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?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

But He's So Cute...

Last night I went into Joey's room, because of the odd noises I was hearing, to find him perched on the dresser placing wipes on the lightbulb in the lamp in his room.

"Joey, what are you doing?  That isn't safe."
"I know, Mommy.  Remember when there was smoke?"
"What?!  Get down!"

This morning I went into Joey's room to find all of the dresser drawers open and every article of clothing on the floor.

"Joey, are you going to pick that up?"

On Mondays, I have to bribe Joey with iPad usage and lollipops in order to get him into the pool for swimming lessons, to stay in the pool at swimming lessons, and to listen to the teacher.  That poor teacher.   She seems like the sweetest 17-21 year old girl, who clearly has more patience than I.   Week after week she kindly asks Joey not to splash her or his classmates, to please stay seated on the steps until his turn, and regularly rescues him from near drowning jumps into water which he refuses to remember is too deep for him to stand in.   Sometimes, I want to hide, so the other mother's who are also paying for lessons and whose children are not getting the same attention because of my child's antics, can't shoot their judgement at me.

He is my second child; he is three; he is a boy-- I'm sure all of these are contributors to this behavior.  But I still cover my eyes and shake my head, while the woman sitting next to me says, "But he's so cute."

Indeed he is, and it's a good thing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yes, I am Mom Enough

Everyone is talking about it.  Okay, maybe not everyone, because I have asked a few people and they had no idea what I was talking about.  I did not read the actual article posted in Time, but I read countless posts and blogs, both supporting the article and those offended by the article.  And I feel that i have a voice, and it is important that I use it.  Would I nurse until my children were three, well, I have a three year old and, no, I wouldn't.  Did I nurse my children. Yes, I did.  I also had a (close your eyes squeamish) a vaginal (oh!) birth, and I didn't use drugs.  And I know so many wonderful mothers who did have an epidural or a c-section.  Does that somehow make them less of a mother?  I also know amazing women who adopted, in fact, if it weren't for adoption I would not be married to the most amazing man I know.  Does that make my mother-in-law less of a mother?

I must repeat, I did not read the actual article, but the title alone was enough.  We do what we can, what we are capable of, to be the best mothers we can be to our children.  We feed them, we love them, we tuck them in, we give them shelter, we hug them, we kiss them, we grow them in our wombs, we grow them in our hears, we obsess over scrapes and bruises and rashes and bug bites, we lose sleep, we lose hair, we lose waist lines, we are all mom enough whether we nurse for one month, ten months, thirty-six months, or no months.   Because once you fine out you are going to be a mother, no matter how that happens, you are mom enough.

To all the mothers I have, and I assure you there are a lot, and to all the mothers I know, you are all mom enough and to the mothers to be, you will be, too.  Sleep easy, friends.

Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Missed Callings

1.  Of course, color namer
2. Mason
3. Animated voice person
4. Children's musician, I'm pretty sure I could dominate the country kids music circuit if I could play an instrument.  Title track: "Whining never Wins"
5.  Fact checker
6. Professional name rememberer for someone important
7. Stained glass artist - I know nothing about this, but pretty sure if I did I would crush it.

I'm sure there are more, but at the moment, this list will have to do.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Earth Day - Belated

Yesterday, our morning was governed by a six and a half year old.  I would love to spend a day inside Natalie's brain to see how it works.  This is a child who regularly has what she thinks are incredibly genius ideas.  Like the the time, when she wouldn't dare touch anything called macaroni and cheese, told me that what would be really good for dinner would be if we made ziti and then mixed it with melted chèvre, cheddar, and jack cheeses.  I agreed that is did sound delicious, and it is also called macaroni and cheese.  "Oh." She says.  "Well, I think I would like to eat macaroni and cheese then."

So yesterday, Natalie has begged and pleaded for us to go to an Earth Day parade in Concord.  She cared not about the fact that it was celebrating Earth Day, but her little friend would be marching in the parade, and Natalie wanted to see her.  How does a parent argue with that?  Originally, I was told the parade started at 8:30, and I let Natalie know that we would not be making it.  But then the parade started at 10, so, again, I was without argument.  So we travelled, with no other information than what our daughter was told by someone else's daughter, into Concord to see a parade that for all we knew may or may not be happening.  After all, Earth Day was a week ago.

