Monthly Archives: April 2012

What Am I Doing?

Ever have those days? You know, those days like… like Mondays? Like today?

The bulk of my day went smoothly (normal – as normal as normal can be with a toddler & a preschooler). Morning was normal, mid-day was normal, afternoon was normal. Evening, however, kind of made me stop and ask myself ‘What am I doing?’

It wasn’t bad, the things that made me think that. It was just the following: 1 – Dinner is at 5:00pm. It’s in the oven, cooking. I’m usually a stickler about no snacks after 4:30pm or the boys just won’t eat dinner. It’s 4:45pm and I’m doling out graham crackers like there’s no tomorrow! 2 – I put the boys to bed. Brayden decided he was not going to go right down, but I am adament about not rocking him to sleep (because I know he’s not sick, teething, or anything else that would require extra comfort for him to go to sleep – he just wants Mommy, which I can’t blame him for, but still…). I give him 20 min. He’s not settling down (even though I know he eventually would, but I’m not the cry-it-out kind of Mom). I go in there and bend over the crib for 10 minutes rubbing his back. I could’ve just picked him up, sat down in the rocking chair so we’d both be comfortable, but no… I’m not picking him up – he needs to learn (yeah, I know, he’s only 22 months). 3 – Both boys finally asleep. I open a bottle of wine and before I can pour myself a glass I’m using the little suck-the-air-out recork thingamabob. Duh!

So, I know those 3 tiny little things are really just that – tiny. But needless to say, they made me stop and ask for a few seconds this evening: “What am I doing?”

Well, here’s what I’m doing: I’m being a good Mom, who listens to her gut every now and then, feeding her kids when they’re hungry, helping them fall asleep, and getting really good at opening bottles of wine! Cheers to all of you!

p.s. Have you had a moment lately when you had to stop and ask yourself: “What am I doing?” Would love to hear your stories… 🙂

What A Great Day!

Today truly was a wonderful, great day! I will admit I was rushed when I got up this morning, and I even opted to savor a few extra minutes in bed in lieu of taking a shower (even though I had planned on washing my hair… I just could not get my eyes to stay open!).

It was 8:20am (I know, might seem late to some people, and it probably is, but I like to sleep – especially when I don’t do it that well. I’m still in practice, you know.) when I finally coaxed my brain to release my body from under the cozy, cozy covers. Zack had to be at school by 9:15am, which meant leaving the house no later than 9:05 (luckily we are only 8 minutes away from school), but both boys were still in their jammies. In fact, so was I! Will had at least gotten Zack’s clothes laid out for him, but I had to switch the pants because if he plays outside at school (which I knew they would today because it was just gorgeous!) he needs to wear jeans or he’ll rip holes in the knees of his sweats. He definitely prefers the sweat pants (and hey, I don’t blame him), but we are slowly getting used to wearing jeans with real big boy snaps and zippers.

So, in a determined, stern, not quite going crazy whirlwind I sunscreened the top half of Zack; had him finish getting himself dressed; threw on some old yoga capris, a t-shirt, sweatshirt and flip-flops to get myself dressed; gulped down a half cup of juice; stuffed the mini, canvas bag-I-take-everywhere with Brayden’s snacks, milk, water, diaper, wipes & my cell phone; hauled everything downstairs to start the car; ran back upstairs to get Brayden dressed; led the boys in cleaning up their toys; got jackets, socks and shoes on; led the crew downstairs, hopped into the car, buckled everyone in, and we were off to drop Zack off at school. Amazingly enough, we were all happy and somewhat fed, hydrated, and dressed! Phew!

We made it to school on time, and then Brayden and I were even early to our Mommy group playdate. As the first ones there, Brayden got the pick of the “good” toys (they’re all good, but when you get to choose first, they all seem that much better), and we took a stroll up the street (our friend lives on a wonderful cul-de-sac) while the little kids scooted along on push toys (and my back and legs got a bit of a workout). Once more Mommies and kids started to show up, we headed into her backyard (a-MAY-zing!) to play and snack in the sun. It was indeed a gorgeous day!

After playdate, we headed home, I got a little bit of lunch into Brayden, put him down for a nap (he’s been resisting going down for naps & bed lately – another post, another day…), opened up the windows to get some fresh air into the house, and sat down with another cup of coffee to relax for a minute before getting some work done. Just before 3:00pm, the house got really dark and I could see the clouds rolling in, the wind blowing the pine trees, and the smell of coming rain. I love the smell of rain – it is one of the best smells in the whole world! Aaaahhhhh….  And, as the weather man predicted, it rained.

