Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Today, I had lunch with one of my most favorite people on the face of this earth and was asked a question that I, and I'm sure many other stay-at-home mother's, get, "Are you bored?"  The other question, similar to this, is "Do you think you'll ever go back to teaching?"

My answers are simple for now, "No and No."  No to the latter mainly because the idea of having two smallish and still needy children and all that paperwork that comes with teaching thank you.  If I ever go back to teaching, it won't be until my children are quite self sufficient.  People, you may not want to believe it, but teaching is a lot of work and not just the part where you are actually in the school teaching.  I'm not going to rage on about that because, well, just because.  However, the bored thing, I will talk about that for a minute.

I am in no way upset that this question was asked, I think it is a genuine curiosity for a lot of people.  And I am sure that, Steve, my lunch mate, is no stranger to questions that are asked over and over for the sake of plain and simple curiosity.  First and foremost, if I were bored why would I stay home?  I don't how working mothers do it, and I am lucky enough to be in a position that I don't have find out.  My staying home is a choice and if at any time I really wanted to go back to work, I could.

Bored, no.  Tedious, sometimes.  Exhausting, often.  it may not seem like a full time job, but there are errands to do.  Simple tasks of going to the bank and the dry cleaner; running into CVS, Target, and the always dreaded and rarely visited post office.   Things that I can do during the day, so they don't have to be done afterwork or on the weekend.  There is meal planning and food shopping.  Food negotiations, clothing negotiations, bathing negotiations, sleeping negotiations.  Story time, nap time, cleaning time, and yes, dare I do it just for myself, exercise time.

There is school drop off and pick up and after school activities and play dates.  Cleaning laundry, folding laundry, putting away laundry.  Beds to make, sheets to change, and dishes to wash.

And there is a dog.  Do other people do these things and have a paying gig.  Of course!  But I am pretty sure that if they had someone who would do it for them all day, they would take it  :).

So no, I am not bored, and if I ever become bored, you'll know because I will go an get a "real" job.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What's for Dinner

Last week Dan was in Seattle and, as it turns out, I really cook dinner for him.  When he isn't home, there is a lot of noodle and cheese action happening in our house.  Actually, there was a lot of chicken Caesar salad happening last week.  I don't know what the deal is because I never really cared for Caesar, but last week I ate four. What?  While the are high in calorie value for a salad, they really aren't that high if you think about it as a meal.  Roughly 350 calories for the salad, chicken, and dressing.  About 100 calories knocked off without chicken.  So, in terms of a meal, not so bad.  (Yes, I track calories both to make sure I don't eat to few for what my body needs or too many)

My last "What's for Dinner" post was actually pretty successful.  I didn't make the cheesy taco cups, mostly because I was too lazy to put the tortillas in a muffin tin.  I cut the tortillas with a pizza slicer and made them into nachos instead.  Lazy tacos  :)  I think we were most surprised by the Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage.  The kids LOVED it.  I ended up using the entire amount of oil, and I should have stuck to my gut because I thought there was too much.  Next time!   The honey lemon bars were okay.  They were much too sweet for me, and I prefer another recipe I have.  But, again, the kids LOVED them.  We also had an added chocolate zucchini bread and muffins.  We received two enormous zucchinis (that I am just finishing up this week) from our farm share.  No one in my family, other than myself, cares for zucchini, and I needed to find something to make a dent in these monsters.  So I shredded four cups and baked them in a chocolate bread.  Then I used another shredded cup to make Veggie Confetti Muffins (which only Joey and I will eat) AND THEN I will use the rest of it for Monday's dinner.  Please help me if I get more zucchinis this week!

Sunday:  Bacon Crusted Turkey Burgers.  I told you they were on deck!  I have a ton of lettuce from our share as well, so we will have a nice big farm salad with these to counter the bacon and cheese.

Meatless Monday:  Zucchini, Squash and Ricotta Galette   I am actually really excited to make this.  When I tried to prepare the family that it was coming so that I don't waste the remaining zucchini and three small summer squashes, Natalie's immediate response was, "Do we have to eat it?"  Seeing as it just isn't a battle I want to fight anymore, I will make Caprese Salad for the haters.

Taco Tuesday:  I have no tacos planned.  What?!  Dan requested Tuna and Egg Salad for dinner this week.  And that is so easy for me, how can I say no.  I'm going to include Cilantro Chicken Salad (for me) and say that because there is cilantro in it, it will count for Taco Tuesday.  It's a cheat, I know, but cut a woman some slack.

