A Birthday Dinner for my Prince…

Today is my Prince’s birthday. For the next 24 days he will be the same age as I am and we joke every year about it.
We do stuff for each other throughout the year so presents are usually colored pictures from the kids and a yummy meal.
This year I made up a recipe for his dinner. Stuck to his favorites: beef, veggies, beer.
For a veggie we had butter fried squash with sweet onions and carrots.
For dinner, I took out half a london broil I had purchased 1/2 off a few weeks ago and put it on the George Foreman for a while.
When the meat was done, I set it on the cutting board to sit while I tossed a tortilla on the Foreman (soaking up the goodness!). Moved that to his plate and layered red leaf lettuce and shredded mozzarella cheese on top of it. Sliced up the beef and filled the tortilla with strips, then poured on a little A1 (cracked pepper variety).
Hubby loved it! I did too, which is odd, normally only one of us are in love with something new I make.
I’d share a picture, but …there wasn’t anything left to take a picture of.
Happy Birthday Honey!

Fish burps, low rise toddler britches, and being okay with not being okay.

I hid most of the weekend. The yard sale was almost a disaster. Then we had unexpected guests. Then we had a cookout with the neighbors which inevitably led to overtired very dirty kids and jovial beer drinking men talking too loud about tools, trucks and fire works.

I woke up Sunday morning and decided that I was going to be okay. I was finding it very liberating to have a doctor tell me that I wasn’t just lazy, or tired, or the mother of a few too many kids. It wasn’t just depression, or stress, or my childhood, or some other disorder that they read off of my family history sheet.

I’m not bad, I’m just wired different. It’s okay. It’s not an excuse to behave badly but it does explain my bad behavior. Now that I know, I can seek out new ways to learn how to cope, how to function.

My options for medicinal assistance are slim because I’m still nursing. So I pulled out my Fish Oil capsules, went to the store for my Sunday coupons before I could forget, and set about intentionally focusing on spending time with my husband. He rarely gets my attention, and it’s never undivided.

It was a great day. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good. We laughed. We had dinner at the table. It didn’t taste good, but no one complained. Even our non-eating Bubbagirl sat in her chair and tried a few raisins. He read them a bed time story and tucked them in, spending a few extra minutes since he knew he’d be gone most of the week.

Today, the girls willing helped to tidy things up before our Mommy Helper arrived. I tidied our bedroom, which like my husband rarely sees my attention. I helped tidy their bedroom. I gathered dirty laundry and tidied the living room. I vacuumed and moved the chairs to make room for the sofa bed; the girls reward for helping was getting to take out the sofa bed while Daddy was gone. I sewed. It was another day taking the Fish Oil and I’m starting to really believe the reports that is somehow helps with OCPD and ADHD. Things didn’t go my way, but I stayed calmer than usual. I finished tasks. I worked logically. I still became bummed when I repacked my “for sale” items I had made and set out at the yard sale. It will take more than Fish Oil for me to really think my stuff is worth selling to anyone. I did manage to refrain from shutting down my Artfire store, which was my plan when I started to get down about the whole thing.

Sewing Bubbagirl’s new pants upside down didn’t help any either…talk about feeling like a doofus!  I managed to laugh, focused on what I did successfully sew today and set it all down until tomorrow.

I’ve had my chocolate, the kids are asleep, and I think I’m going curl up on my hubby’s pillow and watch something on tv that he would probably watch. I’ll pretend he’s laying in bed behind me, watching with me and I’ll fall asleep dreaming of the days ahead as we start our journey together to get our family healthy.

Learning to Let Go

I love my dad. Deeply. I didn’t grow up with him though. I had step dads; but mom was very adamant that NO ONE disciplined her children but her. I have NO idea what dad’s should do, or sound like or act like except what I’ve seen on tv and movies.
I really didn’t think it would be a big deal. Only once in a while do I feel like I missed out on something- I get sad- and I move on. I have him now, he’s awesome, everything’s good.
Except.
Now I have a husband and we have children. HE is Dad and I’m having a hard time.
I feel like his Dad was pretty harsh. Not abusive! But the whole family seems to speak to each other with a “what the heck were you thinkin’ when you did that ” attitude. Even when you are right they act like you were wrong. They also almost always sound like they are yelling at you… or at least loudly speaking with an unsatisfied tone.
Well not ALWAYS, but a lot. Not normally to me, but to Mr. B for sure.
So I have a tendency to monitor and coach his conversations with the kids. I prep him for time spent with them and feel the need to stand behind the children giving him hand cues. “Be Nice” “Let her finish” “Stop Growling” “Don’t Eat Them”
But today, today I let him extend their “no tv in the bedroom” punishment out another two weeks. I bit my tongue when he went upstairs, even though I KNEW the sobbing six year old would only sob harder, and let him say what he wanted and with the tone he wanted. He was calmer than I expected. He used language I wouldn’t approve of, not foul language, just not very “soft and mommyfied”. Now our children are doing what they were told to do; something they were NOT doing before he went up there.  He did just fine, without my input.
I need to learn how to let it go. Let HIM go. I hurt their feelings all the time because I’m being their parent and not their friend. I need to stop worrying that he will hurt their feelings. I need to trust that he is their dad and it will be okay.I need to let him stand up for me with they disrespect me. I need to stop defending them.
It serves no purpose for me to preach that Daddy is the leader and for my children to see me block his every attempt to act like the leader.
Learning to let him be in control is hard. I trust him with so much, why can’t I trust that he can handle disciplining our children. Deep down I know he’s a much bigger softie than I.

