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Posts Tagged ‘Home’


This morning after CCD, it was easy for me to tell when my husband got home with the girls.  I was sipping my coffee in the living room and the front window was open.  I heard a car pull up, but wasn’t sure at first if it was a neighbor.  Then I heard screeching and shouting and unintelligible insults.  I heard The Mister grunt in pain.  One of the girls lashed out at him.

Princess Number One snuggled on the couch, put her earphones on, and escaped into some music.

Princesses Two and Three continued screeching and I could hear their echoes throughout the neighborhood.  They came pounding up the stairs into the house with The Mister ordering one of them to their room.  I think it was Number Three.  It was confusing.  I just know one of them kicked him.

It was determined that there was much brattiness from the time they got in the car to be picked up and the rest is history.   Gracie apparently wanted a pony.  My Little Pain In The Freaking Ass Pony, of course.  She wouldn’t accept that “not until your birthday” was the response.  I decided that the arguing over it was done, and explained to her that she got her answer and if she wasn’t happy with it that was all right but her behavior and language were not.  She became more disrespectful to The Mister and it was her turn to sit on the stairs for a time out since Number Three was already in their room.

Yeah, she locked herself in the bathroom.  We just waited her out.

She ended up in her room on her own, and I could hear the two of them plotting against me.  When their time out was over, I just let them stay there to bond since most of their fighting earlier was with each other.  When Gracie came downstairs repeatedly to insult me, I explained that her words were hurtful and that’s why she was put in time out in the first place.  After an hour, I told her that she had hurt my feelings and if she felt badly she needed to think about the words she had been using, think the words she planned to use before they came out of her mouth, and change her attitude.  I wouldn’t be letting her treat me badly or get rewarded for it.  She put herself back upstairs, grumbling the whole time about how mean I was to say such terrible things to her.

When it came lunch time, I kicked the three of the girls out of the house to get fresh air.  Gracie came back in after a while because the sun was too bright.  She kept finding things to talk to me about and inform me about.  I took that as reaching out, since earlier her communication was mainly shouting and screeching and insults.  I let her help me make dinner… pasta with homemade sauce.  I let her help me make dessert too… apple crisp.

And then something completely unexpected happened.  I was in the kitchen stirring the pasta in the pot, and I heard Gracie on the stairs calling to me.

“I am sorry.  I am sorry for the words I said.  I was unkind.  I said hurtful things.  I am sorry for hurting your feelings.  I love you.  Please forgive me.”

I didn’t script one word of that for her, and no one else did either.  She wouldn’t let me hug her, but she let me come to her and kiss her hand.

“Thank you, sweetheart, for the most beautiful apology I ever heard.  I am so very proud of you.  Will you come taste test the pasta?”

And so she did.  I let her have the first serving of pasta and later the first serving of apple crisp.

Aw, man… I’m crying again.   I’m crying because she gets it.

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My eldest daughter just asked me if being vegetarian was easy.  I had to be honest with her.

“Most of the time it’s easy, unless bacon is involved.”

I haven’t found a way to keep bacon in the house and prepare it for others without wanting to eat the whole pound.  As a vegetarian I would still eat bacon wrapped bacon, and then as someone with Fibromyalgia I would regret it for the next couple of days with some pain issues.  Even as I regretted it, I would consider it worth it because it was bacon.

Otherwise I don’t miss meat.  I miss some of the seasonings used.  For instance, if I’m craving buffalo wings I realize that it’s not the meat I’m craving but the buffalo sauce and dipping it in ranch or bleu cheese dressing.  I found a fix for that.  I put hot sauce on my pizza.  I also do something after that, which I used to think was gross when I heard people talk about it:  I take the hot sauce pizza and dip THAT into ranch or bleu cheese dressing.  It’s perfect.  Not vegan, but I’m not vegan.  :-)

I also enjoy seasoning my tofu with hot sauce and chili pepper, much like a taco, and while it will never taste like taco filling and will never be the same texture as any sort of recognized taco filling, I get the seasonings I love and top the tofu onto rice and black beans.  Sometimes the tofu has curry, sometimes Lawry’s salt.  Sometimes I put it in a chef salad with avocado in place of BBQ chicken.  It’s EVEN BETTER than BBQ chicken that way.

The hard part is if/when we go out to eat at a restaurant although most seem to be catering more to vegetarians these days.  It’s harder when you’re a guest in someone’s home and nearly everything they’re serving is meat or was cooked steeping in meat.  Making adjustments and accommodations is necessary, but it’s hard to compromise when it’s for health issues.  That’s what I’m slowly coming to terms with.  The rare cheat just might not be worth it.

