Friday, February 29, 2008
Really starting to look forward to spring. We have lots to do to prepare for spring. Only about 6 more weeks until we can start planting some cold weather crops. And have I mentioned that I got a worm composter off Freecycle? It is all set up and ready to go. Matt doesn't want it inside, so I'm going to wait another month before I order worms. Can't wait to blog about our pet worms!
ps - I'm not about to stop blogging... you can't get rid of me that easily! :)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I got a few not-so-nice emails (not comments - they are all good!) about my Synchronicity post. That post was supposed to be more about the synchronicity of my day more than anything else, but it was definitely not about working vs. stay at home moms! I am truly sorry if it came across to anyone as that. It was only describing my personal struggles and questions as a SAHM. I fully support working moms and have no issues with those who choose to work. Heck, I went back to work part-time after Kate was born. If I hadn't gotten pregnant again so quickly, I still had those connections and we hadn't moved across the country, I might still be working part time. While I am grateful to have the option to stay home, in some ways I am actually jealous of my friends and acquaintances that work outside the home. That time at work to develop themselves (and their paycheck!) seem really enviable at times.
The quote, "You can have it all, but not all at the same time" was not intended (by me) to mean that you can't work and be a mother. To me it meant that I can't literally have it all at the same time. I don't consider me on the computer working on projects and ignoring my children while they watch TV or beg for attention to be good mothering (I'm not doing that all the time, but it has certainly happened once or twice... or maybe three times...). I need to be more mindful of my parenting, not distracted by other projects. Matt and I have chosen that I be a stay at home mom, and if that is our choice, I feel that most of my time should be spent on my children. I sometimes forget the importance of really "being" with my kids during the day and thus the quote that reminded me that I am not in a holding pattern even while playing Candyland (seriously, can that game get any longer?!?). This doesn't mean that I can't/don't/won't work on my personal goals at other times, just not when I am supposed to be mothering and at the expense of quality time with my children.
The funny thing about that post, which I intentionally didn't make clear for fear of shooting myself in the foot, is that the "ideas" I was referring to relate mostly to my blog. I've been struggling for awhile with this blog. I love it, and I get a lot of personal satisfaction from blogging. Lately, however, I've been feeling a lot of "pressure" with it. I haven't had the time (without sacrificing my parenting or my sleep) to give it what I want. How many times have I said, "I'll post about _____ sometime soon" and never get to it? I've been meaning to update my blogroll for months. I have good friends with blogs that I haven't added yet! I also want to respond to all the comments/questions and email inquiries as well as comment on other great blogs, but I just can't seem to get it done which then leaves me feeling lousy and a bit stressed. I realize this is all self-induced stress. This blog is totally optional in my life. I'm getting only that personal satisfaction to blog. I am adamant that going forward I will not allow blogging to cause additional stress in my life.
I'm not saying that I'm giving up blogging. I'm just making a personal commitment about my priorities. Blogging is only going to be fun. If I get to it great, if I don't... oh, well! I am also making a commitment to schedule some time for working on my other personal goals. I alluded to that in my other post, and now it is really coming together. I am going to have a babysitter a few hours a week so that I can work more efficiently and in peace. Hopefully I'll have something to show for that time soon.
Hope that clarifies things a bit. And if it doesn't clarify things, can I blame it on the fact that I had 2 kids squirming on and off my lap while I wrote this?
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Couple notes on storage
-Store breading in a glass, not plastic, container.
-Don't dip meat directly into storage container. Instead spoon whatever you need into another dish as to not contaminate the stored breading-Make sure all the breading ingredients are non-perishable.
-Also works great for any breaded recipes. I usually keep some of the breading mixture for Tofu Fishy Sticks in the fridge as well.
This is the main recipe that I keep on hand in our fridge. We had it for dinner last night. It is adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Lowfat Favorites
Garlic Dill Breading
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed
1 Tablespoon dried dill
1 1/2 tsp ground dried mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or more to taste)
salt/pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together. Store in airtight container in fridge. When ready to make fish, put about a 1/4 cup in a flat dipping dish. Beat one egg in another flat dipping dish. Dip firm white fish (I like cod!) in beaten egg, then in breading mixture. Place in a baking dish drizzled with olive oil, drizzle fish with olive oil, and bake at 350 for 15-20min. Serve with lemon wedges.
