved child at play group, despite the fact that I fed him McDonalds for lunch? Will I be seen as a crappy mom if my child throws a tantrum at playgroup but I fed him a homemade healthy meal for lunch?

Unfortnately moms end up using other people's judgement as their guidelines for success. In motherhood, unlike regular jobs, there are no raises, no clients singing your praises, no bosses patting you on the back. Instead we need to be able to either look into our child's eyes and see your hard work reflected back OR you use the verbal feedback you hear from friends and family. Obviously, the former is much harder to do than the later. So, what do I judge myself based upon? Some weird combination of both.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My boys

Many of you are on facebook and so you see the daily mobile uploads of my kids in all their splendor. However, some of you are not and I don't want you to miss out on all the super-cuteness! Also, the pictures are merely a window into their personalities, so I like to use the blog to really showcase what they're up to!

Elijah - on Friday, will be 13 weeks old (but having his 3-month birthday). He loves having his diaper changed, loves bath-time, loves his daddy's voice and loves his big brother. He is the smiley-est baby since Jonah-mo and coos, sings, and nearly giggles. His hair has yet to fall-out, which means it might not! He has blue eyes, like his daddy but (in my opinion) looks like his Uncle Jacob. He is a big boy, filling out 3-6 month clothes, and will soon be transitioning to 6-9 months! I smother him in kisses everyday, and even when he had stinky-neck, he is super-sweet.

Jonah - 2 years, 8 months old on Friday. He is starting to adopt all my quips and phrases - "Need a little help here?", "My hands are full!", "Maybe later", and various other phrases you don't expect him to say. He also cracks himself up, like his father. He awoke from his nap the other day and called for daddy. When I arrived at his bedroom door, he was sitting up in bed, all rosy-cheeked with messy hair and laughed out loud saying "I almost thought you were daddy!" Every night Jason gives him his bath and before he gets in bed, he comes downstairs (sometimes naked!) and climbs onto my lap (where Elijah is trying to fall asleep) and gives me a big hug and drooly kiss. It's the best part of my day, hands-down.

Jason - I won't get all mushy for public consumption.....I will say this: marriage is hard work, no doubt, but it is worth every minute. I love him more everyday, especially seeing him with our boys and being an amazing father, or seeing Jonah mimic him when he puts his eggs on his toast or puts his little pea coat on just like daddy. We are a great team.

I don't know how I got to this place in my life. 7 years ago I could not have pictured this husband, this home, these boys. I look back over the decisions I've made that brought us here, and it just seems surreal. I feel so blessed, so fortunate. I know I deserve it, but I am nonetheless grateful.

Happy Elijah during tonight's bath time
Jonah after licking the batter off of the spatula while making homemade brownies with mama on Monday morning
Big brother covering up little brother on the couch
My three handsome boys!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back to SAHM mode


Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a "planner". In other words, I am organized with my life, or try to be. Now that I have children, this is exponentially more necessary and less necessary at the same time. Let me explain:

Children = chaos. You never know how and when things are going to roll - when they will sleep, when they'll get sick, when they'll pee, poop or puke, when they'll have a really good day or a really bad day. The more you try to control this, the more the situation will control you. Therefore, I try my best to control most other things in my life and PLAN for the chaos. Making a menu for weekly meals, with some flexibility built-in, having groceries delivered (thank you Peapod), prepping food when you have the time, even days in advance rather than waiting until the day of..... come to think of it, food/cooking is the one thing I don't procrastinate about. Hmmmm, I think I've stumbled onto something....

I digress. I have shared my meal-planning ideas with many people, mostly because it reduces the amount of stress I feel about feeding my family and I think most women could benefit from ti. Occasionally I think I'll share my weekly menu with links, where applicable, to recipes for others to try.

I plan from Tuesday to Monday - don't ask me why, I just do.