We drove aimlessly around Concord looking for signs of a parade, both literal and figurative.  Finally, we arrived to what we thought was the starting point of the parade-- families gathered on the bridge, children carrying hand made floats of sticks and  bark and leaves and flowers.  So we followed the crowds down to the river bank.  A parade on a river bank you ask?  Perhaps Dan and I should have also questioned this, but we didn't.  Instead we were involved in some bizarre Earth Day abduction/ritual.  A woman, face painted with stripes of blue and white and shiny strands of colors hanging down her back came wading through the water, picking up cups of it with a long wooden ladle and sprinkling it around her.  She was accompanied by a group of adults dressed as chickens who would both sing and "bock" complementing(?) her Earth Day speech of oil and warming and convenience and the amount of plastic water bottles we all consume. Dan and I try to do out part, really we do.  But this was the weirdest thing we have ever taken part in since we unknowingly walked into a Christian bookstore.  (Had we known it was a Christian bookstore, it would have been less uncomfortable, but not knowing and walking in...).

Joey, being the sweet boy he is, started yelling which allowed us to walk away shortly before it ended on its own.  And the parade that followed was impressive and earthy.  And Natalie saw her friend, which made both girls giggle with excitement.  I'm not sure Dan and I were as quick to recover....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Insert Foot Here

Joey is a bit of a politician-- making friends with potential, future campaign donors everywhere he goes. Taking names, shaking hands, and looking soulfully into other's eyes with his own beautiful blue ones. Today, out of sheer lack of anything to do, I took him to get a donut. We had time to kill, and he kept asking, and I gave in. So there were are, sitting at our high table at Dunkin Donuts with two random children next to us.

"What's your name?" Joey asks.

One child answered with what I heard as Alex. The grown up corrected me. "Alice and this is Grace." Yes, I heard Alice. I was looking at a little blonde headed child with hair styled just like my own son's. And the said child was wearing a plain, grey sweatshirt. Similar to the sweatshirts I used to wear with hand me down camo pants with which I would put my long, brown hair up into a matching camo camp and ask if I could pass for a boy. So I heard the name Alice, yes, typically a girl name, but people, this is 2012 and no name is gender specific anymore.

"Are you two brother and sister?" I ask.

Grown up with them responds, "Oh, they are both girls."
Oh dear. I have not been quite this embarrassed since, working in retail, I thought that a customer with a new baby was the baby's grandmother and said so. Then, I was able to slip into the back room and hide in shame until she was gone. This time...uh....not so much.

The mother was quite kind explaining that Alice has two older brothers with short hair and she, herself, with short hair had to finally give in to her small daughter's pleas for short hair like everyone else. I get that. I have a son who often comes to the dinner table in a dress and demands that we call him Eleanor. But there are lessons to be learned here.

1. Alice is still just a girl name
2. If your daughter looks like a boy, people will think she is a boy.
3. Don't let your children eat donuts. Had stayed strong in my beliefs, none of this would have happened.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Yeah, you read that title right. Joey is OB-SESSED with Puss in Boots right now. To the point where he wakes up in the morning brandishing his imaginary sword and straightens the fake feather on his non-existent hat. And he rides off on his horse, Pussy.

Joey is also a little obsessed with The Chipmunks, so in an effort to not have him running into school and announcing to all the other 3 and 4 year olds that he is "riding Pussy," I tried to have him rename imaginary horse, Simon.

"Joey, why don't you name your horse Simon?"

"Oh! Mommy, I love Simon."

"Good. So what is your horse's name?"


I'm very concerned for when he becomes a teenager.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I was going to offer you another mom to read about, and I apologize to said mom for choosing Whitney over you, but she is everywhere post mortem. And, for me, her death really is very sad. Do I understand that she ravaged her body with drugs and that this outcome was bound to happen, yes, but it is sad for me nonetheless. My entire childhood is wrapped up in a Whitney Houston song.

