Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lunchtime with a Stay at Home Mom

Attempting to eat with a baby is almost like trying to turn water into wine.  Although, I figure if you were Jesus himself, that wouldn't mean much to you.  I decided to share a breakdown of what lunchtime is like at our home.

Note: the reason why I'm focusing on lunchtime is because Eric is usually here for breakfast and dinner.  And Stephen usually sleeps for two hours in the morning so breakfast is easier.

10:00 Stephen is usually getting ready to wake up so I start wondering what I'll eat for lunch.  Obviously, I try to go for the simplest thing.  That can sometimes mean eating two pieces of fruit and a small meal because that can be broken up over a period of time.

10:30 Get the fixins out and on the counter.  Stephen wakes up and cries because he's hungry.

11:00 Stephen's been fed so it's time for mommy to try to get some food.  Put him down in his bouncer and bounce him a couple of times.  He coos and laughs because he loves his bouncer.  Walk to the kitchen to start fixing food.  Stephen lets out his angry howl.  Go back to living room and move him and the bouncer to the kitchen.  Start putting food on a plate.  Stephen begins to whimper and then lets out another howl.  Bounce his bouncer in hopes of appeasing him.  He pouts (yes, he pouts) and continues to whimper.  Talk to him to try to comfort him and calm him down.  He starts crying.  Continue talking and bouncing and turn on vibrations on the bouncer.  He cries harder and starts to flail his arms a little.  Pick him up and cuddle him.  Walk him around the apartment.  He calms down and starts to smile again.

12:15  Yes, that whole scenario lasted an hour and fifteen minutes.  Mommy's tummy is growling now.  Put Stephen back in bouncer because he's drifted off to sleep again.  Turn back to food.  Put it in the microwave and turn it on.  Stephen wakes up and starts crying.  Pick him and cuddle him again to quickly get him back to sleep.  He wants to eat again so sit down to feed him.

12:40 Stephen fell asleep nursing.  Slowly lower him back into bouncer and he stays asleep.  Food is cold again in microwave.  Reheat it and nosh on hand to trick stomach into thinking it's getting food.  Pull food out of microwave and turn to grab utensils out of drawer.  Stephen wakes up.  Shove a piece of bread into mouth.  Bounce him in the bouncer and talk to him while trying to swallow.  Choke on bread and proceed to perform the heimlech on self while still bouncing Stephen with foot.  Cough bread up and smile at Stephen so he's not scared.  He starts laughing because mommy is silly.  Grab food off counter and sit on floor in front of Stephen.  Nibble on food while playing with Stephen.  He starts whining again to be held.  Pick him up and turn to food for another nibble only to find the dog laying beside the empty plate.  


The events recorded here are exaggerated.  The dog didn't eat my food.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Overwhelming Job Search

For those of you unaware, I'm on the job market again.  

Everyone keeps telling me to find a job that I'm passionate about.  Do something that I really want to do.  And I agree; I think that is probably really important because now, when I go back to work, I'll be sacrificing my time with Stephen.

I never really saw myself as being a stay at home mom.  My mom worked when we were kids and for the longest time, I had these really "big" dreams for my life.  But they were unrealistic.  Please don't get the wrong impression; it's not that I've given up on my dreams.  They've just changed over time as I've changed.  For instance, I don't dream of being famous.  In fact, I fear the public eye now because, as like everyone else, I have skeletons in my closet that I really would rather not have splashed across some gossip magazine.  That dream has been replaced by the dream of owning our own house and getting to decorate each room the way I want to.  I dream of continuing our simple life that is drama free.  

When I dream of things now, it's not about my career.  It's about my life with Eric, Stephen and Kaya.  It's projects that I want to get done at home, things that I want to teach Stephen, hikes that I want to go on, trips I want to take with the boys, etc.  

I'm not terribly surprised by this.  I've spent years keeping family and friends guessing as to what major or career path I was going to take.  I changed my major more than five times in college.  I'm fairly certain that the University's administration hated me because I kept going in and switching.  

