Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's my fault

Some days it is just my fault. No matter what, it is my fault. Ohh the baby spilt your coffee because you left it where she can get to it. It is totally my fault for not watching her. You can't find your is my fault. I should observe where you throw your items when you come in the door. You are starving and I am too busy with the kids to fix you a meal right that moment. Totally my fault that I have not mastered holding the baby while making a meal.

Hubby is by far not a demanding husband. He does not require me to fold or iron his clothes, he does not care if the house is in disarray. He is happy to have hot dogs for dinner or left overs if I don't feel much like cooking. He doesn't require me to prepare three meals a day. But sometimes, I just have to take the blame....and today is that day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mom's Buttermilk Cake

My favorite recipe of my Mom's would have to be her Buttermilk Cake. It is so good that she would have to make two sheets of it any time she made it; one for the family, and one for whatever occasion it was being made for. It is one of those cakes that one can not stop eating. One of those recipes that everyone wants you to share.

So, for Father's Day, I present you with this wonderful recipe that any Chocoholic will love. Hubby , who is not a huge chocolate lover, will devour this cake. I must brag a little, that today's cake turned out perfectly. My mom handed the recipe over to me when I moved out of the house some nine years ago. And it has taken me that long to get this recipe perfect. The first time, I did not wait for the cake to cool before adding the icing and all I got was a gooey mess of melted cake with icing. I think I cried out of frustration. The next couple times came out okay......but the icing was never perfect. The key to this recipe is patience while melting the butter, for both the cake and the icing. Indulge and enjoy.

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Icing

Ingredients for Cake

2 Cups of Flour
2 Cups of Sugar
1 tsp of Baking Soda
2 sticks of butter
6 tbsp of Cocoa powder
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of buttermilk milk
1 tsp of vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Over low heat melt the butter, cocoa powder, and water until butter is dissolved, stirring
occasionally to mix ingredients
3. Pour over dry ingredients, adding the vanilla and buttermilk and mix together.
4. Place in a 9X13 greased cake pan (mom always made this in a 13X13 thin sheet pan....which I
don't have. Since the icing is sooo rich, you might want to get a disposable sheet pan from
the market to make this last a little longer).
5. Bake 400 degrees for approx. 15-20 min. until cake is done. (25 min. in high altitude).
6. Cool completely in the pan

Icing Ingredients

1 stick of butter
6 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/3 cup of buttermilk
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla

1. Melt the butter, cocoa powder and buttermilk over a low heat in a saucepan on the stove,
stirring occasionally until the butter is melted.
2. Pour over the powdered sugar, adding the vanilla and stirring until the sugar is melted. Ice
over the cake as soon as sugar is incorporated for easy spreadability. Allow icing to
cool....and enjoy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Trails

I love this time of year. I love that I can get out on the bike and exercise with the kids. I love that my town has such a wonderful trail system. Of course, weather permitting, this means I have no excuse to not exercise. The trail here goes literally from my front door to the complete other end of town. It does not mean a direct route though. To get to playgroup I have to wind around the trail about three miles in the opposite direction, only to head back the right way. But, it does give me that cardio I need to help drop the baby weight.

One thing that drives me nuts on the trail is all those places where there is no passing people on the left. The spots up hills and around tight bends that is really dangerous to pass. Not that I want to pass in a very precarious place, but lately it seems that every time I approach one of these places, there are the slowest people there. Normally I would not mind stopping or slowing down to a crawl for the cute little old couple, but when I am pulling two kids in a trailer that totals about 65 pounds...I start to get annoyed that on some days it seems like it is at only these bends and hills are people blocking my way. I know, there are soooo many other things to be annoyed with, but this is my little frustration.

Despite the old people, those with dogs off lease, and the complete tuned out, the trail is awesome. Two years ago, I even biked my way to Jury Duty.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A lot of Whipped Cream

When I started going to weight watchers one of my sneaky secrets to success was whipped cream. I bought it by the trunk load, stocking my refrigerator both at home and at work full of it. People would joke at work that they would never see me leave the classroom without it. Sometimes, depending on the time of day, I'd even drag it out for a fire drill, the can propped under my arm.

For breakfast I enjoyed either a low fat yogurt accompanied by whipped cream or toast with jam, and guess what, topped with whipped cream. For snack I would enjoy some piece of fruit, slathered with it. Let's just say, it made me feel like I was having dessert all the time, but I knew that really, it was an easy way for me to enjoy low calorie foods, while getting some dairy. Since having Cookie, my sneaky indulgence and secret to my success could not be employed,Cookie reacted badly when I had dairy, making losing the baby weight all the harder. Of course I was so pleased that when I stopped nursing and Cookie began having Cow's milk, that I could indulge once again.....and guess what, with the help of some bike riding, and I like to think whipped cream, I started losing the weight.

Then along comes Jelly. Now, I can have dairy with her, but Cookie it turns out, is lactose intolerant. At age two, she just couldn't have it any more. Which meant that she could not have whipped cream, a staple with her breakfast of fruit. Because she couldn't have it, I couldn't have it. It just wasn't fair. We tried the soy and rice brand, which tasted okay, however they are really expensive and always the dispenser breaks, leaving half a bottle of it unused.

But today, Cookie is at Summer Camp and I am having whipped cream with my grapes and watermelon. I sense some weight coming off soon.