Whitney Houston was the very first cassette that I remember having. That terra cotta background and her slicked back hair... I'm pretty sure she was 19 on the cover of that album and she looked like a goddess to me. And, she was on Silver Spoons (one of my very favorite shows) as Alfonso's uncle's date. Off that album, "Greatest Love of All." I don't know if anyone else remembers, but I quite clearly remember being a fourth grader performing this song in Carolyn Montrose's backyard with the Winogrond girls, and mi prima favorita.

"Do You Want to Dance" inspired me to want to grow my hair out so I could look just like her in the video...well, have hair like her. I was crushed, crushed when Julie Forcina told me it was a wig. And there isn't a girl out there, I don't care what you say, who when you hear that song come on you don't pump the volume up and belt it out as loud as you can. It is just that kind of song.

Julie, without whom I would have no childhood memories, and I would sit on her front steps, rearranging "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." I think we thought we were better than Whitney...we weren't, but man did we go at that song for hours.

For a solid decade, Clairie and I would head to the Pancake House for a Christmas Eve morning breakfast singing Whitney's version of "Do You Hear What I Hear" In her Jetta, we would sing along with soul hangs and "Chakas" adding them in wherever we saw fit.

"Queen of the Night" and "I'm Every Woman" were songs of choice for car rides from Durham, NH to Boston for my college roommate, Kate, and myself. Not to mention breakout song in our dorm rooms. I actually forgot about this until I started to think about Whitney's catalog and how it is part of my growing up.

Everyone is paying tribute to her with "I Will Always Love You" because that video (do they even make videos anymore?) was the most simple yet dramatic Whitney. When she opened her eyes and started singing is an image that we can't forget. And we will always love her, because for those little girls who grew up with her, she was vocal brilliance and sang the soundtrack to our girlhood.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


So apparently I have built this tiny, little reputation of sorts, and I am here to set the record straight.

I would like the world to know the following:

1. I never check pockets before throwing too many clothes into the washing machine. Why? Mostly because I have been doing Dan's laundry for over ten years, and he hasn't learned to empty his pockets. So shame on him. Why do I put too many clothes in the wash? Really? I just want to get it done. And, for the record, today I had to pull a pair of pants out of the dirty hamper for Joey to wear. I do not like, nor am I good and keeping ahead of the laundry.

2. I cook most nights and out of seven nights in a week, at least one of those meals is a total flop and by total flop, I mean completely inedible. At least three nights out of the week I have to force my children to eat the meal with threats and bribery and at least two meals Dan suffers through because we must be united. So for all of you who see my "amazing" meals that I make, now you know the real deal.

3. Speaking of children, I bribe, threaten, huff, throw my hands up, the towel in, and yell regularly. There you have it.

4. My house is untidy. Plain and simple. I have two kids and a dog and a man who are not neat people. I clean for company, so for those of you who plan to come to my house, yes, it is clean. If you surprise me, I might not let you through the front door.

5. 8 times out of 10, I have not showered when you see me. Maybe it's gross, I don't know. I get there....eventually.

There are so many, many more...but for the sake of upcoming posts, this one was important to set the record straight. My kids are asleep now, therefore I must have a glass of wine. Yeah, I do that, too.


Friday, February 3, 2012


I am so excited to get this ball rolling! At the end of the summer, I wanted to make it a weekly thing, but as we all know I couldn't even making blogging about anything a weekly thing. This time around I smartened up and sent my document to many moms whom I love and adore, so they are stockpiled and I can just dip in an pull one out each week. Yay me! And yay for the moms who surround me and are plain 'ole fabulous!

I'm not surprised that Izzy was the first to get back to me. If people think that I am Type A, well then, Izzy is Type AA to the A. I say that with the greatest amount of love. I think we all thought that she would be a mother first because she just takes care of people. Since college she has been my medical go to talking me down from every hypochondriac ledge I managed climb. And now she is a real mama and my first featured "Momfluence."