So yeah, vegetarianism is easy when I consider the alternative.

Except when I’m confronted with bacon.

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Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe.

There it is.  I follow the recipe nearly exactly except I bake it for 34 minutes so that it’s golden brown all over the top.  I also cut the icing recipe in half, except I keep the full amount of vanilla, and drizzle it.

Delish.  And a household favorite.  It’s so delicious and homey and yes, it’s full of butter.  I cut it into 24 servings.  I also make sure to share it.  A lot.

 

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Today, I’m truly grateful for…

  1. My daughters.
  2. My husband.
  3. My friends, even when it’s been a while since speaking.
  4. My family, including my in-laws.
  5. My lovely goddaughter.
  6. A roof over my head.
  7. Warm blankets.
  8. Heat in my home.
  9. Hot coffee.
  10. Cats to snuggle with.
  11. Antibiotics.
  12. Coworkers that I enjoy and respect.
  13. A job that I enjoy.
  14. Ricola.
  15. Whoever thought of body brushing.
  16. Whatever the “Plus” is in Puff’s Plus
  17. My husband having hooked up the water to the filter thingie in the refrigerator and we get cold water from the fridge by pushing a button.  Who knew a simple pleasure could make so much of a difference?
  18. The girls still enjoying their Christmas gifts and old toys alike.
  19. Being a grown-up and getting to decide what will worry me and what won’t.
  20. My android phone. How did I manage for so long without one?
  21. Icy melt.
  22. Delicious vegetarian recipes.
  23. How much better I’ve felt since eating vegetarian.
  24. My daughters’ teachers.
  25. Being able to kiss and hug my daughters every morning when they wake and every night when they go to bed.
  26. Watching my daughters play together on a snowy day.
  27. Fuzzy slippers.
  28. Door to door delivery service from the internet.
  29. Pretty nail polish.

 

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Today I had to figure out how to use most or all of five pounds of chicken breast.  Luckily for me, I figured out how to use the grinder attachment to my Kitchen Aid thingie.  I trimmed five of seven large chicken breasts and ground them up using the larger of the two grinding circles.  I added two eggs, some garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and 1 1/4 cups of plain panko bread crumbs (because they’re lactose free)and blended until it was just mixed.  After heating up a large, deep frying pan I added some oil and formed large meatballs.  They were large enough to fit inside both of my hands when they’re cupped together.  After forming each chicken meatball, I just placed them in the pan and let each side brown and crisp.  When they got to the point where they wouldn’t stand up on the un-crisped sides, I just put the lid on and turned the heat down so that they could cook all the way through.

This vegetarian taste-tested them and they were delicious, and I admit that I had to eat an entire meatball with my potatoes and green beans.  That’s the first time I’ve actually wanted meat since going veggie in August.  I can already feel my stomach asking WTF I was thinking, so I’m making some green tea.  Oh well, it was worth it.  Let’s see if I’m saying the same thing tomorrow re. pain issues.  I’ve already been feeling puffy and swollen, with squishy-feeling joints.

They were a huge hit with the girls.  In fact, Gracie, the pickiest picky eater ever, ate three of these gigantic meatballs, and doused them with Frank’s Red Hot.  She wouldn’t eat anything else.  The girl loves meatballs cooked in a pan, but won’t eat them poached in marinara sauce.  I don’t even care that she wouldn’t eat the potatoes or green beans.  I’ll make her pumpkin muffins later and she’ll get some good vitamins from those.  She also enjoys V-8, and The Mister gets low salt, so she can have some of that too.  But she’s FULL and that’s a good thing.

I would share pictures, but the meatballs were etted up before I could take any.

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A steamed tail-on shrimp.

A steamed tail-on shrimp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here it is, New Year’s Eve, and I’m home with my family.  We’re just relaxing and ticking down time until the ball drops.  Well, the girls are.  The Mister is napping and one girl is starting a bath.  Another is watching a movie on a mini DVD player while the eldest girl makes something with colored duct tape.  Who knew that was a thing? There’s even an after school cluster that teaches middle schoolers how to make usable things out of colored duct tape.  That’s a Pinterest category I hadn’t seen yet, so I’ll have to search for it.  She’d love that.  She had a lot of fun using the duct tape to make a pyramid for a class earlier today.  She’s making bricks out of purple duct tape and applying it to the box she’s supposed to use… but the tape is also being used for practical uses to help hold the thing together too.  I think.  She has little clay canopic jars she made that she has to put apple seeds into, and an apple slice that she mummified in salt last week.

