School is cool

October 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm (Family, Parenting, Pre School, Toddler)

I know I know it’s been a loooooong time since I’ve updated.  Sorry.  I’ve been slacking.  Also, I feel that with facebook, I tend to update a lot of what I would have blogged.

Anyway, since my last post, Alexis started school.  I was hesitant about putting her in school.  I know I’ve written about that in the past.  I’ve stayed home with her and loved being with her.  It was scary for me to think that someone else would be in charge of her for a few hours every day.  But, I also knew that she needed it.  She is very active and social and smart.  I knew that she needed more than just her and I every day.  And I needed it, it was becoming increasingly more difficult to keep her entertained, going out and doing errands was exhausting for me.  And, the fact that I was alone a lot of the time meant that I got no break at all.

I did quite a bit of researching before choosing a school for her.  I visited a lot of schools, some of them several times.  I wanted to put her in school 3 days a week.  After all my tours, I decided that the school I liked the best was a montessori school.  The first time I went to this school, I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like the structure and the routine.  Well, 6 months later I felt differently.  I felt that she needed some of that structure and that it was good.  It was more of a school than a daycare and that was important to me.  I was comfortable with the school and staff, I knew that she would learn there, and would benefit from it.  My only hesitation was that for her age group, it had to be 5 days a week.  The younger kids could go 3 days, but for her age they wanted them there 5 days because they have more of a routine and daily activities.  I felt that it was a trade off I was willing to make to have her in a school I thought was a good fit.

I decided to have her start at the beginning of the school year so that she would be starting with everyone else and learning the routine along with the rest of the class.  As her first day approached, I was definitely nervous.  Marc was out of town for most of her first week, so I was on my own.   The morning of her first day, I woke her up and got her dressed, I tried explaining as best I could to her that she was going to be going to school and she was going to play with her friends and that I would pick her up after her nap.  When we got there, she was fine, a little apprehensive but ok.  I walked her to her class and then told her that I was leaving and would be back after lunch.  She just looked at me a bit confused.  As I walked out I heard her yell, “mommy!” and then start crying.  I left, which was not easy, but I knew it was the best thing for her.  I called a little over an hour later and the teacher said she was doing ok.  She wasn’t crying but she didn’t want to play and didn’t want to eat.  When I went to pick her up she was very happy to see me and the teacher said she did ok the rest of the day but didn’t eat.

The rest of the first week was a gradual improvement.  She still cried at drop off but stopped shortly after and then had fun during the day and was happy.  By Thursday, no more crying, just a little whimpering, and Friday was, “bye, mommy!” I know I’m lucky, I know not all kids adjust that easily and I honestly don’t know how long I would have held out if she was hysterical every day.

Now that she’s been there for just over two months, I KNOW I made the right decision.  She loves school, she can’t wait to go every day, talks about everything she’s learned.  As for the learning, it’s more than I expected.  She is learning the continents and can recite them, she can spell her name, to name a couple things.  The other thing that’s great is that she has really learned to clean up after she’s done playing.  Most of the time, I need to remind her or at least start doing it myself, but other times, she does it herself.

And then there’s the other side of school, the 4 hours that I have every morning! It’s amazing.  At first I felt guilty being a stay at home mom, while my daughter was at school every morning.  It’s wonderful to be able to do things like go grocery shopping and run errands without dealing with a temper tantrum.  And, since I’m in grad school, it’s time for me to work on school work.  I love picking her up and she is so happy every day when she sees me.

So, I know I waited until I felt she was ready and until I was ready.  And when that time came, it was great and it was a perfect fit for us.

Permalink 1 Comment

The Leisure Time of a Mom

June 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm (Eating Out, Family, House, Marriage, Opinion, Parenting, Shopping, Sleep, Toddler, Uncategorized)

As I was catching up on my DVR last night, I came across an episode of Dr. Phil which was very interesting.   There was a study conducted by a sociologist at the University of Maryland which claims that moms have an extra 30-40 hours of leisure time a week!! HUH?  He counts things that I would not necessarily include in “leisure time”.  Things like waiting for a tow truck, going to the dentist, etc doesn’t that sound leisurely?  Normally I would think that leisure time involves a beach, a frozen drink, a cabana boy to bring me said drink, and someone trustworthy watching my daughter so that I can actually relax!!!!