Next week I'll post about bread crumbs! Check out other WFMW.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I was thinking about all this as I was driving the kids into the mountains last Friday (nothing like a drive in the mountains for some good thinking time!) and wondering if I had lost myself by becoming a mother. After settling the kids into bed, I picked up the March issue of Real Simple and started reading an article by one of my favorite magazine authors. Gail Blanke writes great motivator articles every month, and I have most of them saved in a binder. This month she was answering commonly asked questions, and there it was... #4 Can I pursue personal goals and be a good mother? Her whole answer is great (you can read the whole thing at the link above), but a few lines really spoke to me and what I have been feeling.
"You can have it all, but not all at the same time."
"Don't confuse giving yourself 100 percent with losing yourself."
"So don't think for a minute that you're circling in a holding pattern and that one day, when the children are older, you'll land and get on with your life. This is life."
I felt the synchronicity of the moment, and it has since helped me let go of some of the urgency I feel in accomplishing my personal goals. Not that I am giving them up - I'm even scheduling some time to work on them instead of trying to fit it in while simultaneously being a mom. It was just an "aha!" moment for me.
I had another synchronous moment reading that magazine. There was an article written by Jennifer Baumgardner who is the co-author the books Manifesta and Grassroots. Earlier in the car I had listened to a podcast interview with her. Never heard of her before, and she pops up twice in just a few hours. I'm thinking it is a sign that I need to read at least one of her books...
Monday, February 25, 2008
Kate's birthday went well. It was pretty low key. A few gifts, a chocolate chip cookie cake, a balloon and a lot of admiring how big our 4 year old was. She also insisted most of yesterday that we call her "Birthday Ski Girl!" LOL
Back to the mile long TO DO list at home. I've hired a babysitter one afternoon a week so that I can get some work done on a few projects I have going. Also looking forward to my father-in-law's visit this coming weekend. I am planning some alone time at home while he is here.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Kate: Mom, I have to pee! Can I pee in the shower?
Me: No! Lots of people use these showers.
Kate: But Daddy said it was okay to pee in the shower.
Me: Well, Daddy was wrong!
Surrounding Shower Stalls: Fits of laughter
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Less than 48 hours to enter the SIGG Giveaway! Thanks to 5 Minutes For Mom for featuring the giveaway on Sunday's 5 Minutes Around the Blogosphere post. They have a great blog and two mom-owned stores. My favorite is the store with rocking horses!
On the creativity front, I took my first photography class last week. I really enjoyed it. Our assignment for this week was on composition. I'll post some of my "assignment shots" later in the week. The beach was a great place to practice! I also forgot to mention that I participated in MIFS last week at It's All for the Best. This week's MIFS is being hosted at This Wasn't In the Plan. I'm going to be hosting MIFS again the end of March and want to do a spring/Easter theme so start thinking about what you want to submit!
Lots to go catch up on... email, laundry, errands...
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Or maybe I'll just dig in the sand with my kids...
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When we got to school, all the other children in class had cute little bags and baskets of Valentines to pass out to their classmate. But Kate didn't. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that 2.5 year olds passed out Valentines to each other! Although I doubt Kate even noticed because she was so excited to be getting Valentines, I nonetheless felt like a horribly inadequate mother. However, Kate did pass around something to her classmates in an appropriate Valentine shade... pink eye!
So this year, I wanted to make sure I got it right, maybe even make up for last year. I'm severely lacking sleep from staying up too late, but I think I got it right! Handmade valetines and heart shaped brownies!
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 T baking powder
4 T cocoa
Melt butter, beat in eggs, add sugar and vanilla and stir well. Mix in flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa. Pour into a greased and floured 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-35 min. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Notes on this post
- I made three batches of brownies over the last 24 hours... the first batch I didn't adjust for altitude and they came out way to gooey in the middle and dry on top to send to preschool
- When making heart shaped brownies, a lot goes to "waste" so you may want to plan on making a second batch to get enough.
- I ate "waste" for breakfast this morning!
- I am very proud of myself that I did nothing to try to make the brownies healthier. Very unlike me.
- Do you see the lollipops on the valentines? Those are the artificial-color filled lollipops that I have been trying to use up without giving to my kids since before Halloween!