Back from picking up Zack from school, and my car having gotten a slight rinse from the rain, it’s now 3:30pm and we are waiting for our friends to come over for a quick afternoon playdate. They come, we play (yes, all of us – we are not at the point yet, or shall I say, the kids are not at the point yet where we can completely leave them alone – and they don’t leave us alone, which I am fine with because I love playing trains and trucks and tractors), we all eat a little dinner, they go home. Brayden, Zack and I then make a quick birthday card for some other friends, and head over to their house for a short visit and to wish them happy birthday. We get a tour of their new (rental) house, the boys play, I get them in their jammies, we drive the 2 min back home, and it’s milk, teeth and bed. Brayden fusses for a short bit, but he is now sound asleep in his little, yellow alphabet jammies. Heaven.

Yes, it was a great day! I would gladly repeat this Monday anyday.

Hard at Work, Hard at Play

Well, it’s been another week since I’ve posted, but for good reason this time! I’ve been working hard (and having a wonderful time doing it because I am working on my passion which makes it FUN!) on getting ready to launch my Love and Mommy Hugs business – Supporting Women With or at risk of Postpartum Depression.

I just wanted to share what I created last week… I would love feedback (in whatever form it comes).

So, as I’ve been busily (and anxiously – in a good way) brainstorming my business, a new website, my offerings, how I can help, and why people would ever want to work with me (I mean, really, I’m not a Doctor, a Nurse, a Doula, a Midwife – you get the picture – I’m just a Stay-at-home Mom who happened to have experienced PPD pretty bad, so what do I know?!), my boys have continued to amaze me with their wonderful personalities every day. Brayden is getting to be so kind and saying “thank you” all the time, without prompting (pretty cool for not even 22 months yet!), and Zackery is just looking so grown up. I stare at his face and he looks older.

They both make me smile, and even now as I type this, I am smiling. I think of them, and I smile. I’ll admit, not all the time… ha ha – honesty folks… but overall they are such happy, polite, mellow, funny, smart, handsome (oh SO handsome) little boys. Big Snugglebug and Little Snugglebug – oh yes, my handsome little angel boys that I could snuggle up and hold all day long… I am blessed.

Proud Mommy Moment

Brayden went potty in the potty today!

I was totally not expecting him to actually go, but he watched big brother Zack go, and then what-do-you-know, the little guy went himself! Wow, I am PROUD!

He’s been asking to go to the potty a few times lately, but nothing happens, and I don’t expect it to – he’s only 21 months and we haven’t even started potty training yet. But today, after dinner, we were getting ready for bed and I asked him if he wanted to go pee in the big potty, he said yes and walked over to the bathroom. I stripped him down, held his hands while he stood on the step stool and aimed him at the toilet. That alone was a happy sight, and I would have been plenty pleased just leaving it at that. But no, he had to impress me even more when he actually went pee in the toilet – standing up like a big boy. OMG! Wow, I am just so proud, have I mentioned that?

Wow, my little guy went pee in the potty today…

Focus, Focus, Focus!

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. Since I can’t focus (and I believe it’s because I’m filling my time doing things that I really don’t want to be doing… like work that is paying some bills – a necessary evil… instead of doing the things I’m passionate about), I figured I might as well bang out a little writing to feed my soul for the day – and check it off the list!

It’s funny (well, not really if you think about it), when I have a TON to do I usually get really focused and concentrate to get things done. But lately, my mind is so soooo out there that I’m having a hard time reeling it back down to earth. I have been getting really clear on my purpose, my passion and my path, that I am having a difficult time doing anything that distracts me from moving forward.

This blog is a part of my passion, which (another a-ha!) is why it has been so easy for me to just whip out a quick little post (like this one). It might not mean anything to anyone else, and it might not provide a useful tidbit of information, but maybe it might just inspire you to take a break from “work” and fill up your passion tank a little bit so that there’s more room for you to navigate down your purpose path.