I am a stay at home mom.  Relaxing right?  No need to wake up early, get dressed, schlep my daughter to school, sit in traffic, work, then do it all backwards?  My “job” is taking care of my 2 year old.  I am on call all the time.  It does not end.  The time that I can sneak away to check emails is peppered with calls of “Mommy!!!” or little hands on the keyboard.  Maybe I can check emails or facebook from my iphone right?  Well, as soon as she sees me pull that out, she wants to play with it – so out of my hands it goes.  Getting her dressed is a battle, getting myself dressed is done with one ear constantly making sure I don’t hear any crashes or screaming from the other room where she’s playing.  Driving in a car included listening to Mickey or Laurie Berkner, don’t get me wrong, I love Laurie but I really do miss driving along singing to MY music! Then there are the books strewn around the back of my car which she wants.  I go shopping!! that’s leisure right?  Pushing a stroller through a mall at warp speed.  if I’m lucky I can avert her eyes to something else while we pass the Disney Store or Build A Bear otherwise the screaming ensues and invariably we walk out with a new Mickey “thing” or a new bear.   IF I get to shop for myself it’s while entertaining her with stickers, snacks, or my iphone.  making sure she doesn’t grab things off racks, this is all if she’s in a good mood.  If she’s not is a good mood – all bets are off.  I will normally just have to hightail it out of the mall while she is screaming and trying to imitate houdini and escape from her stroller.   I also get to eat out – yay!? No leisurely lunch for me anymore.  Hurrying to order for me and for Alexis.  Keeping her entertained with crayons or whatever until the food arrives.  First getting her food ready, making sure it’s not too hot, cutting things into toddler sized pieces.  Then I scarf down my food with half my attention on her, my mommy reflexes always on edge ready to jump and prevent any spills or splashes, or if it’s a really fun lunch – anything from being launched.  Ok she’s done eating, let’s get the check, clean her off and go.  That was so relaxing!!!!

Back home.  Play time again.  This is where I can maybe jump on the computer again with the “mommy!” cries in the background or the little hands on the keyboard.  Then it’s naptime.  Ahhhhh.  Nap time.  Time for me to relax!!!! Wait – what’s that I hear?  Oh she doesn’t want to sleep.  She’s wants up.  But she’s so tired, why won’t she just fall asleep!!??!!  Ok so an hour later of tears, bribes, rocking, singing, and sometimes driving in a car she is asleep.  Ok, now I can relax.  But I’m so terrified of waking her that I need to  make sure that any TV I watch is so low that I almost need to read lips.  And I really do need to get around to the laundry and washing the dishes, and oh yeah maybe catch up on a tv show also.  No matter what I’m doing I am always listening to the monitor and therefore my “leisure time” is always tempered with the knowledge that at best she will sleep for 3 hours, but more than likely it will be 2 hours.

She’s up.  This is usually the most difficult part of the day.  From the time she wakes up from her nap until bedtime.  She still wants to play but is usually more cranky than the pre-nap hours.  I have to figure out what’s for dinner and try to cook while keeping her away from anything that could be dangerous in the kitchen.  When Marc is in town he will come home right before dinner time so then there are 2 of us.  When he’s home he will handle her bath after dinner while I clean up the kitchen and table.  If he’s not home, then it’s all me.  Then bedtime.  This is unpredictable.  She can be a great sleeper and go right to sleep, but then there are other nights where it’s a battle of wills and could take up to an hour to fall asleep.  An hour much like nap time, she doesn’t just lie there contentedly listening to music when she doesn’t want to be there.  Most of the time she falls asleep with no problem, but every few months there is a phase, it lasts anywhere from 10 days – 2 weeks where it’s every night that she cries and does not want to sleep.  Last night, I was alone with her and by the time she fell asleep it was 9:20.  Usually I don’t eat dinner with her, I wait until she’s asleep.  So last night, I found myself having a PB&J at 9:30.  Then trying to straighten up the house.  And, hey maybe a shower.  That’s leisure right?  Yeah I’m laughing too.  The shower with the monitor on the bathroom counter.  Then and only then can I relax finally.  Again, always with the monitor and always listening.  So, I stay up late because it’s the only quiet time I get just for me.

Even sleep is not the same anymore.  I’m sure that all moms can attest to this.  Once you become a mom, you just don’t sleep as soundly because part of your subconscious is always listening to the monitor, ready to spring up at any moment.  Hopefully, she sleeps fitfully and fully through the night, but hey you never know.  She could wake up in the middle of the night and go right back to sleep or she may not.  I may bring her to bed with me because I’m too tired to fight this battle and then I have little feet kicking me and sleep is definitely compromised.  So, you see, even when I can do things “of leisure” it’s not really.  It’s always in little snippets and with a million other things floating around in my brain.

