Being a Mom……

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The other day I was excited that my husband had gotten off work early and I would be able to drive (without kids) to pick up my five year old. I was happy to have some alone time and to be able to talk to him about his day.

I got to his school with a smile on my face only to be greeted with a frown, tears & a “go away”. Ok, not what I had envisioned, but I wasn’t giving up that easy. So I smiled and spoke calmly and gently when he told me how upset he was that I was there, and that he wanted to stay for project. I smiled and got down to his level to try and calm him, as he shooed me away and told me to “stop looking at him”. In the end he ended up crying & hiding under a desk. I walked to the door, and proceeded to wait there. His teacher, spoke with him, told him what he needed to do, and walked him to the door. Now up until this point, I was ok, we could talk in the car, and I thought, well everything will be fine. That’s when the teacher leaned down to him and said, “it is not ok for you to speak to your mother that way, she does many wonderful and caring things for you, you need to say to her once “don’t look at me” rather than hit, you need to show her respect” (Gulp)! By the time I got to the car there were tears in my eyes. Never had a temper-tantrum affected me so much and never had I felt such excruciating pain. I opened the car door in silence, I buckled my seat and waited for him to do the same. We drove in silence most the way home.

I did not realize until that moment, how deeply what he had said hurt, how deeply it went inside of me. I thought of the times when I was younger and talked back to my mom…and I cringed. Wow, I just didn’t know.
Forgive me mom, for any unkind words I may have said when growing up. Forgive me for shouting out things in anger, for saying insults under my breath all too often especially during those teenage years.

I am a mom now, and back then I just didn’t know.
I did not understand the depths of a mothers love that causes feelings deep within your bones, I did not understand how truly much a mother does, day after day, again and again with no fan fare, rarely a “thank you”, but because, well because of LOVE.

So thank you mom, thank you for everything. All the dresses you sewed me, all the meals you cooked and all the rides to and from places. Thank you for the scrimping and saving just so I could travel for a year to Ireland and so I could have some $ in my pocket when I got back. For helping me, even when I didn’t want to be helped, and for always, always loving me. When I turned 18, right before I graduated…I thanked you for not letting me quit swimming, for not letting me quit dance. I was so thankful because at a certain stage in my adolescence I would have quit EVERYTHING! But you didn’t let me, and that was good and I was grateful. So here I am, 20 + years later and I am saying it again. Though it may not be said often enough or clear enough, I appreciate YOU, and all that you DID, DO and continue to DO with me, for me my family and my children.

There is no denying the love you feel for your children, the desire for them to grow up comfortable, secure and feeling loved.

I know there will be more days like today, especially with two others close behind, and maybe I will have to develop a bit thicker skin. But I do know, no matter what may be said, I will always protect and love my children no matter what they may say. For that is what a mother does.
thank you “mum” for everything and then some.

Staples, life and the kitchen sink

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I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately, food blogs to be specific…wanting to feel inspired, and feeling a bit unhealthy.

Ok, really unhealthy.

After having my third child I am just not getting back into the swing of things like I used to, call it age (I am 42) or going from a full-time job outside the home to a full-time mom & starting up a business in the home…….I’m just a bit off course, and well, my body doesn’t seem to hesitate to remind me.

I think back to my twenties, and even my thirties where I ate what I wanted, worked out when I could….and just seemed to stay in pretty decent shape. Well, it’s not happening now.

When I had my first child the weight came off, almost instantly, I was breastfeeding and by the time he was 4 months old I was slimmer than before I got pregnant. Cut to my second birth, probably took me about a year to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight…..so of course my thought process went (or rather excuse after I had my third was), “well now this will probably be TWO years!” So here I am, Miss T is now one, and I am beginning to feel the need to get back on track….feel better about myself, and healthier. I know many variables have changed, but I still think I have it in me. For instance I set myself a goal this year that I would like to run a marathon before I turn 43 (this coming from a non-runner), so I figure I need to begin training, eating healthier and investing in this here body that has thus far been pretty good to me.

So here I sit….checking out food blogs, healthy eating sites, eating plans and I have noticed a lot of tips and hints about what people keep in their pantry/fridge. So that got me to thinking..what are my staples, what are my must haves, what can I not live without….and I came up with this list (in no particular order). *please note, this is also after a very tough week with barely anything in the fridge (I mean..bare)…
GRACE’s PANTRY/FRIDGE
cumin/chili powder/oregano/basil/sirache/braggs amino acids
olive oil/coconut oil/sesame oil/safflower oil
frozen basil/cilantro & garlic cubes (from trader joes)
(sometimes you need garlic and that nice bulb that you bought a week ago has already started to sprout…that’s why these are amazing, there when you need them)
canned ch. tomates, black beans, olives, coconut milk
sushi rice, brown rice, basmati rice, red lentils, quinoa, oats & cornmeal
ginger, onions, frozen peas & frozen corn
ground turkey (I usually have one in the fridge and one in freezer
whole chicken (also one in the freezer)
chicken drumsticks (an inexpensive, quick meal with so many seasoning options) at Trader Joes, Organic drumsticks $3 for 6 (now that’s a deal) stock up on these in the freezer too

Now with this list I can make a plethora of meals that my kids love! ie. ground turkey can go many different ways…turkey larb, chili rice black bean dish, meatloaf, spanish meatballs, chili (you get the picture)…..

As mentioned before, I’ve been checking out these “other” pantry lists………and the conclusion I have come to is this….that I guess I’m not doing so bad. On a whole, our family eats really healthy and we do not really buy any processed foods….so I am beginning to feel that maybe that “healthy life” and “healthy attitude” just might be within my reach.

So what’s a must have in your pantry?

Post It Note Day

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As I was nursing Miss T to sleep this afternoon, I thought about the amazing project I participated in during the holidays “12 days of love letter writing” (thanks Angie Mizzell), and I thought….ok, I have to continue this in my daily life.

I like the thought of leaving little pick me up, make me feel good, put a smile on your face notes to total strangers.  Moreloveletters.com is the catalyst for this, I encourage you to check them out.  But then, as my precious little one closed her eyes……I thought, how easy it is for me to extend words of encouragement to others but not to myself.  This last year has been a whirlwind of change for my family and a much needed introspective time for me.  We made the move up to Oregon in May of 2011, and I went from working full-time as a Private Chef & running my small company, to full-time mom and pushing my company to the next level.   It is a big change, for the way our family runs, schedules and environment.  We are working on building the “Sweet Pea” kitchen but it is a little slow going and in turn I find myself a bit on the down side.  So I decided to spread a little love, Post It Note style in my home.  Not only will it help me to get out of this funk, (my husband will probably think they are for him) but can get the kids noticing and asking…..and in turn feeling a bit of extra love themselves.

I have discovered taking care of kids is a full-time job…..I am in awe of all you mama’s out there that get the job done…and run a business too.  I guess I thought it would be easier not working outside the home, but for some reason it isn’t, there’s just more stuff to do.  I’m hoping I am still in the learning curve, and soon, very soon will be able to juggle all with the best of them.  For now, my Post It Note project will just have to do.