Wednesday: Leftovers/Farm share day

Thursday:  Chicken Cordon Bleu.   We don't really make a ton of chicken breasts because no one seems to like them.  But I have them in the freezer, so they need to be used.   I asked Dan what I could do with them that he would eat and this was one of his choices.  And it is from one of my have sites where every recipe has been good.  I love that!

** Veggie Note:  we always have salad as our veggie.  None of us are really into cooked vegetables, so I don't make them.  I just don't want you all thinking that I don't make any vegetables.  Especially now that we have the share, we have fun veggies to throw in there.  Last night I had a salad with fresh string beans it.  Yummers.  I also made  beet salad that I will serve with the burgers tonight. (I used goat cheese because I had it and didn't add the walnuts-- just because)

Friday we are headed to Jersey, and Saturday Dan is taking both kids camping...overnight...and I'm not going....Hip Hip  HOORAY!   Not that I wouldn't camp, but I am pretty sure this is only the second time, since Joey was born, that I will be without children over night.

Baked Good:  I made Blueberry Crisp yesterday, so we will work on that.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Obsession(s)

Every summer I become obsessed with new things.  For me, especially this summer when I have twelve hours of alone time, summer becomes about discovery and down time.  While we are "rushing" to get to camp in the morning, our day-to-day schedule is pretty lax.  So far, this summer, I am obsessing over the following:

Pretty Little Liars

That is really it.  I know a lot of people whose guilty pleasures are reality tv, but mine is ABC Family.  Seriously, I am not so secretly a thirteen-year-old girl in a thirty-four-year-old body.  This show, as I have told so many people, is cheesy enough that I am a little embarrassed to admit I am watching it, but compelling enough that I can't stop.

I watch it while I am on the elliptical, cooking dinner, doing dishes, and laying in bed.  It has really put a wrench in my summer reading.  Perhaps I should have read the Pretty Little Liars book series upon which the series is based.  I watch hours of it every day (while multitasking, of course!).   You can stream this series on Netflix, for those who are interested.

I wish I had more exciting news. And I didn't forget about Sunday's "What's for Dinner" post.  Dan was away, so I didn't make any dinner this week.  It was all about what was in the pantry.

Seriously people, Pretty Little Liars.  If only Netflix would stream 90210 (the original/Brenda years).
I'd throw a crazy snack party (that means don't bring Twizzlers, though I won't turn you away)


Monday, July 2, 2012


We've been out of school for three weeks.  That is a lifetime in the world of small children and stay-at-home parents.  That is three weeks of having to find something to do everyday to occupy their little minds and bodies.  I was good for about two and a half, after that I just run out of steam and need a break.  It was a good run, but man, was I ready for camp to start...or so I thought.

My "to do" list is never ending, and I was looking forward to camp because every week I get twelve hours without any children.  TWELVE HOURS.  A WEEK!  That is a lifetime in the world of a stay at home parent with small children who need their little minds and bodies occupied at all times.  My plan for the first twelve hours was to clean the house, and by clean the house, I really mean clean house.  Go through closets and drawers and throw things out while little minds and bodies are being occupied somewhere else.  They won't even miss it.  I couldn't wait.  Last  night I was bursting with anticipation.

Then, this morning, I was bursting with a new anticipation.  My babies are going off without me.  I am putting Natalie on a big, yellow school bus, something I had yet to do, and I went into a total panic.  I woke up and made a proper breakfast of slow cooked oatmeal and forced them to eat it, because was if they don't eat their lunches, and I am not there to make them eat their lunches.

I went into Natalie's room, where she was quietly reading passing the time until departure.

"How are you feeling?   Good? Excited?  You a little nervous?"

"Mom, I'm excited.  Is it time to leave?"

"Are you ready to take the bus?"

"Mommy, I have taken a bus three times without you."

 Then she rolled her eyes and sighed at me.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What's for Dinner

My friend, Emily does a great job of creating weekly posts.  Last summer she had a "treasured" series every Wednesday.  This summer she has a "Pictured" series.  It is such a clever way to ensure a weekly post.  Clearly, I am having trouble with that.

I am nothing if not a creature of routine.  So much so, that when I have to be flexible with my always plans, I tend to feel as though I am spiraling out of control.  It isn't pretty.  Deep breath.  Just thinking about it sent me into a bit of a tizzy.