What about vacations or when I go out to dinner with a friend?  Well, not the same either.  Gone are the carefree days of really getting away.  Because, I am always thinking of Alexis and what she should be doing at the time or if she’s ok.  I will get calls and texts with updates and/or questions.  So, even those times when i do get away, my mind is not completely away.  I may not have a “job”, but I definitely work.  My job is a 24 hour a day one.  One that will be like this for as long as I can imagine.  So, please clarify your 30-40 hours of leisure time a week that I week, Mr. Sociologist, I’m not sure that you fully understand the job of a mom.

Permalink 1 Comment

A post on readiness

April 21, 2010 at 11:00 am (Family, Opinion, Parenting, Toddler, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This age seems to come with a lot of judgment.  Yes, I know I’ve said that before, but now, at 2 years old there seems to be a whole new set of “things” that need to be accomplished in a certain time frame.  I am once again wondering who makes up these rules and why people care so much.  I am referring to: potty training, big kid bed, pacifier, and school.  One more lesson to add to my book of things I’ve learned as a mom: take their lead, trying to force things or push because other people do it, will backfire.  Oh, and other people see what you’re doing and why.

Potty Training.  I got Alexis a potty chair about 6 months ago and she uses it off and on.  She sometimes sits on it by herself and I always encourage it, sometimes she goes sometimes she just unspools the toilet paper roll.  I am pretty consistent about putting her on there a couple times a day and I praise her when she goes.  But, I know she’s not ready to really potty train.  She doesn’t tell me before she has to go and doesn’t really care if she walks around with a wet diaper.  I know that I could put her on the potty every 15 or 20 minutes and keep her in panties and claim she’s potty trained, but to me, that’s cheating.  In my opinion, real potty training is when they tell you they have to go, of course with reminders from us, but not constant timed trips to the bathroom.  That’s a good way of teaching them and helping them once they show signs of being ready, but its not being potty trained.  When she’s ready (hopefully soon) I’ll know it and it’ll be easy.

Big Kid Bed. This is one thing that I actually don’t want to do.  I want to keep her in a crib as long as I possibly can.  She’s a great sleeper so why mess with a good thing?  Well, safety.  At 36″ tall, it has now become unsafe for her to remain in her crib.  She has not yet attempted to escape, but she can hang over the top rail and she jumps on the mattress like its a trampoline.  And I hold my breath.  Since I’m not too keen on waiting until she falls out and gets potentially injured, we purchased a toddler bed.  I should mention that something happened about a week before the purchase, she started fighting us to go to sleep – crying, hysterical fits about being left alone and waking once or twice at night.  I figured, she’s sleeping like crap, can’t be any worse, let’s take her crib away!  We took the crib down, put the toddler bed together, along with pretty new sheets with butterflies and ladybugs on it.  Babyproofed her room so she couldn’t injure herself if she decided to wander in the middle of the night.  She loved the bed, climbed right in, covered herself and seemed content.  Success I thought!  Wrong.  When it came time to go to sleep, I sat with her because I figured it would take a couple nights to get used to it.  It took her a long time to fall asleep.  Then she proceeded to wake up 3 or 4 times at night (can’t remember).  Around 6am, I gave up and brought her to bed with us and she slept there.  Fast forward 4 nights later, now the sleeping is turning into hysterics.  I tried letting her cry it out, which I’ve never been a fan of but has worked successfully in the recent past after one night and not a lot of crying.  This did not work.  It took an hour the first night and it included banging on the walls and door and saying “owie”.   Middle of the night was no better.  I gave up after the 3rd time around 5am she came to bed with us.  The next night was no better, actually it was worse.  I couldn’t do it.  After an hour and no improvement and me totally stressed out.  I knew she was tired, she hadn’t napped that day, I threw in the towel.  We put the crib back up and I planned to take her to the dr the following day.  She slept in her crib but still slept horribly.  The next day at the dr I found out why – 2 back molars coming in, me not giving her enough motrin for her weight, ear pain, and ringworm rash on her ankle, I’m sure these things were messing with her sleep and making her uncomfortable and not herself.  She was trying to tell me, but didn’t know how.  So, the crib is still up, she’s not sleeping great yet, but better.  Once she returns to normal, then we will give the toddler bed another shot.