We had a nice dinner, poor man’s version of shrimp scampi ha ha.  It was simple and the shrimp was mini frozen shrimp from WalMart.  I had to use powdered garlic since it’s not a Super WalMart yet and they didn’t have fresh garlic.  :-)  It was filling and pretty good.  Gracie didn’t say a single word during dinner because her mouth was stuffed the entire time.  That’s the biggest compliment on a meal, let me tell you.  The girl who won’t eat anything sitting with a stuffed mouth saying nothing, but humming while she eats and not even caring if butter drips on her chin? Best compliment on a meal.  Truly.  When she finished, she said that her tummy hurt and asked what that meant.  I told her it meant her tummy was full of food and she over-ate.  She scrunched her eyebrows and said, “Hmmm.  Oh.”  That tells you how often she stuffs herself.  :-)

I completely forgot to put out salad.  I even bought banana pepper rings and olives, which Anna now wants to simply eat in a bowl next to chips and salsa.

Me… I’m ready for some Advil Cold & Sinus, green tea, a book, and bed.  Maybe some chips and salsa first.  Or maybe green tea and ice cream.  After all of the snow these past several days, I’m achy and still dealing with a headache with the remnants of the laryngitis.  My body still feels all beat up.   Sleep will be welcome.

Oh, don’t pity me for being home on New Year‘s Eve.  You’re home too.  :-)  But if you go out tonight, please be safe.  Don’t drink and drive.  If you’re buzzed, then you’re drunk.  So don’t drive buzzed.

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There’s a catch in my throat that won’t go away.  It’s as if my body is currently set to the default of Ready To Cry.  I laugh a little more loudly than I should at things that are funny… or are trying to be funny.  I laugh at every silly thing my daughters say and do, even if it annoyed me before Friday.  Laughter sounds and feels strange to me, right now.  It feels out of place.  It feels wrong.

Today it’s a drizzly, freezing cold day.  It actually feels like the weary world is weeping to remind us to slow down for a while.

At the same time, I know that for my children I need to keep my smile.  I can’t hide it or be stingy with it.  I can’t jealously guard my children and tuck them away from the world.  I can’t let my anxiety get the best of me.  I need to show them that even if we don’t feel especially happy right now, we can still feel joy and anticipate happiness in the near future again.  Maybe even now.  But then again, I have that luxury.  I can pick up my eldest daughter from school and get my other two daughters off the bus.  There’s no one to tell me that I can’t take them home ever again.

As a human being, Sandy Hook weighs heavily on my heart.

As a mother to a seven year old, Sandy Hook has decimated my heart.

All too easily, I can imagine being a Mother of Sandy Hook.  The children there are children of Connecticut… of the nation.  The women who gave their lives that day are heroes, every single one of them.  They gave their lives for every child that attended their school, giving them precious moments to try to get away.  Those women could easily have been my own daughters’ teachers, who show my children care and love and compassion every single day.

And so as I sit here this evening, writing this entry after a very somber work day, I watch my children watching TV with their dad.  I watch one of my daughters putting together a new game she received as a Christmas gift over the weekend.  They should all be doing homework.  I should be on top of them, nagging their butts to get going and finish so that they have the entire night after supper to relax.  To be honest, I won’t feel guilty if they don’t finish it tonight.  I’ll feel guilty if I force it by going into bitch mode.   At the Christmas party over the weekend, I didn’t make sure that they ate a good supper before filling up on cupcakes, chocolate, cookies, and chips.  For breakfast yesterday I let them have reindeer ornament “pops” that we made (look it up on Youtube or Pinterest; marshmallows, chocolate, pretzels).

Don’t worry.  The sugary part of my current parenting won’t last the week.   Okay, fine, and neither will the “not forcing the homework” part.  I’ll make sure that I half-heartedly encourage them to do it tonight.  And tomorrow.  But I won’t enjoy it.  For now, I’m going to parent irresponsibly.

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Didn’t I recently blog about how much of a bad idea it is to ask my middle daughter to quantify and compare her feelings on things? I might not have.  Well, if I didn’t I will now.

It’s a bad idea to ask her to quantify and compare her feelings because I’m learning that it’s either difficult or impossible.  In some instances the choice is clear.

Mommy: Gracie, which do you like better: pumpkin muffins or rotted goat cheese?
Gracie: PUMPKIN MUFFINS! SHUT UP! That was a BAD CHOICE!