Sunday is menu making day.  Yes, I spend about 80% of my time in my tiny kitchen.  Cooking, baking, and researching new fun edible ideas.  I've even, dare I say it out loud, gotten to a point where I haven't had a flop in a while.  Note: I had an Apple Dijon Kale salad planned for last Wednesday courtesy of a fantastic food site Bugdet Bytes...everything I have made from there has been great, but at the last minute I thought, no one is going to eat this salad.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I made kale chips and if you haven't, you should, too.

This long, drawn out story really comes down tot he fact that I thought I could share my recipes with you each Sunday because something in my research that I also try to find is someone to give me a menu to take some of the thinking out of it.

Sunday:  Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe and Sweet (or Spicy) Sausage
 - I received the broccoli rabe in my farm share this week.  It isn't my favorite, but I thought between the  five cloves of garlic the recipe calls for and the addition of sausage, I just might be able to tolerate it.  Also, I can pretty much guarantee that I will not be using the 1/2c of oil the recipe calls for.  I'm confident that I can get away with 2 TB

Monday:  Creamy Avocado and White Bean Wrap  This is not only meatless for Meatless Monday, but also a great quick, no cook go to.  I tell my kids the avocado is is really only a partial fib.

Taco Tuesday:  Cheesy Tortilla Cups    I tend to make beans on Taco Tuesday, but these have beans in them, so I might not.  But it is a great recipe that you should have.  I don't add the full amount of broth-- it makes them a bit watery for me.

Wednesday:   This is farm share pick-up day, so my meal tends to be determined by the basket.   This week it happened to be July 4th, so I am going to go on a limb and say we will probably be barbecuing.

Thursday: - Leftovers

Baked Good:  "Skinny" Honey Lemon Bars (Natalie's choice) 

On Deck:  Bacon Crusted Turkey Burgers, Peach Thyme Panna Cotta

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What the Heck?

Joey is giving me all my material lately.  I swear, the minute that kid overcomes a challenging behavior it just makes room for a new one.   Yesterday, as we arrived home from a fantastic day of pond, sand, playground, and friend fun, Joey turns to me and says, "What the HECK?"  

What the what?

Blue eyes glinting, wide smile, "What the HECK, Mommy?"  Ummmmm, he's three.  THREE!  This kid is full of so many parenting curve balls that I just don't remember encountering with Natalie.  Yes, as we discovered, she came with some typical behavior, but it was all behavioral.

I spent more than an average amount of time thinking about this last night.  Why do I feel this is somehow worse than when he says,  "Shoot, shoot, shoot" or "Tata, do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?"  Perhaps, because I know this one didn't come from me, and my protective bubble around him is bursting much earlier than Natalie's did.   Maybe it's because in the same week I have one child spelling out "cock" with fruit and the other saying "What the heck?"

Shoot, shoot, shoot.

Monday, June 4, 2012

But He's So Cute, Part II

I know it was brazen of me, but this morning I left Joey unattended so that I could go to the bathroom.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I probably should have known he was up to no good, because he didn't come into the bathroom with me.  I came back to this:

I was without words.     The black sharpie began on the white tiled counter and continued onto the yellow walls.  And there stood my little boy, chest puffed, smiling face radiating, "Mommy, I made you a present.  Ta-da!  It's a rainbow!"  He was so proud and ll I could say was, "Oh no, oh no, oh no!"  His faced dropped, knowing that he had done something he shouldn't have.  Dan came and whisked him away while I frantically tried to erase this permanent marker with a sponge.   The day continued with a series of artistic mishaps including, but not limited to, finding Joey, laundry dumped on the floor, basket turned over as a step stool, and a little three and a half year old boy painting his face with makeup.

I hung my head-- defeated.  Why?  Natalie never did this...or did she?  Each time I looked at the "present"I shook my head, and then I remembered a little girl, about three and a half who had sound some primer in her soon to be new room.  Primer+three year old+leather chair = Kristen frantically trying to remove with a wet sponge. And while she never really got into makeup, there was a "Vaseline Party" incident that required quite a bit of clean up, and the time I had to take her to the doctor for an inexplicable rash starting at her armpit and going down the side of her little body...culprit?  She was putting on deodorant.  

Sometimes I wonder if it a boy thing, today I realized it is a three-year-old thing.   

But at least they are cute, right?