Pacifier.  I know I said it would be gone by age 2, and it’s not.  See above for my reasons why.  I have prioritized.  The pacifier is not a big enough deal to me right now and I won’t do it before she moves to a toddler bed.  She mainly uses it for sleeping and the car only.  I keep one with me when we’re out for true emergencies.  I am just not willing to deal with the trauma that it will cause just yet.  It will be gone soon, but I’m not ready and I don’t think she is either.  It comforts her and helps her sleep, so what is the big deal?  Because other moms will judge me?  Oh well.  I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time.

School.  I looked at schools.  I tried to like them.  Can’t do it, sorry.  I would LOVE to have a few hours  to myself a week, I really really would.  But I just could not see leaving her yet.  I’m a stay at home mom.  This is my job.  I am responsible for her education, entertainment, feeding, changing, etc and I don’t want to share that responsibility.  She gets one on one attention from me and would not get that at school and it really breaks my heart to think of her being upset or crying or scared and just being one of 10 kids in a class.  For the time being, she gets her socialization from the classes we go to and the playdates and the park and that will just have to be enough.  I’m thinking of starting her this fall when she’s 2.5, but I may change my mind and wait until she’s 3, we’ll see.  As for her speech which was slow at first, when I took her to the dr (not my usual one, a new one) this week for her sleep issues the dr mentioned how great her speech is.  So, even without school she has learned to speak just fine, it happened after she turned 2, it was like a faucet turned on.

For all the things she’s not ready for yet, there have been plenty that she is ready for.  She walked before her first birthday, she was jumping like a bunny way before kids are “supposed” to be able to jump.  She has excellent coordination and can walk a balance beam in gym class like kids older than her, can ride a tricycle.  She does puzzles meant for 3 year olds, counts to 20, spells her name, knows all the letters, etc.  She is also a fabulous eater, the list of foods she won’t eat is very short.  Loves fruits and veggies and is the opposite of picky.

So, for all the holier than thou moms out there, or the ones that feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, or be competitive, do what works for you.  And, especially, all the not yet parents who love to say “I would never” or “can you believe she still…”  I’m not talking about all mommies.  I know some whose kids have been ready and have done the above things already and I am so happy for them! (and a little jealous).  I think they should brag about it, but I can tell the difference between the moms who do it out of a sense of pride and those that do it to compete.  And if anyone is judging me for my choices, go right ahead.  I’m the mommy, I make the decisions.  She will only be little once and I am confident that she will not go to high school with a pacifier or a diaper and that she will be sleeping in a big bed soon enough.  So, judge away.  While you’re at it I can give you other things to be judgey about – I give my kid sweets, keep the tv on all day because I can’t stand quiet, I have no problem bribing her in a store with a toy or food so i can get some shopping done, oh yeah and she’s spoiled.  But, she’s happy and so am I and to me that’s what’s important.

Permalink 6 Comments

I admit it, I’m over protective

February 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm (Baby, Family, Friends, Opinion, Parenting, Toddler) (, , , )

But I would rather be over protective than under protective and regretful.  I just finished watching an episode of Oprah about child sex offenders.  These men all knew the children they molested.  Family members or close friends.  I don’t remember the exact statistic they said but I believe it was 90% of victims know their abuser.  People are sick and twisted, there is no question about that.

Being mom to a young daughter, unfortunately i think about these things.  She is innocent and does not know about evil people and cannot fathom that there are people who would want to hurt her.   Its my job to keep it that way.  No, I would not leave her with a babysitter who I did not know.  She was 18 months before I left her with anyone who was not family.  And even then it was because I had surgery and needed the help, but I was there with her most of the time.  And she was someone who came highly recommended from family.

I am mainly skeeved about diaper changes.  There are only a very very limited number of people who I feel need to be seeing her privates.  So even if it’s me changing her, I’m cautious about who is around, I don’t do it if there are people around who can look. Because, again, people are SICK.  I don’t like lap-sitting for the most part either, depends on the person, but again the number of people is very small.  It makes me uncomfortable.

I want  to raise her to be strong and have a voice and a mouth and be very familiar with the word NO (though she seems to have that one down pat).  Yes, I will teach her all about staying away from strangers, but there are a lot of non-strangers that can be worse.  I will have to find the balance between making her aware and cautious without making her fearful and nervous.