Tuesday: Chicken Cesar Pitas, Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Potatoes & Onions
Wednesday: Fish Tacos, Brown Rice, Roasted Corn & Red Pepper Salad
Thursday: Fake Fried Chicken, Seasoned Fries, Baked Beans
Friday: Sweet Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes
Saturday:Date Night!
Sunday: Chicken & Dumplings
Monday: Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

(if there is a recipe that sounds good, but doesn't have a link, let me know and I will type it up and post it for you!)

Here I go, getting all political on ya...

Yes, I am going to blog about Jonah's potty training and my weekly meal planning, but that doesn't mean I don't want to blog about some serious issues too.

White women often don't know what it means to be racist. They assume because they don't HATE blacks or other people of color, they aren't racist, but it is so much more than that. If you've never been exposed to or studied black culture, been friends with black women or been called out for your racist comments, you may not realize just how racist you are. This video (a spoof of another video called "Shit Black Girls Say) is hilarious but has a serious undercurrent.

You may ask why I care to post this video - the truth is that feminism and civil rights are closely tied and as a feminist I also spent a lot of time learning about women of color and how their oppression differed from mine and how privileged I really was as a white woman.

Watch this and then take a minute to think about what side of this conversation you are on, and if you've been the one to say this sh--. I'm guilty of saying things are "ghetto" (namely, my phone), but I'll think twice before saying it again...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Unbeatable



People often ask me how I find time to cook and bake. I think the same thing about people who read, work-out, and go back to school. Each one of us finds the time we need, when we need it by prioritizing. We decide what is most important to us and we carve out that time. I am well-known as a procrastinator. Some procrastinators just sit on their butts, avoiding tasks. I, on the other hand, am productive in OTHER ways to avoid a certain task. I cook and bake because my family needs to eat, because I enjoy it, because I can usually do it while simultaneously watching my kids, and because the end result can be shared, joyfully, with friends and family. I find time to cook because it is downright fun for me, not a chore like it is for some people.

However, I can't cook my way out of doing other things. I can't use it as an excuse to not accomplish other tasks. For instance, writing my thesis. I have been avoiding this task for a few years!! I have decided to complete my thesis this year. No more excuses. No more procrastinating.

Each year Jason and I set forth goals - NOT resolutions - for the upcoming year. My thesis is #1 on my list. Somewhere, further down on my list, is creating my own cookbook. I want to compile all the recipes that Jason and I love - that we eat all the time. I also want to discover "unbeatable" recipes. The perfect pasta sauce, the perfect chocolate cake, the perfect wheat bread. I am well on my way, especially with the help of my new friends/neighbors, the Taylors as guinea pigs.

Here is the 1st of many unbeatable recipes.

Rebecca's Unbeatable Italian Meatballs

1# ground sirloin (not too lean, 90/10 is good)
1/4 cup dried unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup rolled oats - finely ground
1 egg
1/4 cup onion - shredded with cheese shredder, excessive juices drained out
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Shape into 1 1/2" balls, makes about 24. Place on broiler pan (for easy clean-up, line inside of broiler pan with aluminum foil). Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

To pair with spaghetti: Put water on to boil when meatballs go in the oven. When water boils, season heavily (I mean like a Tbsp. of salt) and cook pasta according to directions. Warm your favorite jar pasta sauce - preferably a traditional marinara or tomato/cheese sauce. Serve with Caesar salad.

To make meatballs subs: Remove meatballs from oven and kick temperature up to 450. Place hoagie rolls open-face on a parchment lined baking sheet. Butter one side of roll, place 4-5 meatballs on other side, spoon 1/4 cup warm sauce over meatballs, then top with 2 slices of provolone. Bake for 4-6 minutes, or until cheese melts and buttered side gets golden brown. Serve with roasted potatoes and onions.

To make BOTH meals: If cooking for two people, there is enough two dinners. If you are cooking for 4 - just double recipe for meatballs. If you serve sauce sparingly with spaghetti, one 28 oz. jar will suffice for both meals. You'll have two nights of dinners knocked out!

next time I'll take photos!!