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

With Easter only 2 days away, and without wanting to do a late-night run to the store to scour the shelves for the last PAAS egg dying kit, I instead decided to use what I already had in my kitchen to make natural dyed easter eggs. Besides, it’s more organic than those add-a-cup-of-vinegar-to-the-tablet dyes, and I was able to use up some old frozen fruit. Here’s how I did it…

Using 3 separate small pots on the stove, making sure to have enough water to cover at least one inch over the contents, I brought to a boil frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, and some fresh spinach. Once each pot began to boil, I reduced to a simmer and let them each cook until the liquid was the desired color. TIP: the longer you let it simmer, the darker the liquid will get (except for the spinach – I was rather disappointed at how light the liquid remained, even after simmering almost an hour). The blueberries took about 15-20 min. The strawberries I let simmer about 30 min.

Blueberries

Spinach

Strawberries

   

Once the dying liquid was the desired color, I strained the pot into a container as to capture only the liquid. To each container, I added white wine vinegar (approximately 2-3 tsp per 1 cup of liquid). Using hard-boiled eggs that I had made earlier in the day, I slowly put one egg into each container of natural liquid dye (dark blue from the blueberries, red from the strawberries, and what I had hoped to be green but turned out more like a yellow from the spinach).

Coffee-Dyed Easter Egg

 

 

I also made dying liquid with paprika: to 1-1/2 cups of hot water (if the water is not hot the spice doesn’t dissolve as well), I added 4 tbsp paprika and 4 tsp white wine vinegar.
and coffee: to 1-1/2 cups of hot water I added 2 giant spoonfuls of instant (very important) coffee and 4 tsp white wine vinegar.

Here’s how they turned out… 

From L to R, top to bottom: spinach left overnight (cool mottled look, but didn't turn out very green or dark), strawberries left overnight, paprika left overnight.

From L to R, top to bottom: blueberries left overnight, blueberries after 30 min, blueberries after 15 min, coffee left overnight, coffee after 15 min.

TIP: you can try different foods and spices to make different colored liquid dyes. For example, try boiled orange peels, raspberries or onion skins; or red wine, grape juice or brewed teas. You can also play around with how long you leave the eggs in the dye. The longer you leave them, the darker they get, and sometimes come out with a cool pattern. If you’re going to leave them overnight, it’s wise to put them in the refrigerator, especially if you plan on eating the eggs. 

Have fun experimenting and Happy Easter!

Guilty Until Proven

The saying is “innocent until proven guilty.” Well, I know I’m innocent, but I also know I’m guilty. Huh, you ask? How can I be both? Well let me tell you, I am.

I’m innocent because I have not committed any crimes (nor do I plan to!), and I honestly think I’m feeling “normal” Mommy feelings. I’m guilty because I’m finding myself falling back into the remnants of Mommy Guilt. I know, I know – it’s silly, right? So why am I having these thoughts? I don’t know for sure, but here’s my best guess:

Zackery is going to start Kindergarten in the Fall. From what I hear (and I really have to get off my butt – which I really am not on that often as every time I sit down I am immediately rousted up to get something, but – ha! – that’s another story), half-day Kindergarten in the public school is free (as I would expect public school to be). But (sorry, I can’t help it), for full-day it costs money. Personally, I have never heard of paying for full-day Kindergarten. Then again, I have never been responsible for signing someone up for Kindergarten. So, perhaps it’s not odd, but for me, it’s causing some instances of guilt.

We are in a tight financial position right now. I was hoping to save the entire cost of preschool once Zack transitions to Elementary School (OMG that sounds so big and scary! Is he really getting that big?!). I could in fact do this if I opted to only have him go half-day. BUT (underlying theme of this post – again sooo sorry for my inappropriate humor today), I really want him to go full-day. He is used to being in school from 9-3ish, and even if right now it’s only 3 days a week, I think it’s good for him. I realize that Kindergarten will be a full 5 days a week, so even with half-days I will get a little (yes, I mean little) break every day. However, if I have to drop him off at 9 and then pick him up at 11:45, that doesn’t give me much time to get anything done except possibly a quick run to the grocery store, unload at home, give Brayden a snack and then turn right around to go pick up Zack.

Guilty? Yes. I really want more time.

So, what’s a Mommy to do? I guess only time will tell (and the waiting list for full-day Kindergarten). My husband knows my dilemma. I know our financial situation. My friends know what I’m feeling. I know my mental capacity. Bottom line, I guess I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting more time for myself (which in turn would make me happier: a happier woman, a happier wife, a happier mother – you get the picture). A little extra time of structured activity for Zack and free (half-free, I still would have Brayden) time for me, with minimal cost is definitely cheaper than therapy!

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