So, it occurs to me that the best career for me at this juncture is described as follows:
  • at home: so that I can stay with Stephen and be the one who is there for his first steps, his first words, his first everything and not a daycare or nanny
  • research: I love being able to learn; if I could make a career out of learning and being in college, I'd do it and be the best at it.
  • writing: because I really like my opinion and don't have a problem sharing it.  Plus, I'm told my writing is entertaining, which I agree with but I think me saying that is a little unnecessary.
  • crafts/art: I like working with my hands.  Nuff said.
  • food: I'm not going to bother explaining this because I assume if you are reading this, you've read previous posts which were likely about food.
It's with a heavy heart and a heavy mind that I look for a job now.  I've had so much fun watching Stephen grow in the last 7 weeks.  I've enjoyed having time to do some crafts and some art (as soon as I finish the piece I'm working on, I'll post photos of it).  I've enjoyed having time to get to know other mommies with babies.  

Who knows?  Maybe I'll stumble across a job that meets most or all of the above criteria.  I'll cross my fingers but won't hold my breath.

Monday, August 22, 2011



I have completely neglected you guys!  My dad has been in town to visit and I haven't seen him since Christmas.  I do beg your forgiveness.

And now, since I don't grovel...moving on.

This is a quick post (dad is still in town, patient).  However, one of my fave moms of the amazing inter-webs is up for an award as a mom changing the world.

Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka is up for the award.  Not for Mommy Wants Vodka but for Band Back Together.  Band Back Together is a group blog I belong to that is part therapy, part vent space, part gin martini, part fellowship, part family...and a whole bunch of other parts. It's a support network, your best friend, and a shoulder to cry on.  In other words, it's AH-mazing.  Just reading a few posts on the site will suck you in, wrap you in a swaddle, and make you feel at home.  

So, if you find that you like the blog, please go vote for Aunt Becky here.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Google Reader gave up on me.  

No, seriously.  I think it recognizes that I have a problem, an addiction to Reader.

Super Sad Face.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Excerpt of the Day

"You don't have to legitimate somebody's lifestyle in order to love that person, to be brother or sister to that person, to stand up for that person."
-from the documentary Lord, Save Us From Your Followers

This documentary focuses on the divide between the secular belief and the Christian movement.  It's a very interesting documentary that carries a beautiful message. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wag of the Spoon: Tailgaters

Thanks for tuning in folks!  It's that time again...
 That's right.  It's another installation of WAG OF THE SPOON.  

As the post title explains, this Wag of the Spoon is intended for Tailgaters.  No, not the hellions that demolish college campuses across the nation during football season.  To those people, I raise a glass and a cheer for them because they are part of the reason why I enjoy football.
No, I'm referring to the other tailgaters.  The jerk in the residential neighborhood who seems to think the 35 mile an hour speed limit is intended for everyone else.  The asshole on the interstate who thinks that 90 mph is a safe speed limit and expects you to move and get out of his way so that he can prove once and for all that he is, indeed, Speed Racer.  You know who I'm talking about.  Dale Earnhardt Jr wannabees that seem to think that any time they pull their car out of their driveway, any form of pavement/concrete/gravel/greenway/etc instantly becomes their Daytona.  

You get the picture.  
Look, I get driving five miles over the limit.  I can even cringe at ten.  However, if there's someone in front of you that doesn't feel like breaking the law and decides to drive at the speed limit, back off.

I'm your nightmare.  Seriously.  I used to seethe behind my steering wheel when you guys would get behind me and ride on my tail.  I used to go into a full panic on the interstate and start speeding up just hoping to put a foot or two between us.  Inevitably, though, you guys would speed up anyway and close in the space.  
So you definitely get a wag of the spoon...especially now that I have a baby in the car.

Fortunately, Eric taught me a few years ago that rather than get angry and panicky over you fools, it's a situation where it's best to get even.  
So, here's your wag of the spoon with a warning attached:

I'm the driver you hate. Because when we are in a residential area and the speed limit is 35, if you tail me trying to make me go faster, I will, instead, slow down.  

I'll go down to 20 mph to get you off my back.  I've done it before so don't tempt me.

In the meantime, the rest of you, continue to drive safely and if you get stuck behind me, just lay off my ass and you'll get to where you need to be in plenty of time.  :)

Excerpt of the Day

"The bare-bones information travels in both directions, of course, and farmers who get the message that consumers care only about price will themselves care only about yield.  This is how a cheap food economy reinforces itself."
-from Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Chew on that. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate M&M Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

I want it to be understood that I LOVE eating healthy.  Seriously, I love eating salads, lean meats, fish, fruit, whatevs.  I'm even attempting to open up my palate to bananas...I recently added tomatoes which I NEVER thought would be possible.  However, bananas have been my arch nemeses for years.  I've gagged on them before (quit it...I know where your mind went with that) because of their texture.  It freaks me out.  Not as bad as wet paper but it's a close second like Susan Lucci was for so long...
 Moving on...