One of the most important things that I heard in the Oprah show was from one of the sex offenders he said (I’m paraphrasing) ‘if a child says they were molested, believe them, kids don’t lie about this’.  That really struck a nerve with me.  I can’t imagine ever not believing Alexis if she told me anything happened to her, but I know it happens.  People don’t want  to cause trouble in families or think the kids are looking for attention.  I know that if she ever told me anything like that, I would not be responsible for my actions towards the person.

I would rather question people and their intentions than be too trusting because you just never know.

Permalink 1 Comment

The diplomacy of kiddie parties

February 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm (Family, Friends, Toddler) ()

Alexis’ 2nd birthday is coming up, along with that comes the Birthday Party.   Last year was easy b/c I wanted to make it low key, no need to have a huge party for me, b/c she would not enjoy it.  This year is a different story.  I’m doing a bigger party, more friends, more theme-y, etc.  I’m pretty excited about everything.

Except the guest list.

The first wave was easy, my friends.  The ones I really like, whose company I enjoy.  Most have kids, but some don’t.  Those were a no-brainer.  Then there are the others.  The ones I feel I have to invite for a variety of reasons.  1. I was invited to their kids party so I feel it’s only right to return the invitation.  2. They are friends of friends I am inviting and it would be odd to invite a group of friends minus one.  It would be awkward and I don’t like to make people feel left out.   3. The ones I’m friends with out of obligation, you know the ones.  I’ve been friends with them for a long time, or the person I see often enough at social occasions but don’t really like and yet need to invite anyway.

I’m fortunate in that 95% of the people I’m inviting and genuinely people I want to invite, but then there are those few who I know I have to, so I will suck it up and do it.

Permalink 3 Comments

A new decade has begun… can we go back?

January 2, 2010 at 10:49 am (Family, Friends, Marriage, Uncategorized)

This is a blog post I didn’t think I would be writing.  This is not a reality I thought I would be facing.  It should not be.  People my age should not be widows.  It’s not right.  Little 2 year old boys should not lose fathers.  Something in the universe did not work properly yesterday to allow this to happen.

My friend Gary had been battling Lymphoma courageously and had completed his course of chemo.   He was declared basically cancer-free.  He and his wife, Samantha believed they were in the home stretch of their battle.

Until Christmas Day.  Of all days.

Samantha had to take Gary to the ER believing that he was suffering from dehydration and needed IV fluids.  Never in her worst nightmares did she think that he would not walk out of the hospital, like he had done numerous times before.  Nothing prepared her for the week that would follow.  Gary was taken from the ER to ICU in kidney failure and diagnosed with pneumonia.  He did not show symptoms of being so sick.  The night before he was having fun at a Christmas Eve celebration with friends!  It came out of left field.  From there the roller coaster began- no need to detail the ups and downs that would become the way of life for Sam in the coming week.  She spent the final minutes of 2009 holding his hand welcoming in a new year, a new decade.  When she went home, she believed that New Year’s Day would be a new day.  She did not imagine the phone would ring in the early dawn hours.  She did not expect the call from the hospital to come right away.

When my phone rang before 7am and I saw the caller ID, I knew it wasn’t good.  I was at the hospital in minutes.  As I was walking into ICU as I had done several times in the past week, I heard it.  I heard crying.  Not just sad cries.  The cries of something tragic.  I knew.  I didn’t need to be told.  My friend Sam had just become a widow, Gary’s mother had lost her only child.  They, along with Sam’s mom, were destroyed.  It was a terrible scene.

Now the really hard part begins for Sam.  Planning a funeral for her 33 year-old husband.  Picking up the pieces.  Starting a new life as a single mom.  Raising her son without his dad.  I, along with so many other friends, will be by her side helping to support her and helping her figure out her new place, but it will not be easy.  And it’s not something that I thought that one of my friends would have to go through.

Gary will be missed.  He was very smart, funny, caring, kind.  He was a wonderful husband to Samantha and an excellent father to Mikey.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Disney Recap

December 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm (Baby, Eating Out, Family, Holidays, Marriage, Parenting, Sleep, Travel) (, , , )