- I was actually in denial that Kate had pink eye (even told the preschool teacher that it was a plugged tear duct, not pink eye) until MY eye turned red and itchy. Not fun.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
-Brown onions and celery in olive oil (not too much)
-Beat 2-4 egg whites until stiff
-Combine salmon, onions, and celery into mixing bowl Add bread crumbs until cereal like consistency Then add fresh parsley, cayenne pepper, s/p, and lemon juice
-Fold in egg whites (salmon needs to be eggy consisterncy
-Refrigerate 20 min at least
-Place in bread crumbs and fry in olive oil (try to flip only once)
-Serve with lemons
* I didn't make the top larger on the blue cupcake, so it turned out a little mishappen. Still tastes good!
Stuff the cupcake (the kids' job in our house). I thought it worked best to over stuff a bit. Put the top piece over the bottom piece like a lid and stitch together.Finished! Let the kids enjoy them for a tea party! My purple one (the last one I made) looked the best, but it was being eaten during this photo shoot.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Funny thing about the mercury... I remember when I was much younger, a mercury thermometer broke in our house, and my mom let us play with the mercury! I still remember how much fun playing that mercury blob was!
1. Where/How did you meet?
Matt and I met at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on July 1, 1997. He was on a 6 week rotation through my department, and we were assigned to the same team of healthcare providers.
2. How long have you known each other?
It was 10 years last July.
3. How long after you met did you start dating?
After meeting and a few weeks of chatting while working, I knew that Matt was in to me. I went home and told my roommate that I would definitely have a date by the end of his rotation. The 6 weeks came and went, but nothing. I was stunned. I would occasionally run into him in the hospital, and he always went out of his way to talk for a bit. Still no date. Nine months after we met I came home to a message on my answering machine (I had been hiking up in Estes Park, CO), "Hi, Kristen? This is Matt. I'm that red head from the hospital. I was wondering if you might like to go out sometime..." Matt says that he had to do a lot of work to find my last name and phone number. Then he almost didn't leave a message because he thought I lived with a guy (my roommate and I had my cat's name Samuel on the outgoing message!). Ends up he had been in a relationship the previous summer. I still accuse him of being awfully flirtous for someone in a relationship! Our first date was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Our second date was Saturday. Our third date Sunday!
4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
We got engaged January 1, 2000 so a little over a year and a half.
5. How long was your engagement?
9 months and 2 days
6. How long have you been married?
We had our 7th anniversary in September
7. What is your anniversary?
8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
We had about 80 people, we wanted it smaller, but people surprisingly kept responding "yes!"
9. What kind of cake did you serve?I can't quite remember. I think it was a flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry filling. I do remember that it was beautiful. Very simple with fruit decorations.
10. Where was your wedding?
We got married on Matt's uncle's ranch in southeastern Arizona. Very remote, but very beautiful. You can see some pics on my last anniversary post. Once our friends and family made it to Arizona, we took care of the rest. We provided accomodations, meals, and activities from Friday evening through Monday morning (it was Labor Day weekend). It was a fabulous wedding weekend if I do say so myself!
11. What did you serve for your meal?
No clue - I recall it being sort of southwestern and maybe grilled veggies.
12. How many people were in your bridal party?
Eight. My sister was my maid of honor plus I had Matt's sister, my college friend Michelle, and my friend Krista. Matt's bestman was a good friend growing up plus he had 3 other college buddies.
13. Are you still friends with them all?
14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?
Surprising to me, Matt was a bit teary when I was walking up to him.
15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
I don't think I can pick one moment. It was all wonderful. A bit of a blur, but wonderful.
16. Any funny moments?
Matt's cousins and my sister(?) decided to make our wedding night romantic so they put a bunch of lit tea lights from the tables in our room. It looked beautiful, but the room was so horribly smoky when we got there that we could hardly breathe! It had to be aired out for a long time.
17. Any big disasters?
Matt and I missed it, but one of our guests got pretty drunk and wandered off. The ranch is in the middle of nowhere so you can really get lost. Apparently my in-laws and others were up well into the night looking for her, even looking in some morbid places like around the edge of the pond. She was eventually found safe.
