Thursday, January 28, 2010

I am in love with Hubby all over again

Let's be Frank, sometimes I don't like Hubby much, but this morning I was reminded why I fell in love with him. My Dad, who always had good intentions, was never the protective type. If one of us kids were "wronged" it was my Mom who became indignant. Mamma Bear reigned supreme in our household. Dad just seemed indifferent. Of course, not having an older brother, I did not get to experience the over protective big brother, who takes care of little sister either.

I think I would have loved to have some strong man to protect me. So the fact that my husband fulfills that role really makes me feel...all gooey inside. This morning, when that brother of the friend I mentioned in an earlier post made a rude comment regarding me on facebook (I have now deleted him as a friend completely, before I just blocked his updates) husband eloquently and pointedly told the jerk where he could take his comments. I was definitely turned on. It made me feel loved and respected, and beautiful. Hubby's ability to find some one's weakness and exploit it is truly a gift. His ability to say just the right thing to make someone cry is unfounded. So, when he uses said gift in my defense, when he protects me, I am overwhelmed.

So today I am reminded why I am in love with my husband.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Am Being Stalked

I am being stalked. I am sure that some of you might remember the Mom who tends to shadow every place I enroll Cookie in. The mom that I love to hate. The "perfect" mom with the "perfect" kid. The Mom who smugly told me that "her daughter was just soooo excited about becoming a sister" when I voiced my problems with Cookie's sleep patterns when we first got Jelly Bean's crib and room set up.

Frankly, I am not sure why this mom rubs me the wrong way. Maybe a little jealousy at her ease of making friends in the activities I enrolled Cookie in, when I didn't. Maybe it was the condescending tone she used when I complimented her daughter's adorable hairdo. Maybe she is a little too much like me. Both of us seem to want to be in control and I might admit to maybe wanting to be a little center of attention. So maybe we just can not possibly be in the same group because both of us need to occupy the same title in a group setting and it just can not happen.

So imagine my surprise when I found out from another Mom (her very closest friend) in one of Cookie's "play" class that this Mom was considering the same preschool as we are. I mean, there are over 20 preschools in town, and she is considering the one that I love. The one that we are probably going to enroll Cookie in. While on the surface this might not seem too bad, but it might be. You see, the school is a co-op, and we are required to assist in the classroom. And it is a small school. They only enroll a total of 12 we would have to work together. I have in the past managed to befriend and work with my arch enemies because, well I had to. I was paid to. It was my career. So, for Cookie, I of course would do anything, be anything, and I will work with anyone for her. I will suck it up and learn to love this Mom. Maybe we could become friends....but I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stir Crazy Crafting

Last year about this time, I remember reading a post on the local Mom's site about a mother who felt she was going slowly insane playing play dough and painting over and over and over again to the point that if she had to sculpt one more play dough ball she was going to scream. She was begging us other mom's for other ideas on how to entertain her toddler during the winter....which always about this time, seems as if it has lasted forever and will never end.

Yes, the downside to living in a place with four seasons is the long winter days. The days where it is too cold, too wet, or too windy to venture outdoors with the little ones. The days that seem to last forever. I had responded to the mom with some suggestions on getting out and about or some new craft projects she could do, while sympathizing and agreeing with her.

Of course, like any public forum, there is always someone out there who disagrees with you, someone who likes to provoke discord. In this particular case, it was a woman who decided I should be eligible for the world's worst mother award for saying that I "felt the mother's pain" of bordom . While I wanted to respond, I knew that the posts back and forth would continue, so I took the high road and just told her that her comments were "meant to provoke" and that no further response would be coming. Other mothers jumped to my defense, but I was really angered by this person's comments, and decided to start blogging. While it took me a while to really start my own blog, the idea was planted....mostly because of my playgroup friends, but really I needed a place to put down my thoughts and vent.