If I offer other types of choices where she has to quantify her feelings or how much she likes something, especially if she likes something over another something, she looks at me blankly or gets frustrated.

Mommy: Gracie, which do you like better: pumpkin muffins or apple muffins?
Gracie: I… but… YOU CAN NOT MAKE ME CHOICE THOSE! THAT WAS A BAD! CHOICE!
Mommy: Do you like both?
Gracie: I eat both.
Mommy: Do you like pumpkin more than apple?
Gracie: YOU ask TOO MANY QUESTIONS!
Mommy: If I make muffins right now, which muffins would you like me to make?
Gracie: Pumpkin.

If I ask her leading questions about her day, about new things we did or tried, it’s very similar.

Mommy: Gracie, did you have art class today?
Gracie: We did leaf impressions.  I colored them…
Mommy:  How much did you enjoy it?
Gracie: Ummmm… that is not a very good question.
Mommy: Did you like coloring with real leaves?
Gracie: I had fun.
Mommy: A lot of fun?
Gracie: I don’t know.
Mommy: Okay.  Did you like coloring leaf impressions so much that you would like to teach your sisters and me how to do them at home?
Gracie: NO! Never ask me again! Leaves belong outside!

Mommy: Gracie, did you have pizza?
Gracie: I had pizza! It had pepperoni!
Mommy: Was there cheese pizza too?
Gracie: Yes. I had pepperoni.
Mommy: Do you like plain cheese pizza too?
Gracie: It is PIZZA.
Mommy:  Which flavor do you like better? Plain cheese with nothing else? Or pepperoni?
Gracie: I like PIZZA!
Mommy: If I ordered you a pizza right now, what kind would you want me to order?
Gracie: Pepperoni.

She must think I have this weird obsession that requires her to quantify everything.  I’m learning how to rephrase and break the habit of adding, “how much” and other qualifiers onto questions with her.  I think that’s really what throws her off.  I should probably simply present two choices and ask her which one she wants and let HER be the one to choose to clarify as needed.  She also doesn’t necessarily see where I’m going with a line of questioning, so she sees things as pointless.  I have to also learn to just get to the point and be a lot more direct with her.  I would save her a lot of frustration.

Thinking about it, she doesn’t use very many qualifiers in her speech.  She doesn’t use “a lot” or “a little” when she talks about liking things or disliking things.  She simply says she likes it, dislikes it, loves it, or hates it.  That’s it.  Four descriptors.  When she loves someone, she just loves them.  She doesn’t love someone MORE than someone else unless it’s her baby cousins.  Because, duh, she clearly loves babies MORE than anyone else.

I really look forward to more expansive conversations when she’s older, if she’ll allow it.  I have to be careful right now because if she gets too upset by too much questioning I risk triggering a meltdown or overly frustrating her enough that she’ll shut down and refuse to speak for a while.

Or maybe I have it all wrong.  Any insight?

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I’ve been successfully vegetarian since the beginning of August.  Except for “test periods” or falling off the meat wagon on three occasions which, I have to say, if they were coincidences they were pretty timely coincidences, I’ve been able to keep up with vegetarianism without any problems or complaints.  It’s not easy when you attend a barbecue, because no matter how bad hot dogs are for you they’re so good.  I just have to get back into my old mindset that hot dogs are nasty.  I went through a really long phase for years where I wouldn’t touch hot dogs.  Time to go back in time.

I was saying something about coincidences and I was talking about flare-ups.  I’ve definitely noticed that when I’ve eaten meat, my pain flare-ups are worse.  I swell more, and I have more widespread pain as opposed to localized pains.  I also get more dehydrated.  I had hoped that chicken wouldn’t be a problem, but it seems to be included as something to avoid.

It’s all right, so far I haven’t had any cravings and I’m getting all of my protein and vitamins from my veggie intake.  There are also some great meat alternatives out there.

I’ve also managed to cut out the majority of my lactose (milk sugar) intake and that seems to be helping.  It’s definitely helping gastric upset.  I would hate to give up cheese and yogurt and ice cream… so here’s hoping that keeping it minimal will be enough.  I’m hoping that I don’t have to go the route of eliminating gluten since I’m already eliminating most dairy, high fructose corn syrup and red 40 (just like for Gracie but for different reasons).