This was the 6th year that Marc and I had been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas and the 2nd time for Alexis.  We started a tradition the first year we went of buying an ornament and having it personalized with our names, we have gotten one every year since.  We brought along the 2 grandmothers this year, my mom and marc’s mom.  My mom had come with us last year but it was the first time for marc’s mom.  This year was a lot more fun for Alexis than last year.  She loves Playhouse Disney and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, etc.  As soon as we got close to the park she started seeing the Disney logo everywhere and yelling “MINNIE! MICKEY!” This continued in the park.  She absolutely loved everything we saw and did.  She was mesmerized by It’s a Small World and was just pointing and looking at everything.  The carousel was another big hit.  She kept saying “mas, mas” (more) b/c she wanted to keep riding.  Minnie’s house was also a lot of fun.  She sat at Minnie’s table and “had tea” she loved opening the fridge.  But, the most fun thing was watching the cake rise and fall in the oven continually.  Every time the cake fell, she would say, “uh-oooh”.  Over and over.  We were cracking up.  When she met Minnie, she nuzzled up to her.  She loved her, it was so sweet.  Unfortunately the line for Mickey was waaaaay too long so we didn’t wait.  We went to eat at the Cosmic Cafe where they have a DJ and Pluto and Goofy were there dancing.  Alexis loved it.  She was not shy at all, pushed her way past all the bigger kids, shaking her butt and poked Pluto in the back so that he would turn around and dance with her.  I kid you not.  Then when she was dancing with Goofy she bent down and touched his foot, almost like making sure he was real.

The fireworks show which is honestly the real reason that i continue to go year after year was amazing.  Alexis also was mesmerized and kept saying “ooooh” to all the pretty lights.We went into more than one store and she would just run from one thing to the next, picking up all the stuffed toys and hugging them.  We are now the proud owners of a lot of Disney stuff – a Tinkerbell light up spinning thing (I’m sure it has a better name), several t-shirts, a Minnie purse, a huge Mickey and Minnie – most of this wwas thanks to my mom, except the large Mickey which was Marc’s mom, we also got her countless stickers, or “stickies” as she calls them, which are her new obsession.  By this point she was getting very very tired and cranky.  She had not napped at all, we had hoped she would sleep in the car on the drive up but that didn’t happen.  So she passed out in her stroller around 10:30.  If she hadn’t fallen asleep the plan was that the grandmas would have taken her back to the hotel early.  We went on a few more adult rides, picked up our ornament, had some cookies and hot chocolate, by the time the park closed at midnight we were dragging and ready for bed.

The hotel was another story.  We thought it would be nice to stay in a cabin in Ft Wilderness so we could all stay together.  Eh, not so much.  I guess it’s nice if you have a big family and are staying for a while, but for an overnight I didn’t like it.  It’s definitely rustic.  Not awful, I have stayed in much worse places.  The transportation is a bit time consuming.  There are buses that take you around the resort itself.  We take a bus from our cabin to the docks where we then board a ferry for the Magic Kingdom.  By the time we did the reverse and got back to our hotel, it was after 1am.  Alexis thankfully fell right back to sleep after I put her in her PJs and put her down in the pack n play.  I didn’t think she would sleep in there but she did, she must have been so exhausted that she would have slept anywhere!

So the next day we headed to Downtown Disney for some (more) shopping.  Marc and I got our fix at the candy store of the chocolate covered marshmallows.   Those are so good.  I’m going to have to learn to make them, how tough can it be really?

So all in all we had a wonderful trip.  And it was so different to be able to see everything with Alexis, it really makes the Magic Kingdom more magical.

Permalink 1 Comment

No shortcuts in my cooking

November 23, 2009 at 10:34 am (Cooking, Family, Opinion, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’ve tried.  Really, I have.  I have tried to use the boxes and cans and the jars and it doesn’t work for me, I can’t do it.  I taste the difference and it just doesn’t feel right to me.  I love cooking.  I enjoy spending an afternoon making a homemade meat sauce for my lasagna.  I think my caesar dressing is better than any I’ve had at a restaurant.  Mac n cheese is so easy to make from scratch – why use a box – same steps, boil, add ingredients, and stir. No need for salsa from a jar when fresh ingredients are readily available.  Cooking like this takes longer, I know that, but it’s also more enjoyable to me.  I guess if i didn’t like cooking then I wouldn’t want to spend MORE time in the kitchen, but to me, it’s relaxing and enjoyable.