So in honor of those housebound mom's who are feeling a bit stir crazy, the following project is for you. Cookie and I started making place mattes this year for Thanksgiving and now we haven't stopped. I had recalled sitting at my Grandmother's kitchen table as a little girl and eating on her place mattes. The one's she created from old greeting cards. I am not sure if they were actual cards she had received or cards she had acquired while working at the gift shop at a hospital, but I loved to look at them. I remembered them when wracking my brain trying to come up with new projects for Cookie and me to create this winter. The best thing can make them to any theme you want. Lately we have just been printing out coloring pages from Cookie's favorite shows' websites. She colors them, I cut them out, she pastes them to a large piece of construction paper, and finally I cut and peel the contact paper and voila, place mattes that will please any toddler.

Place Matte

Items Needed:
Contact Paper Roll
construction paper
Glue Stick
Coloring Book pages (or any other themed pictures)

1. Color and then Cut out Color book pages
2. glue to Construction paper. Let Dry
3. Cut Contact Paper to Construction paper size, leaving an inch to two inches around edges. Cut two sheets. Start to peel paper off Contact paper, then place finished construction paper face down onto Contact paper (leaving about an inch edge) gradually peeling the contact paper and smoothing out. Do the same to the other side. Cut edges to be even.

Handy Manny, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Mickey Mouse and Friends. One of our Thanksgiving Mats. We cut out leaves and Cookie glued them down.

Christmas Card Mats. If you don't see yours then we got it after New Years.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Compassion or Hypocricy?

I was quite reluctant to start using Facebook at first. I was a little nervous about the privacy and maybe just a little reluctant to re-connect with some people. It does make it a little awkward when one is "friended" by someone they don't quite want to be friended by. For some it's their parents. Or maybe that old high school flame. For the most part it has been a fun experience for me. But I think I have really gotten to know some people's true feeling via the anonymity and the actual faceless nature of conversations. People who are more conservative than I knew, or more religious sometimes caught me off guard. And I did find it a little unnerving to re-connect with the parents of some of my friends, which may border on the creepy depending on whom we're talking about.

There is one person whom "friended" me that at the time I thought was a little weird, since we never quite got along. A person who I thought was kinda a jerk growing up. It was my friend's older brother. On the outside it seemed like he finally had gotten his act together. He is married with two daughters. He seemed to have found God and Jesus and I was hoping a less than A-hole character that he had as a teen. That maybe he had turned around. But, he still makes the same off color comments, the same rude, racist, and sexist remarks that make me cringe. So, today, I am turning him off. Usually I can tune these people out, but yesterday I had it.

Here's the thing, his comments yesterday were not sexist, or even racist, I think they were just cold hearted and political and it made me sick. He was pissed off that the United States, IE: Obama, was promising to send $100 million in aid to Haiti. I know that his reasoning is sound. Yes the United States is in a hole so big, that even black holes in space have hole envy. I know that unemployment and the economy here in the States is dire. That the fact that more and more people are facing homelessness and poverty is astronomical. The idea that we even have $100 million to send is ridiculous....but just the same. We are talking about the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. These are people who have little to nothing and now nature has come and smacked them down. I believe that before nationality, before race, or sex, we as a people must help each other. The people of Haiti have no food, no water, no electricity. Their government has been broken, the people who are trained to help have either been hurt themselves or are dealing with their own losses. Our country and our people have the resources and the ability to help and we should. We would hope and pray the same kind of compassion for our own...which we failed to do after Hurricane Katrina.

But I remember the 1994 earthquake in California. I remember sleeping in the tent outside the house because we were too scared to go in. I remember going to the stores to stand in line for milk and bread. We were out electricity and water for two days. I can only imagine the feeling of the people in Haiti to be ten fold of what we felt. But I remember my Dad rushing in to my brother's room as he was leaving for work when the quake hit to protect and cover him. I remember the apartment building in the Valley crushing and killing people. The 5 freeway collapsing. I remember the fear. I may not be religious, but I know that the Bible, the Koran, and the Torah all teach compassion and alms giving. The Hypocrisy of the people shouting to take care of our own while quoting the Bible is not wasted on me. We must take care of each other, no matter who we are or where we live. As a mother, I can not watch the news and hear more and more stories of children stuck in the rubble. I can no longer watch the desolation and desperation on the faces of other mothers. If that was one of my girls, I would hope that someone out there, with the resources I needed to rescue them. I am fortunate to live in the United States, where when Balloon Boy is reported flying over the county, that the government can deploy the National Guard to help.

Maybe I shouldn't judge other people's sense of morality.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Saboteur

I have been a weight watcher now for almost ten years. It is hard to believe it has been that long since my first journey to losing weight. And I mean really truly losing weight and working to understand my "food" issues. Because they are big.

One of my biggest problems is "the saboteur." The person who always works to ruin my resolve. The person who buys the chocolate chips because, "we might need to make cookies" or the person who has to eat the whole thing because "it would just be wasteful to throw out food". Yes, the saboteur. I hate the saboteur. Today when Cookie announced upon waking up that she wanted to "make cookies." The saboteur said, "Yes, let's make cookies." And the saboteur was thinking, "she asked so nicely and with such a smile, how can I say no."

Yes, I confess, I am the saboteur. I am my worst enemy. I continually make excuses. What is so sad is that I thought I conquered the saboteur. I thought I slayed her almost ten years ago on my first weight loss journey. But apparently I only locked the saboteur in the closet and forgot to throw away the key. Well no more, the saboteur must be stopped. She must be quieted. There is that old saying, "A moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips." But I prefer to remind myself of what I learned in one of my WW meetings. The food is not going to serve me any better in my stomach than in the trash. It is actually more wasteful for me to consume the food and then have to work it off than tossing it.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, but I do believe in making promises to oneself. When I first decided that I no longer wanted to be overweight, I took weight loss in small steps. First, I resolved to exercise and make it a habit. Once that was done and gym membership bought, the next step was to start eating right. That is when I joined Weight Watchers. I then resolved to fit into a certain pair of jeans, then, I wanted to be able to shop at Ann Taylor and be able to pick anything and look good. Once that was accomplished the rest was easy. Unfortunately I am back to square one, and really lacking some motivation. Yes, I hate how my body looks. Yes, I hate that extra roll that appeared with baby number two and is not going down. But having two kids makes me want to eat chocolate and sugar......all the time! Maybe once I can have caffeine that jolt that the sugar gives me will be replaced.

Anyway, I have made the first step by rejoining the gym and going no matter what twice a week...which I think I need to increase to at least 3 days. My next step is to eat more healthy. I have gotten away from that. It really is not that hard, I have just gotten lazy. But first, The Saboteur must be stopped!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Potato and Corn Bacon Chowder

Being a Stay At Home Mom has allowed me to hone my cooking skills. No offense Mom, but, I really didn't learn too much about cooking growing up. Sure Mom showed me how to measure and how to follow a recipe, but cooking really has been a learning process with me. I am lucky in the fact that Hubby is generally great at everything and that includes cooking and baking and sewing. He can mend rings around me. So, in the process of learning to cook, hubby has really been patient and has given some helpful tips.

What is amazing is that even though hubby is the better cook, I have taken up the cooking reigns around our home. I guess that comes with being "Suzie Homemaker." A title I have come to love and hate. Anyway per the suggestion of hubby many moons ago, I turned to in order to find some new stuff to cook. I guess hubby was just tired of the three things my Mom taught me to cook: Spaghetti, beef stroganoff, and pot roast. So my Potato Bacon Chowder is actually a recipe I improved upon one day while staying at my Mom's. My Dad had asked me to make something for dinner, so I made a shrimp Mac n Cheese and the following Chowder both inspired by allrecipies, but I think improved upon by me. What really makes the following so good, is the addition of the cream corn (a result of not having an item the recipe originally called for.)

Potato and Corn Bacon Chowder

2-3 cups of peeled, cubed potatoes (any kind)
1-2 cups of water
8 bacon strips
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup carrot peeled and chopped
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of ckn soup
1 can of cream corn
1 cup milk (approx. I just pour the milk into the emptied cream of ckn soup can for measure)
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 tbsp minced parsley (optional)

1. In a large soup pot, cook the potatoes in the water. (use enough to just cover, then add about
1/2 a cup more).

2. Meanwhile cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp; remove to paper towels to drain. In same
skillet, saute onion, celery, and carrot in the drippings until tender, drain.

3. Add the onion, celery, and carrot to the undrained potatoes. Stir in the soup, corn, milk,
sour cream, salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat to simmer until the soup reaches a
consistancy you like. (I love to simmer this down to a nice thick chowder, where the
potatoes are really creamy. Usually at least 2 hours. But you can even cook for about 30 min
and then enjoy).

4. Crumble in half the bacon and stir into the soup along w/ the parsley if so desired. Sprinkle
the rest of the bacon over the top of each bowl.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Guilty feeling

Went to the gym today and was feeling pretty good about it. But have you ever had that niggling feeling in the back of your head that you forgot something or something is wrong? Call it woman's intuition or whatever, but I sometimes get those feeling. And often I ignore them. I usually dismiss that feeling as my paranoia or silly worry worting (I made a new word so sue me.) Unfortunately my "feeling" is usually dead spot on. I could give examples, but that would be a huge digression.

The first time I went to the gym, I dragged my phone around with me. Fearful that Hubby would need to call me in regards to a screaming kid, thus ending my trips to the gym. But no such event happened and I started leaving it in the car. Here was my thinking. I once had my gym locker broken into, and so now I never leave anything but the car keys, which is ridiculous because they could just go outside and steal the car, but at least that's insured. I also figured if anything was really wrong and he couldn't get me on the cell, he'd call the gym and have me paged or found or something.

I forgot one thing, Hubby tends to loose all sort of brain function when there is a crying baby. He literally shuts down and can not think straight. I think we have all been there...but he is especially prone to this phenomenon. So, of course today, Jelly Bean woke about 30 minutes after I left and was "starving" (which was crazy because I had only fed her an hour before). Hubby text messaged me asking if the milk I had frozen in the freezer was still good, and of course I had missed the text. What gets me is that I have fresh milk in the fridge, did he not look in the fridge? So about 45 minutes after the text, I called him back and said that there was milk in the fridge. By the time I got home, Jelly was still crying and hubby was beside himself, trying to feed her from a bottle with a nipple and a top that did not fit together. Of course I was left feeling pretty guilty.

But in the end, much of this debacle is Hubby's fault. First of all, why did he not think to look in the fridge? Second it is his fault really that Jelly will not take a bottle. He refused to feed her from one at the beginning and she would not take one when I held her. Third, why didn't he just give her rice cereal? Really no imagination whatsoever.

However, that mother's guilt leaves me blaming myself. I was stupid to leave the phone in the car. I had that feeling today when I left it there. I even thought, "maybe I should bring it." On the drive over to the gym I also thought, "Hubby knows there's milk in the fridge right? He would know to just give her cereal, right?" Ohh I should have told him.

As a result, Jelly cried for a good hour. She went hungry for all of an hour and a half, but was eventually fed and was happy. Oh, and Hubby gave me the silent treatment for an hour. But I still feel guilty like I should have known.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Why don't I keep Chocolate in the house?

After consuming a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips I had resolved to stop keeping chocolate in the house. It is just too tempting and too dangerous. Of course this resolution happens to coincide with return of Aunt Flo. So after desperately searching my pantry high and low for that chocolate fix....leaving me wondering "why the hell don't I keep chocolate in the house?" I remembered my little niggling resolution and the embarrassing consumption of the bag (okay two of them...not in one sitting thank you....over a period of a week).

But really I was desperate for chocolate and couldn't figure out why...when that lovely monthly visitor returned after a little over a year absence. I've been wondering when she'd return. I've been dreading it. But I should have known. The night sweats are back in force and I've been quite bitchy all week. Not to mention the short lived cleaning spurt. So why don't I keep chocolate in the house. I just can't say no. I even went so far as to bake a cake, although a lemon cake, in a failed attempt to feed my craving. While this sugary confection choice kept me from consuming an entire cake in two days, it has not curbed me from eating it.

I must confess I caved and bought myself a chocolate bar. But not just any chocolate, I bought Godiva milk chocolate. I know most people prefer dark chocolate, and it's supposed to be better for you, but I love milk chocolate. Under normal circumstances, I may have eaten the thing quickly. However, I had to hide eating it from Cookie, not because I didn't want her having chocolate, because I didn't want to share. Thank heavens for the chocolate at the checkout stand at Kohl's...otherwise I was a little afraid I was going to turn to the baking chocolate.