Q: How old were you when you became a mother?
A: 31

Q: How old are your child(ren)?
A: 3 years old and 3 months old

Q: What is your favorite part of being a mom?
A: The hugs and the smiles

Q: What is your least favoirte part of being a mom?
A: The sleepless nights and the worrying

Q: Stay at home or working out of the home?
A: Working part-time out of the home

Q: What was teh hardest part of becoming a mom?
A: Sleepless nights; recreating blance in relationship with husband; having no time for self

Q: How did you choose your kids names?
A: Lily from a song by Matt Pond. then we had signes to name her that! My great aunt is Lillian. Middle name [Paige] for Jason's great grandfather. Bryant is from Alabama football coach Paul Bear Bryant. Middle name, Collin, is from my second cousin in Scotland. Two "l"s because Lily has two "l"s in Lillian.

Q: What is the best parenting advice you can give?
A: Just roll with it!

Q:Who are your mom role models?
A: My friends with older children!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mom Car

We bit the bullet and bought a mini van. This is a very serious milestone in the world of adulthood and parenting, I think. I have been told that it is image suicide and been given looks of disbelief by people who have known me since before I had kids. Of course I said I would never drive a mini van! I didn't have any kids or a dog or luggage, but things change. I am pretty sure that every mom, before she became a mom, uttered the words, "I will never drive a mini van." Who dreams about that? The thing is a little bus. Literally, schools use them as little buses! Before I had kids, a husband, a dog, a house, a life, I'm pretty sure I saw myself driving a Porsche with camel leather interior.

But no, I drive a mini van with greyge leather interior. And it is by far the nicest car I have ever owned. Could I have put up a fight? Gotten another Highlander? Pushed for the environmentally menacing Sequoia? Probably. But somehow sacrificing your image is a noble trade-off for slowly destroying the Earth with your car. And we still have a Prius, just to balance out our carbon footprint.

The truth about the mini isn't a mom car it is a kid car. With a widescreen, dual playing DVD player, reclining captain seats in the back, and doors that close with a tiny push of a button-- I'm simply a chauffeur for the tiny bosses in the back. And, I would just like to point out, I am a mom. Besides car seats would be just as detrimental to my image if they were in the back seat of a Porsche. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The F Word

Now that Natalie is a "first grader" in a class with second and third graders, no less, I am finding that she is is really growing up faster than I want her to. She is the youngest in her class, and I am learning that she is quite impressionable. Because she is the youngest, all of her new friends are older than she, and many of them have older siblings, therefore, she is being exposed to words, phrases, songs, etc. that I wasn't really prepared for. "Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..." I know it is harmless, but it is a gateway tune to a maturity that I want to selfishly prevent. My bubble has a very slow leak.

So the other day, while sitting at the breakfast table, Natalie looks at me quite seriously (because she is a serious kid) and says, "Mommy, you know the f word?"

I quickly retorted with a "What?!" without trying to sound too alarmed, so has not to scare her into not continuing what she was going to tell me.

"You know, the f word," she says with a little more emphasis.

I was draining of color because Batman smelling is one thing, but swear words...that might be worse than the stomach bug. Furthermore, I know for a fact that she did not learn this word from me.

Calmly, "I'm sorry, Nat, I am not sure what 'f' word you mean."

"The secret f word, Mommy. Fairy."

Parenting bullet dodged....for today.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Culinary Underground

The first rule about the Culinary Underground-- You don't talk about the Culinary Underground.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself; it was just set up for me. I don't know if you know this, but I cook... a lot. More interesting is that I used to not cook at all. I didn't like it; I didn't know how to do it; I didn't care about it. And then, one day, I had some free time on my hands in our tiny, little apartment in Brighton. Dan was given a really beautiful cookbook (at the time it was understood that he would be cooking-- I'm pretty sure that he was also in charge of the laundry, so things change) called Food For Life. I love this cookbook and if my family members were as willing to eat everything that I eat (read: mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, beans) I would cook from this book all the time. It has relatively simple recipes and gorgeous picture for every single one of them. Why on earth would anyone cook without a picture? Anyway, tiny kitchen, Brighton, and I decided to cook. I started with a garlic chicken stir fry and from these to grilled Tikka Masala (on the George Forman gill, might I add). Success and success and my inner cook was born.