3 strikes…I’m done

This was my goal today:

CIMG0722

It WAS the craft room and music room but I really needed the crib moved to it’s own room. So hubby moved the rooms around and moved my sewing stuff downstairs and this room became the school/music/ohyeahthebabysleepsinhere room.

In all the moving and with the holidays, this room turned in to a dumping ground for all things.  Today I wanted it cleaned out.  Because I want the baby to have his bed (not that he sleeps in it, but still).

Hubby doesn’t like hints. I very plainly said I NEEDED his help with the baby and the 2yo so I could work on the room.  He helped. He helped as best he could until he couldn’t help any more. 

CIMG0724

It seems the kids wear him out fast.

The first time I had to stop was to try and settle Bubbagirl down from a T total meltdown. Still do not know what it was all about.

The second time was to nurse Peanut and put him down for a nap (that took 30 minutes).

I was making pretty good progress, when the terror that is Bubbagirl decided to start screaming about the movie she was watching and she woke up the wee little fat man named Peanut.

As I tried to nurse Peanut BACK to sleep, the diva Doodlebug and the mighty Rapunzel-Mermaid Princess Taderbug felt the overwhelming need to play 20 questions at my bedroom door regarding lunch plans.

Where the heck was their father?

So, three interruptions, three strikes and I was done.  I was so angry and frustrated. 

I kept asking myself “why can’t HE fix lunch? why can’t HE change the diaper? why can’t THEY just…..”.

(He had been helping some… but not enough for me to get this done, and I always had to ask first)

Then I felt guilty.  All of these things I’m asking him to do are my responsibility.  I shouldn’t be getting so uptight simply because my kids were being kids and they became hungry. 

Yet I feel angry whenever I’m working on something big and can’t find peace to complete it. 

This time the project wasn’t even for me (something related to my hobby or reading for fun). This time it was something very much related to my job as manager of our home.  I was trying to create a tidy and organized environment.  I was attempting to prepare my house for school to begin next week.  I endeavored to provide a sleeping place for our son so that we might have an occasional five minutes alone once in a while.

None if it helped my already weary and wobbly attitude.

It’s almost 2:30pm. Lunch is done. Hubby, surprisingly, helped clear the table.  Our girls emptied the dishwasher. They also broke another dish.  I can check off “clean kitchen floor” on my to do list for this week.

Hubby has 15 more minutes to play online before I disappear back into that room to try again.

Am I the only one that finds it this hard to get things accomplished?

 

**I am hoping to post a video of my room redo as a response to my friend Linda’s vlog**

What the heck is “tartar”?

Googling a recipe on your Blackberry while standing in the grocery store in an attempt to make sure you have all the ingredients is a bad idea.

I know this.

THIS is how I went from making a 10-minute banana pudding for hubby’s Holiday luncheon at work to making an hour long from scratch stir-till-your-arm-falls-off banana pudding with meringue.

Banana Pudding

Now, I completely appreciate the very fact that hubby has a job, AND I really like his boss.  They are very understanding to his responsibilities as a father and let him have time off whenever he is needed. 

But FROM SCRATCH pudding?  Seriously?

In FOURTEEN YEARS, I have NEVER made my husband pudding from scratch.  He’s lucky to get dinner that is only half way from a box. 

But here I am, waiting for the meringue to brown, lil fat man asleep in my lap, trying to share with you something I learned tonight.

I needed “cream of tartar”.  Cream of chicken, cream of mushrooms, cream of celery and cream cheese are all things I know.  Chickens cluck, mushrooms grow in poo (and other dark places), celery tastes like poo unless they are diced to unrecognizable sizes and cooked in soup, and CHEESE is da bomb- on ANYTHING.

But what the heck is “tartar”?

Since Google (and their recipe on southernfoods.com) got me in this mess, I fully expected Google to get me out of it.

According to Google, cream of tartar is a salt used especially in baking powder.

Of course I Gooogled “baking powder”, wouldn’t you?

According to WordNetWeb.princeton.edu, baking powder is any various powdered mixtures used in baking as a substitute for yeast.

This was not helping me…

So, I hit up WikiAnswers and found this: (The questions was “What is tartar in cooking?”