All anything needs is a lot of whipped cream.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The other day I was outside watching the kids play. It was in that moment that I realized I was bored. Don't get me wrong, I love being home with the kids. I love being able to be there for each and every milestone. I love seeing Jelly try and work out walking, seeing the wheels turning in her head and her experimenting with some idea that she just conceived. I love watching Cookie examine the growing vegetable garden and feed the horses around the corner. But let's be honest, little moments warm my heart, but most moments in my day just bore me.

So I was bored and I began thinking that when I was a teacher, I used to enjoy those little moments where I could just watch the students play out in the yard. The times where no one was bugging me and I could get my thoughts straight. The times where I could take out a pen and paper and start lesson planning for the next day. As a mom, the quiet moments where the kids are playing is not only short lived, but a time of non-production for me. I can stand there and think about the piles of laundry that need to be done, the dinner that needs to be prepared, and the house that needs to be cleaned....however, there is no way for me to get to them at that moment. While teaching, this time would feel productive, even if I never wrote anything down, because I was technically working on something....organizing lessons in my head or rearranging seating charts. At home, the only thing I feel productive about at these moments is to prioritize the chores that need to be done, but haven't had the time to get to. These moments, I realize, that I should probably be enjoying or relishing, actually drives me insane with boredom.

Cookie and I spent the weekend playing with a neighbor and when my neighbor left Sunday, after a couple hours of pool time, she said, "is it wrong to look forward to Mondays?" You see, she works. I told her of course not, she gets to talk to other adults about other things than the potty habits of her 3 year old, contribute financially to her household, and she gets a break from her kid. The one thing no one ever told me, or couldn't explain about being a SAHM, was how lonely, how boring, and how frustrating it all is at one time or another. When I was working, coming up with lesson plans was what I was paid for. No one is paying me to come up with fun, interesting, or crafting projects with my kids. It is hard to organize such things when I am just exhausted at the end of the day. It is hard to put all this work into maybe 10 minutes of interest on the part of my three year old. Five minutes of which we normally will spend frustrated at each other. If maybe I was watching someone else's kid, I would feel compelled to show how productive we've been. Instead, I just try to slog it through another day with out wanting to throttle my beautiful Cookie. Which is why I needed to find her something to do this summer. Which is why I am putting her in preschool. I just can't do it on my own. My Cookie needs to be stimulated, she needs to be discipline by someone other than us, she needs to find friends and playmates outside of playgroup.

Today, Cookie went to her first day of Summer Camp....and I found myself with still not enough time to get what needed to be done.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Handy Man and one Dirty Birdie

I admit, Hubby can drive me crazy sometimes. But, for the most part, he is a wonderful man, husband, and father. One thing I love about him, is his ability to create. He can make anything with his hands from just about any material.

This weekend he tackled the time consuming chore of making new window well covers. It has been a project that has needed to be done since we moved in. Let's just say the old ones were dangerous. Really the only thing they did was point out to anyone in the backyard that, "hey there is a window well here. Death is certain," as one step would be a step to disaster. Having not one, but two kids running around back there, made it a project that had to be completed sooner than later. (I'd take a picture, but it's dark and I'm writing this at 9:00 at night and who knows when I'll get another chance to write something about it, let alone upload a pic. So at a later date for one.) I must say they turned out really nice.

Despite Hubby's carpentry skills, at any "Manly" building task, he is also very much a guy when it comes to cleanliness around the house. I am not complaining, because, really his little quirks and things may be annoying, but they are nothing to divorce over. But, I had a little chuckle this evening, when said very tired Hubby retired quite early after a weekend of sawing and hammering, and building, leading me to the basement bathroom to take a quick shower. I really have not been down in the basement since I have had Jelly Bean. It used to be the place hubby and I hung out after we put Cookie to bed, but since we cancelled cable, and Jelly came along, it just hasn't been a place we go together. We tend to now, lay on the couch on the main floor together watching Hulu on my computer.

Anyway, the bathroom, and the basement resembled my husband's first apartment. I am not going into any gross details, but I am a little scared to have company in three weeks with it looking in the condition he has left it in. I know that it was clean when I had Jelly, since that was where my Mom was staying, but great googly moggly!!! Hubby claims that he will make sure it is clean before his friends get here, and I know he will.....but sweet Jesus man, clean a friggin toilet. Throw away empty shampoo bottles (note to self, buy shampoo for guest bathroom..and toothbrush, and toilet paper, and soap, and toothpaste...not to mention clean bathmat...nay get new floor mat, as the old one needs to be burned). Of course I chuckle, because this man can create many things, including a gigantic cesspool of scum. Here I was going to blog about some deep thoughts I've been having about Motherhood, my struggle to adapt, and finding some balance and answers for my feelings about certain things, and instead I was inspired by dirt.

Hope all of your weekends were as productive as Hubby's. And he thinks the kids are gross:0

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Worst Visitor Ever

Dear Aunt Flo and Uncle Fred-

You are the worst visitors ever. You like to show up at the exact wrong moments. Your visits are always too long. And you are never on time; choosing to be either too early or late. Either way making my life complicated and full of anxiety. I spent the early part of my teens waiting for you to appear for the first time, then the later part of my teens praying you'd visit every month. I have spent a large chunk of time obsessed over the calendar, counting the days until your next visit. I have spent massive amounts of money in order to make your presence more comfortable or less inconvenient. You literally cause me pain. I officially hate you. You drive me to eat massive quantities of chocolate, and make me slightly insane. I despise the fact that you can control me in such a way. You are the one thing that makes me look forward to getting older, the idea that your visits will be no longer. So I thank you once again for making a visit this month, albeit late, but really, thanks but no thanks.