I did recently try to streamline my processes in the name of brevity and it did not work.  I made stuffing one night as a side dish.  I got a box of stuffing – very popular brand that is made on a stove top – figuring it must be good b/c this is what people use all the time!! Well – it was inedible.  I could not do it.  I even added some embellishments to it and still the bread was mush and had a processed taste.  Don’t get me started on Mashed Potatoes.  I love mashed potatoes, but can taste a mix from a mile away.  This, too, I can’t fathom – using re-hydrated potato flakes and calling it mashed potatoes.  This is one dish that is time consuming, and a lot of work – peeling, boiling, mashing is labor intensive but so worth it in the end!  There is no mystery meat in my pork dumplings or fried rice.  I know the grocery stores are full of things that make our life easier – the pork and chicken come already marinated, ground beef is pre-made into hamburger patties, etc.  I can appreciate how this does save time and makes it possible for people to make dinner at home every night.  For me, I want to know and choose exactly what goes into a marinade, I want to add the spices for my cheeseburger, I don’t need a packet of seasoning for meatloaf, I have everything I need in my pantry and fridge.

If you were to look in my pantry you will see my attempts – i have jars of pasta sauce, the canister of remaining stuffing mix, and more.  I may use them again one night (not the stuffing) to see how the sauces are, but more than likely they will sit there.   I don’t judge others for their time-savers in the kitchen.  I don’t turn my nose up at jar pasta sauces.  It’s just not my choice.  I cook the way I do b/c I enjoy it.  It makes me happy to have a finished product that people really like eating and I know that it was made by me, the way i wanted it t come out. I also think part of it was how I grew up.  My dad is the same way I am.  He loves cooking and making big elaborate meals, he’s a great cook.  That’s what I was used to.  That wore off on me.  i hope to pass along my love of cooking to my daughter – i would love for her to grow up as my sous chef and use cooking as a way to relax.  It’s true what so many chefs say – you can taste the difference when food is made with love and I like to think that my food is made that way!!

And I don’t mind sharing any of my tips or recipes – feel free to ask!!

Permalink 1 Comment

Finally! A house!

July 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm (Family, Home Improvement, House, Uncategorized) ()

After what seemed like an eternity of headaches, we are finally, officially homeowners!!! I know in my last post, I lashed out at the assholes that made this whole process more difficult than it needed to be (I won’t even get into what happened at closing).  However, there were 2 people who made things easier and definitely helped us!! First our agent friend Yaniv – I could not recommend him and his company enough!! he put in countless hours searching for the perfect home for us and driving us around.  I know that my husband is not easy to please and is very demanding and a total perfectionist.  So thanks, Yaniv for answering Marc’s countless inquiries about whether this was “a good deal”.  See his website here.  Next our attorney friend Chad, he always looked out for us and our interests.  He worked on our contracts after hours at his firm and went above and beyond for us.  We are very fortunate to have friends like these 🙂

Now, without further ado: the casa! This is all “before” we are currently working on the house and hope to move in by the second week of August.  We are painting all the interiors, replacing carpet in the bedrooms, cleaning the tile, getting new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, updating all the lighting and adding fans, updating the faucets in the bathrooms and the kitchen, getting a new vanity in the guest bathroom, installing accordion shutters, putting up a fence, and finally buy all new furniture since we sold our house furnished!

Here are a few pics, I don’t have a picture of the guest room, the exterior front or back, the family room, or any of the bathrooms.  It has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms so we definitely have room to grow in the house.  The yard is big enough for a pool and we are hoping to put one in by next summer, also we want to get a nice swing set for Alexis.

Foyer

Foyer

Living Room Left

Living Room Left

Living Room right

Living Room right

Dining Room

Dining Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Space for dinette

Space for dinette

3 Front Bedrooms

3 Front Bedrooms

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Bay Window

Master Bedroom Bay Window

Permalink 2 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2009 at 10:18 am (Baby, Family, Parenting) (, , , )

Mother's Day 2008

Mother's Day 2008

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day 2009

What a difference a year makes!!! Last year Alexis was just over 2 months old on Mother’s Day.  She was still a little blob who didn’t do a whole lot.  This year however a whole different story.  She is a person.   A walking (somewhat) talking person!  I think in the year between my first and second Mother’s Day I have gained a different understanding of motherhood and what it really is.  It’s no longer only being caretaker – feeding, changing, bathing, etc.  It’s still those things but so much more.  Now that Alexis says Mama and looks for me and comes over to me.   I’m not just the person who takes care of basic needs, I’m Mama.

There is also the aspect of being a daughter and granddaughter who is now also a mother.  Instead of only celebrating my mom and grandmother, they are now celebrating me!!

Mother’s Day has always been special to me but now it has new meaning.

So to all the wonderful mommies, mommies to be, mommies in spirit, and anyone else – Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »