Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Motherhood

Motherhood is a challenge. I think any mom who just read those words laughed a bit. She probably reflected back to the time when her baby threw up on her, her toddler pulled their diaper off and left her with a nasty surprise after naptime, her child drew on the walls and all those other wonderful moments that make mothers around the world look at their children and ask the same question “Are you sure you’re mine?”

I have learned so much in the last 16 months with my daughter. One of those realizations has been that some mothers can be very insecure, myself included. I want to be the best mother I can possibly be to Snuggle Bug because I feel that she deserves the best I can give to her. That being said, I’m a far cry from the best mother on the planet for a few reasons.

One, I let her watch TV. Yes, I’ve read the studies; yes I know it’s not the best thing in the world for her and, no, she doesn’t sit in front of the TV all day. But sometimes 30 minutes watching Elmo’s World or Sesame Street makes her happy and gives me a chance to make lunch or dinner.
Two, she knows the word tattoo. I have a decent sized tattoo on my arm that she loved to look at when it was new. She kept crawling over, pointing to it and then looking up at me with this inquisitive face. So one day I pointed and said “tattoo” and she pointed and repeated, well to the best of her toddler ability that is.
Three, we don’t eat at the dinner table. It is not uncommon for me to pull her highchair into the living room and for us to eat dinner and watch Jeopardy together. It’s our favorite evening show. Growing up the only time I ever sat at the dinner table was during holidays. Once I was out of a highchair I vividly remember the Strawberry Shortcake TV tray that I sat at during dinner time with my family as we ate dinner in the living room and watched family shows together. Then again, this was back in the day when they actually had shows on in the evening that the entire family could watch together (Alf anyone?). The hubby’s family also wasn’t one to sit at the table and enjoy family meals. Despite the lack of family bonding around the dinner table we both have strong bonds with our families and did spend time with them. Neither of us turned out to be delinquents and are both functional members of society.

I have no doubt there are more but this is what comes to mind at the moment.

For a while I’ve felt bad about these things. Not because I personally think they’re wrong but because of the comparisons I’ve made to other mothers. I’ll never fully understand why mothers are always fighting each other trying to prove that they have the better parenting skill. It’s not like anyone is going to give us a medal if the house is immaculate 24/7 and your baby is walking, potty training and reading Tolstoy by 10 months old. That is something I’ve had to remind myself daily because it’s easy to fall into the mommy guilt trap.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday who has a child close to Snuggle Bug’s age. She asked what I was up to and I told her I was sitting with Snuggle Bug while she finished up dinner. Her response was interesting, “Oh well we eat dinner together at the dining table. No TV, no computer, no phone or anything.” Now I don’t think she was trying to sound high and mighty but never the less her response made me feel like she was trying to prove something. I’ve been blessed with a passive child who has decided that things like walking and teething are better left till later. This means, at 16 months, she only has 4 teeth and still isn’t walking. She cruises like a maniac and crawls and just a few months ago began crawling with her belly off the ground. So I’ve encountered many comments about this. “Why can’t she walk?” or “It’s sad she can’t play with other children her own age….” I had a friend send me a picture of her child and another child their age running at the park and the note said “it’s sad she can’t come run with them but maybe soon.” Yeah, it pissed me off because I want my child to have everything other children her age have.

I thought a lot last night about what makes a good mother. I’ve decided, to me, a good mother is a woman who loves her child(ren) unconditionally and deeply and does everything in her power to give them the best she can. I’m not a perfect person and I’m not a perfect mother but I love my Snuggle Bug with all my heart and will do anything in my power to make her life and happy and positive one. Oh motherhood, who knew it would be like this?

Oh Strawberry Shortcake...the memories....


"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."-- Agatha Christie

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Its not the heat....its the humidity!

Summer is upon us!



Oh my is it hot! We have an “Excessive Heat Warning” today because we’re about to break the 100 degree mark. Yesterday I met a friend for dinner (50 cent taco night, yay!) and it was so humid that just walking from the car to the restaurant door caused us to both break a slight sweat. You'd think after two years in Georgia i'd be a bit more climatized to it all. Honestly I shouldn't complain too much though. It is currently 102 degrees in my hometown and 112 degrees where the hubby is located. Poor guy, I honestly don’t know how he stands it. Thankfully we don’t have a terribly long time until he is back home with us.

I started my class yesterday for the Summer quarter at school, I’m taking Fine Arts appreciation. I know I know, sounds like a gimmie course and usually anything with the word “appreciation” is. But I need a fine arts credit and since I’m doing my work online this is the easiest way of going about it. I’m less than six classes away from finishing the coursework for my Associates degree and I’m so ready to move on to my Bachelors. It feels like I’ve been working on this forever. I started it before I got married then with moving a few times, having a baby, working and just life in general its been a stop and start process. But seeing light at the end of the tunnel makes me happy.