18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Another long story! I'll try to keep it short. We went to a "soft adventure resort" in Baja, Mexico with Baja Air Adventure. While it was a fantastic trip, and one we would like to do again someday, it was a bit rustic. (from the online photos, it appears to have improved 1000% since we were there!) It was brutally hot, there was no a/c, there were no showers, there were stingrays in the lagoon, we had 2 single cots in our "casita" which was barely more than a tent, and it was too hot to sleep inside, so we slept on the beach... with everyone else that was there! We were two of only 5 guests (the other 3 guys were filming a show for the Outdoor Life Network), the food was fabulous, and we did all kinds of amazing things. Fishing, clamming, swimming with sea lions, snorkling, hiking, sailing, etc. Really an amazing experience. Just not your typical honeymoon.
19. How long were you gone?
After a night in San Diego, I think we were in Baja for 5 days.
20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
I wouldn't have stressed over details. Nothing else mattered with a great location, a great caterer, and all our friends and family with us.
21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The side closest to the children. Right now that is the left side.
22. What size is your bed?
King sized, and it really isn't big enough.
23. Greatest strength as a couple?
What a great question! I think our greatest strength is our devotion to each other. We acknowledge that everything else in our life is secondary to our relationship.
24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
25. Who literally pays the bills?
I do, and I should be doing it now instead of this meme!
26. What is your song?
I don't think we have one. I don't even remember what we danced to at our wedding!
27. What did you dance your first dance to?
Pretty simple, not expensive. It had a straight across neckline with thin straps and little bows. It had little bows on the bottom of the skirt which I wanted taken off but couldn't. I also wanted it to fit a bit tighter.
29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?
30. Are your wedding bands engraved?
No, but my engagement ring was designed by Matt and the center stone is his great grandmother's diamond. Makes it that much more special to me.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Natural - Should mean that no artifical ingredients such as artificial coloring or flavors were added during processing. However, the term "natural" is not regulated. Natural chickens may have been fed antibiotics.
Organic - Means that animals were raised without antibiotics, were given only organic feed, and were not given any animal by-products. Animals must also have free range to graze (see "free range" below)
Certified Humane - Means the living conditions are above federal standards (which are really pretty low). They can not be fed animal by-products or antibiotics, except when ill.
Free-Range - Implies the ability for the chicken to roam free and eat a varied diet, but the claim does not have to be verified. Also, chickens are just supposed to have "access" to the outdoors. Doesn't necessarily mean they go out. Also, free-range chickens can be fed anything - conventional feed, feed treated with pesticides or chemicals, GMOs, animal by-products, antibiotics, etc.
Kosher - Chickens are raised and slaughtered following Jewish dietary rules which is often more humane. While these chickens are free-range and not given antibiotics or animal by-products, their feed is conventional and may have been treated with pesticides or chemicals.
One thing you don't have to worry about when purchasing a chicken is hormones or steroids. Federal regulations prohibit commercial growers from adding homones or steroids to chicken products.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Sunday - EV's Veggies
Monday - Dinner out - Greek food!
Tuesday - Relapse of my tummy bug and ate nothing, I have no idea what the kids ate!
Wednesday - Mix-n-Match of leftovers in the fridge
Thursday - My solo night out, Dad out of town, Kids had Mac-N-Cheese and a smoothie
Friday - Took the kids out for Greek food(again!)
Saturday - Amy's pizza and homemade applesauce
Sunday - Boca Burgers and roasted potato slices with Old Bay Seasoning
Now that we are all feeling better, we are going to be eating better. Planned for this week...
Monday - Salmon Cakes, roasted cauliflower, red quinoa
Tuesday - Roast Chicken, roasted root veggies, drop biscuits
Wednesday - Dinner out with friends
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Dinner out with friends
Check out more menu ideas at OrgJunkie!
To top it off, Matt has been in Utah skiing since Thursday so I was on my own with one sick child and one stir-crazy child. I can't wait for him to be back in a few hours. I need a nap. I'm really cranky!
Because we've been stuck at home all weekend, we have done a couple of fun crafts. I'll try to post about them later today.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
Kate - "I love this nightgown. Someone sewed it, right?"
Me - "Yes, someone sewed that nightgown so you could wear it."
Kate - "I wonder who sewed this nightgown?"
Me, imagining a child laborer sewing nightgowns, wondering if age 4 is really an appropriate age to introduce the concept of sweatshops, and opting for - "I would guess that someone at the store sewed your nightgown."
Kate, eyeing me skeptically - "But I thought Santa made this nightgown..."
Me - "um, er... was that nightgown from Santa? I didn't remember that."
She can't possibly be questioning Santa, can she? She just started understanding the concept of Santa bringing gifts a few months ago!