The pain was bad enough today that I felt that fog, and it was frustrating because I’m finishing a work assessment.  Luckily the woman who was “coaching” or observing me today was still impressed with my skills and functions even though she could tell I was in a lot of pain.  I kept kicking myself for having that small piece of chicken and the hot dog yesterday.  My fingers.  My wrists.  The back, shoulders, the crackling neck.  The thick tongue and clicky jaw.  Not worth it for the barbecue.  Next time, I’ll bring salad with the cupcakes.

Sleep.  Early sleep and a hot shower, some green tea, a birthday cupcake with my birthday girl, and all will be great.   I’ll dig up the hot water bottle and float off to a heated sleep.

 

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Cosmetics

Cosmetics (Photo credit: My Sight, as You See.)

I’m a working mom.

Go ahead.  Process that.  Read it again.  Roll it around in your brain for a moment.  Feel it on your tongue and say it out loud.

“Jessica is a working mom.”

On Tuesday, I started working.  After almost ten years out of the public work force, I’m getting up in the morning to shower for a job, getting in my car to travel to a job, walking into an office to a job, and sitting down at a computer to do actual work next to a phone for which I’ll actually get paid.  The best part? I get mom hours.  They’re part time which is perfect, so I work only when the girls are in school and I’m home when they’re home.  For all they know I’m home all day eating bon bons and watching soap operas and buying useless shit off of the internet.  It’s perfect for the girls and it’s perfect for my chronic pain and other concerns associated with my Fibromyalgia.  The job is being assessed right now, which will lead to a future permanent job when the assessment is done.

It’s working out so well so far.  They’re already impressed with my computer skills, writing skills, documentation skills, and phone skills.  They’re impressed that I haven’t lied on my resume.  That made me laugh when my job coach told me that.  I guess I didn’t think people really lie in real life on their resumes and that it was just a silly plot line on sitcoms.

It feels good to be back.  I was really nervous, and I still am… it’s all of the unknowns that make me nervous.  When I was working before there were never really any unknowns because I didn’t have children at the time and I’d been through it all.  I had every scenario covered and could anticipate pretty much anything.  Then I had almost two years where my wonderful mother-in-law watched my first daughter so I could work part time before my second daughter was born, and I’ve been home since then.  Now I have my three girls, and while I can go with the flow as a stay-at-home mom in spite of the ever-changing chaos, I’m nervous about how that will translate with me working.

As long as it involves coffee I think I’ll be good.  I haven’t had to show my morning face to too many people, so I have to work on my Chipper Morning Mood a little.  I also need to become more practiced with make-up again.  With the exception of special occasions and Girls’ Nights Out, I didn’t really whip out the make-up too often.

OH MY GOSH and that reminds me that the girls? Yeah, they’re in so much trouble.  You know how you build up your perfect make-up case of shadows and blushes and powders and liners over the years? You only replace what you need to replace on occasion so that you only have to spend a few dollars here and there and it’s not noticeable.  Over the summer the girls gave each other secret make-overs.  But not just that… they destroyed the make-up while they were at it, used it up, and threw away the evidence.  The little bits that they left were weird odds and ends or unusable crumbs.  I had to replace my basic make-up… thankfully I still have a lip gloss and eye shadow that I had hidden somewhere so I didn’t have to replace those colors… but just the simple basics were ALL replaced.  I hope I NEVER EVER EVER have to do that again.

  • cover up
  • base/foundation
  • eye liner
  • mascara
  • blush
  • eye shadow
  • lip color
  • plus I was out of face wash, shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray

Not only that, but the brand I used to use… the one the girls destroyed anyway… was drying my face out.  So since I did have the chance I switched brands to the brand I use for my hair now (L’Oreal… the shampoo/conditioner is Ever Creme for dry to very dry and it’s AMAZING).  I tested it out since I’m not sure on their shades, but wow… lovely, soft, light-weight, and feels good.  Maybe I should thank the girls, but holy Moses it’s better buying single items at a time.  That said, I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and briiiiigt!

Ahem.

I do realize I sound like a princess right now, since most times make-up is a want versus a need.  However, it’s still true that in today’s world to be taken seriously in the work force women are expected to present themselves a certain way and very often that “way” includes make-up.  I’ll also admit that I feel better about myself and more confident in make-up… it also puts me in that more formal mode that work requires.  Plus with the type of work I’m doing and will be doing, the people I work with all wear make-up.  It’s an unspoken expectation.  I felt so out of place being dressed appropriately but having a naked face with uneven skin tone and dark circles under my eyes.  I felt like a mom playing at working.

I know that a lot of this is internal and I’m projecting, so I’ll be working on that.  But I have all the time in the world now.  Especially with getting paid!

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