Since we are kicking back into our healthy swing of things since our lives are going back to normal...or whatever that is once you add a baby into the mix of things...I decided that we needed something to celebrate the end of our bad eating and the beginning of the healthy stuff.  

Which led me to making Chocolate M&M Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache.

 Mi marido is a good sport.  The whole triple chocolate effect is not really his favorite.  He prefers the yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  Me?  I like for there to be a marching band in my mouth.  
When I was at Ole miss, I had a long distance boyfriend...he lived in Louisiana and I think we saw each other twice during the two (?) months we dated.  He broke up with me over the phone the week before Thanksgiving break.  Or really, I pulled the trigger for him because I could hear him working up to it over the phone.  My roommate, Leslie, thought we should make brownies to help mend my broken heart.  Let's just say I was so upset that the batter never made it to the oven...
 Eric: So I think we have a rat problem.
Me: (muttering of expletives) Shut up.
Eric: Yeah.  Apparently, they ripped open the bag of m&ms and ate some.
Me: (insert pause and atom-bomb-powered-stare) Eric!  I needed that full bag!
Eric: I only had like three small handfuls.
Me: No cupcakes for you!!
Let's face it...I'm a sap and a softie when it comes to that man...
And this one too...
He's my sous chef...
And partner in crime...
 Baking tires him out.

Chocolate M&M Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

Chocolate Cake (this is from the cookbook)
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
1 large bag of M&Ms (whatever flavor you like...I used plain)

Allow the eggs and butter come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease your cupcake pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time.  Make sure to scrape the sides so that everything is getting blended.  Once all the sugar has been added, continue to beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time allowing them to blend completely before adding the next one.  Beat in vanilla (note: I ran out of vanilla and used vanilla powder as a substitute and it was fine...which leads me to wonder why and how I came to own vanilla powder???).  Alternately, add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture.  Beat after each addition until it is combined.  Once all the ingredients have been added, beat on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  
Add the entire bag of M&Ms (or whatever is left after your husband/a.k.a. rat has broken into the bag) and gently mix in.
Fill each cupcake well about halfway full.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.

2 unsweetened chocolate baking squares
Vanilla (or vanilla powder in my case)

So I totally made this up as I went.  You can use a legit recipe or do what I did.  Play it by ear.
Melt the chocolate in about 1/2 cup of milk over medium heat.  Add milk as needed (some of it will cook out from the heat).  Stir continuously over heat to make sure the chocolate melts thoroughly.  Once the chocolate and milk are smooth, add about 1/2 cup of sugar and stir.  Add about 1 teaspoon of vanilla and stir.  At this point, if you need it to be sweeter, add more sugar.  Make sure to continuously stir so that everything mixes well.
Dribble the ganache over the cupcakes.  



Note: you'll notice if you look at a legit recipe for ganache, it calls for powdered sugar.  The reason why is that using granulated sugar can end up being gritty.  I think the reason why this is (and I'm TOTALLY guessing) is because everything is added together at the beginning of a ganache recipe.  However, if you do it the way I did it, and add the sugar AFTER the milk and chocolate have blended and melted together, the sugar dissolves nicely into the mixture.  

Again, I don't have any culinary experience so that's all just guessing/trial and error on my part.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Winds of Change

Things are changing a lot around here.  Obviously, adding a baby to the scenario can change everything quickly.  

For one thing, I've lost almost all of my pregnancy weight (we're talking about 40 pounds in three's amazing what giving birth to a 9 pound baby boy will do).

Also, I've learned how to function without getting any REM sleep ever.  I've essentially learned how to defy science and psychology because I haven't gone insane (although I'm certain the voices in my head would disagree with that).

Oddly enough, since the little man's arrival, I've started to (and obviously, it doesn't happen all the time) be able to focus more.  I have very little time during the day to get things done that need to be done so it helps keep me from getting sucked into mundane things that don't need to happen (like rewatching Episode 9 of Season 4 of Bones...or any episode of Bones for that matter).  

Some of you may have noticed the change to the blog's appearance (and for those of you who haven't, you either don't visit the blog regularly or you aren't very observant...hmm).  It's still a work in progress but it'll do for now. 

So there will likely be more changes coming to the blog.  I'm hoping to post more often.  In the meantime, I'm going to keep playing with my new little man and hoping to get a few things done each day.

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