Well, I should be off now so I can get Snuggle Bugs dinner on the stove and get my Jambalaya simmering!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful daddies out there!!



I'm happy to say i've been blessed with a man who is the best father to Snuggle Bug I could ever imagine. They share a special bond that warms my heart whenever I see them together.





They have so much fun together!



and he takes very good care of his little pumpkin!

We love you babe! Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good Surprise!

Sometimes when you’re having a bad day its amazing how something can unexpectedly turn it all around.

I've been feeling a bit down the past couple of days, not sure why. We're coming to the end of the deployment but I’ve still got a few more months to go so I’m just going through a rough patch. Snuggle Bug has been in a growth spurt and teething which has made for some grumpy moments and since we're hitting the toddler stage she is into everything. It can be very tiring.

We went to the grocery store and she through a huge fit on the way out. Serves me right for going so late in the morning but I got caught up with stuff I was trying to do before we went. I went over budget which always bothers me because I'm picky about that sort of thing. I swear it seems like each trip gets more and more expensive for some reason. Snuggle Bug screamed on the drive home, despite my efforts to pass her toys and snacks, which made for a lovely 20 minutes. Once we got home she ate her lunch while I put away the groceries and then once she went down for a nap I decided to rest for a bit myself. The sad part is even after that nap I’m still tired.

But here is the good part….

After we got up from our naps, had snack time and played I got a knock at the door where a surprised was waiting for me.

These!


Aren't they pretty???



He has no idea how much these flowers made my day.

For Mother's Day he sent me a gift certificate for a massage. Here it is middle of June and I still haven't had a chance to go cash it in. Maybe soon.

I gave the delivery woman a strange look because I didn't think she was at the right house. I looked and thought "It's not my birthday" lol. But they were indeed for me! Now I've got to find a good place for them so whenever I look over at them I can have that reminder of how much someone truly loves me. I've really got myself a good man!

Meal Plan Monday


Meal Plan Monday


Yes, it is Monday folks.

Meal Plan for this week is……
Monday – Sausage, Lentils and Spinach skillet
Tuesday – Chicken Toast
Wednesday – Potato, Greens and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Thursday – Greek Turkey Burgers w/ sweet potato fries
Friday – Egg Rolls w/ Asian noodles
Saturday - Chicken Summer Rolls w/ rice


Okay so the quesadillas may not sound tasty to many people, they didn’t to me either, but the reviews on epicurious.com were pretty good so I figured why not?

I figured I would try some new recipes this week just to make things interesting. I hate getting stuck into a food rut, which can be so easy to do.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Its meal plan Monday……Wait! No its not.

Yes, I’m a bit behind. My entire weeks schedule has been a bit messed up and I just got to the grocery store today.

This week’s meal plan is:
Monday – Mushroom burger
Tuesday – flounder w/ veggies
Wednesday – Stew
Thursday – black bean burrito
Friday – pasta salad
Saturday – Balsamic chicken w/ baked potato
Sunday – Summer rolls

Yes, there are some repeats on there but since its only Snuggle Bug and I, we eat what sounds good.

I also managed to make it by Hobby Lobby while I was out and pick up some stuff for a few new toy projects for Snuggle Bug. They were also have a sale on wall d├ęcor so I had to take advantage!


I love love love vinyl wall quotes!! I think they add so much personality to a home! They had them half off and after eyeballing them for a month I finally broke down and bought one.


I found this "Kitchen" sign on sale and thought it would be perfect for above my stove. I also got one that said "Laundry" for where else but the laundry room!

I could spend so much time and money in that store but luckily I had groceries in the car so I had to make the trip in quick. Well, that was today's activity. Nothing special but gets us out of the house which is always a good thing!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feel the burn, literally.

Last night was probably the first time during this entire deployment that I finally felt the full strain of life without my husband. When Snuggle Bug goes to bed in the evenings that is my time to get things done and last night I had a list of things I needed to do. Since no grocery store in our area sells Gerber Zwieback toast any longer I found a recipe and decided to make some. I mixed everything, kneaded and in between dough risings I was working on hemming a few pairs of pants for a friend of mine and making my grocery list for the next day. I like to keep busy, what can I say?