It could be one of two things

  1. cream of tartar (also known as Potassium bitartrate) which is used in wine making and, mixed with backing soda, it makes backing powder.
  2. there is a dish made out of raw fillet steak (or horse meat) chopped fine with herbs and served as a patty with capers and a raw egg that is called steak tartar

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_tartar_in_cooking#ixzz18Kca8So0

None of this did me much good as I still forgot to buy the cream of tartar at the grocery store and had to do a hunt for substitutions for cream of tartar in meringue.  Thanks to wikihow.com I have that answer. 

Substitute the cream of tartar for an equal amount of lemon juice or vinegar. The amount for substitution should measure about 1/8 teaspoon per egg white.

or—apparently, you can just leave it out entirely.

Hubby just pulled the pudding out of the oven.  The big pan was for work, but there were two mini loaf pans in there for him and my mom.  He’s anxiously waiting for his to cool down so he can eat it.  Hopefully it tastes okay.  I won’t be able to tell since I hate all things pudding.

Oh, no, I’m still confused as to what is tartar exactly.

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My Knight on a white horse…

well, ok, so there isn’t a white horse but he is definitely my hero. Again.
Since Peanut was born, we have had more weeks with Daddy out of town for work than we’ve had with him home.  This is not what his job was supposed to be like.  The occasional trip out yes, but weeks on weeks on weeks?!  I was going a little crazy.  Everything has been piling up on me.  The overwhelmed feeling wasn’t waning.  Even when people tried to help it was just too much for me to even start on.
Then we were told “someone” didn’t do “their stuff” correctly, and he would have to go out of town again tomorrow.  I cried.  Then I started crying over every thing. Every sound.  Every request.  Nothing helped. No one could help.
I told him last night that I just didn’t even want to try anymore.  I didn’t want to try and clean, or sew, or organize, or make the call, or write the article.  Every thing required so much planning and effort to get everyone else settled and quiet so that I could have five minutes to try and do dishes or shower or plan school.  It just wasn’t worth the effort anymore.  The spiral of depression was RIGHT THERE.  I was looking at it.  I told him it was there and that I was losing control of it.
I think he became more concerned than usual because he knows I have been eating better, exercising and have actually lost a few pounds and inches.  I “should have” been excited, energized, and motivated.  The fact that I wasn’t meant I was really, REALLY struggling.
There was no time or money to call in my mom for a quick “send the kids to Nanny’s house” rescue mission.  He had 24 hours to pick me up enough to get me through till his return.  He proved today how well he knows me.
**FTR: My husband HATES to change things. If he put the couch on the southern wall it should stay there forEVER and EVER Amen.  I am a rearrange-aholic. Just Sayin**
Today, HE suggested we move my sewing stuff to an area that I can get to it easier.  So I might be able to sneak a stitch in here and there while doing other things.  So into the kitchen my sewing stuff came.  All.Of.It.  Into the stuff upstairs room went all the school stuff, and the music stuff, and the computer desk.  My extra use-once-a-year appliances, they were moved onto a bookcase in the garage.  He even moved his fish tank.  It’s huge.  It’s only been moved once before, when we moved into this house a year and a half ago.  We’ve had it almost six years.

I have tubs and boxes of CRAP to get reorganized now.  Actually, the pack and play is entirely full of stuff that will need to be sorted and put away.   We were in a hurry.  That was a LOT of moving for one day.
Since the kitchen table looked like this:

and the stove/counters aren’t any better, we ordered pizza.  Not in my diet but I didn’t care.  We made a thousand trips up and down the stairs today.  I’m pooped.
BUT, I’m excited about tomorrow.  Tomorrow I can give them there lessons, and start sorting.  Maybe we’ll paint the pumpkins my in laws bought over the weekend.  At least for now I’m not crying.  If I get sad, I can go sit in the kitchen and look at my purty fabric 🙂

Breaking in a new midwife

Nothing like switching midwife’s 4 days before your due date.  I was blessed that hubby’s boss let him take an early and long lunch to be here at the house when she arrived.  Here are some tidbits from our first visit….  where hubby lets the midwife know exactly what she’s dealing with when she takes on THIS family.
Midwife to me:  How tall are you?
Hubby: SHORT
Midwife cracks up.
**************
Midwife to me: Weight?
Hubby: Oh lemme get the scale for her! She’s scared, won’t get on, hold on, it’s right here, come on honey don’t be afraid…
Midwife waits to see if he gets hit… then laughs.
***************
Midwife to me: So ya’ll are legally married right?
Hubby: Yep, can’t seem to get out of it.
***************
Midwife to me: How often do you drink?
Hubby: only four times…
*slight pause while she makes the connection that this is my FOURTH pregnancy*
Midwife cracks up laughing.
**************
Midwife to me: Any fertility issues?
Hubby: Doesn’t look like it huh?
**************
Midwife to me: With your other pregnancies did they have to use anything like forceps or vacumm?
(I tried to answer first…BUT)
Hubby: Yep, they used the vacuum cleaner on Doodlebug and the Salad Tongs on Taderbug, but Bubbagirl just fell out.
I thought she was gonna wet her pants.
***************
God, I sooo love that man!

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