Since I have been a professional homemaker, my cooking has gone to a new level (at least I think so) And whenever I drive down Rt 9, I always see a sign for "The Culinary Underground" for home chefs. So, for the holidays, Dan was kind enough to gift me a "Knife Skills" class. I soooo wanted to take this course and leave Julia Childs. Or at the very least, re-enact Meryl Streep's onion scene from Julie and Julia. (Ahem, if you don't understand that reference, do yourself an ENORMO favor and watch it.) I roped my friend Jess, as she is a family chef, into coming with me. The two of showed up with our own aprons-- we went business. Well, I meant business, and I may have brought Jess along for the ride.

The class was super fun and after two and a half hours we made some yummy stuff. However, in terms of actual chopping skills, my take away was this:

1. I know how to cut things pretty well, form and uniformity included
2. I now know how to properly sharpen my knifes. I also know that my knives need to be sharpened, badly.
3. I have learned a technique for making carrot matchsticks that I didn't know before.

I could have practiced deboning a chicken, but the truth is, I find "deboning" to be an extremely vulgar cooking term, and I'm just not that type of girl.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Kindness of Less than Strangers

We are in the process of a "small" home renovation. Small meaning one room, "small" meaning the only full bathroom in the house. Tomorrow it will be a full week that we have been without a shower. And, yes, I have been known to go without a shower for a couple days, but a week...that's gross. Since Dan and I have chosen to live 200 miles away from our entire family, that leaves us with no one, who because of blood, must take us in. This is certainly one of those moments when I wish that I, too, lived just two miles from my mother as my brother does. Because four people, two of whom are tiny and one of whom manages to make a mess out of everything he touches, need to bathe with some regularity.

I know when this project is over, it will totally be worth it and I will want to spend all my waking hours in my brand new bathroom, but until then I am eternally grateful for that family we have chosen--our friends who have welcomed us into their homes, when they aren't even there no less, to use a shower. I am sure it is kind of win-win. I mean, really, who would want to hang out with a stinky Rabs?

In all seriousness, I know, without any reminders, how lucky we are to have these people in our lives.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I've decided to come back to blogging seeing how this is the year the world is going to end and all, I thought I would get some thoughts down before the 12-12-12 date. I did a poor job of blogging in '11 and just in case I wasn't feeling badly enough about it, I was reminded, regularly, that I wasn't blogging. You know who you are. Yes, I mean you, too.

But I think I really did miss it. I am not sure what happened in 2011 that made me stop. I want to say that I was busy, but that is super lame. I also want to say that I ran out of things to talk about due to the cyclical nature of my life, but Joey managed to poop in a pool and Natalie broke her arm, so right there I have two things that were totally worthy of sharing. The truth is, dare I say it, I was lazy. LAZY! Me! I can't believe it either, so rather that say I was "lazy", let's just say I was cooking. Which, let's be honest, we all know is really what I was doing for most of the year. Am I busy? Sure, but not too busy to blog. Am I tired, of course, but I still stay up too late and wake up too early, so somewhere in there I could have blogged, but I didn't.

Today starts a new year, and if I love nothing else about the hype of New Year, it is that we all have a chance to start fresh, decide who we want to work to become for the next 365 days. I love resolutions. I resolve to do something at least once a day. Last year, I think I resolved to do eleven things... pretty sure I only did three. And by three, I mean two and a half. This year I thought really hard about what is is that I really need to do better. So this morning, while enjoying my coffee, I decided that in 2012 I am going to spend more time loving me. I am convinced that if I follow through on this resolution, it will behoove the entire family. When I fail to meet my own outlandish expectations, our household can have a bit of a black mommy cloud over it. Does this mean that I am going to be a better blogger in 2012? I don't know, but I might cut myself a little more slack if I don't get to it.

Happy 2012, everyone! Keep reading and keep commenting... it helps.