I got the dough ready to put in the oven, turned the oven on and then lost track of what I was doing. When I opened the oven and noticed a spot on the bottom of the oven, the clean freak I am got the better of me. I turned off the oven, took my trusty sponge and started scrubbing at it and then, like an idiot, I laid my hand on the heating element because for some reason I thought it wasn’t hot because the oven didn’t feel warm. I’m just going to blame it on the fact that it was past midnight or the fact that I was working on a few different projects. Either way, it was stupid and I walked away with a nasty burn. After I took my hand from the cold water to assess the situation the thought dawned on me, “What if I need to go the hospital? Who will sit with Snuggle Bug? How do I wake her up to make her sit with me in the ER at 1am?” I felt overwhelmed. I looked around at a messy kitchen that needed to be cleaned, pants that were half finished and a grocery list with two items on it and realized that I was in over my head. I sat on the floor of my kitchen with my hand wrapped in a cool towel and I cried. It wasn’t the pain of the burn that had me crying but the overwhelming realization that in this moment there was no one there to take care of anything and there was no one there to take care of me.

After a few minutes I got up from my kitchen floor, swearing my hand was on fire, muttered a few dirty words and brushed myself off. I put some antibiotic ointment on my blistered hand and wrapped it in gauze and admired that I now had a “mummy hand.” Then I began an attempt to straighten up the kitchen with one hand that didn’t work out very well. I put away my half finished grocery list deciding that my usual perfectly planned Monday schedule would have to be postponed until Tuesday. Then I crawled into bed and went to sleep. Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

I would like to think that I can generally handle things well on my own. I’ve devised systems to make life easier on us both. But last night showed me that as together as I thought I was you can’t devise plans to stop life from happening.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mmmm, Apple Pie!



Grab yourself a slice of pie and come on in and sit and while. Isn’t pie such a welcoming food? Especially warm apple pie! Whenever I eat pie I always think of my nana who taught me how to make a pie from scratch. I remember her showing me how to mix and roll out the pie crust, make the filling and lay out the lattice (something to this day I can’t get to look as picture perfect as hers!); then we’d pop it in the oven and wait while her entire house began to smell like apple pie. It’s almost magical in its own way.


Last night I was cleaning out the fridge just trying to get it all organized since I had gone to the bulk warehouse to stock up on some stuff. As I was pulling out my bin full of fruits and veggies I found a bag of apples that I could tell would be headin’ south (going bad for those who don’t use that term, hehehe). I’m generally the queen of frugal living so I hate throwing out any food, much less large quantities of it. What was the first thing that popped into my head to make? Well, a yummy all American apple pie of course!

Old Fashioned Apple Pie

1 9 inch pie crust
½ cup unsalted butter
3tbs all-purpose flour
1/8 cup water
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon
Tablespoon vanilla
4 or 5 red delicious apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Put the crust in your pie pan. Fill with apples, mounded. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the apples. Cover with a lattice work or top crust and brush the crust with egg whites. I also like to add a sprinkling of white sugar and cinnamon.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft and pie looks yummy!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Creativity Is My Wallet's Friend

I was feeling creative today for some reason and was looking online for some fun new toys for Snuggle Bug. Something different, creative, and not horribly expensive.....anyone with children is laughing at me right now because they know that children's toys are almost ALWAYS expensive.

But with the help of a sock, pillow filling, thread and creativity Snuggle Bug got a new doll!

Cute, eh? Snuggle Bug spotted it half finished and wanted even then so I hope she likes it now that its been decorated.

If anyone is interested, i'll be posting the how to soon when my camera decides to the play nice. The memory card isn't cooperating for some reason and that is where the pictures of the process are. It's about right.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Guest Blogger: Snuggle Bug

Shhhhhhhh, I'm working on a present for Daddy!!

Whatever could it be??

I'm so excited for him to see!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A morning visitor

This morning the dogs were going nuts for no apparent reason. They were standing by the door begging to get out which usually means there is something out back. There was!


This little guy was just chilling out back.



I’m so glad I didn’t let the dogs out or he would have been high tailing his little cotton tail as fast as he could.



I took Snuggle Bug to the window and as soon as she spotted it she got so excited and started pointing to it. She loves bunnies.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meal Plan Monday



Meal Plan Monday


Yes, it’s that time again! It’s Meal Plan Monday! I've been doing Meal Plan Monday on my own and then I recently found orgjunkie.com and i'm loving that site! This week’s menu is:

Monday – Meatless Meatball Subs
Tuesday – Black Bean Burritos w/ Mexican rice
Wednesday – Linguine Pescatore
Thursday – Kale, Sausage and Lentils
Friday – Spaghetti
Saturday – Meatless Sloppy Joes w/ sweet potato fries
Sunday – Portobello Mushroom burger w/ salad

I’m trying out some new recipes this week that I know the hubby would NEVER try….aka. ANYTHING meatless. But I will say that the linguine pescatore is one of his favorites. I had originally planned to use a vegetarian chorizo sausage for the lentils dish but of course they don’t sell it our small town grocery store, so turkey sausage had to do. Snuggle Bug likes lentils so I’ve got to figure out something to put on the side with the lentils for her. Anyway, that’s all for now, have a great day!