Monday, January 16, 2012

What I wanted to say

The monkey and I were having a rough day they other day. The day was busy and filled with several errands and the Monkey was in super whine mode. Things were not going well...she got put in time out at CVS and at the doctors office and the reality is I am pretty sure I should have gotten a time out too as my patience had worn thing.

After she went down for her nap I posted the following on Facebook as it pretty much sums up the morning we had had:
I am not going to be winning any mommy awards today...after I snapped at the monkey for the 3rd or 4th time this morning because of her non-stop whining she started crying and said "I luv you Mommy"...sigh #mommyfail
I was trying to be honest about my struggles and share that with the many other moms I know. Most of the comments were encouraging and supportive. But there was one comment that just rubbed me the wrong way and left a lot of thoughts rolling around in my mind.

This post was from someone who should know me well, but doesn't. Someone with whom I have a tense relationship. Someone who I feel judges my words and actions without seeking to understand my heart. Someone with whom I would rather not be friends with on Facebook but who I feel like I can't unfriend because they are, after

They replied to my comment with this:
Award? Motherhood is a blessing not to be measured in pass or fail. At least the monkey and Mommy are sharing their feelings, never a bad thing
Hmmm....I wasn't feeling it. Like I said, it rubbed me the wrong way. As I thought about it there were so many things I wanted to say in response. I wanted to say

  • Of course motherhood is about awards, if it were none of us would do it. I was simply trying to express my mistake.
  • Of course motherhood is a blessing...I wasn't actually complaining about being a mom.
  • Yes, it is good for us to both express our feelings. But just like I don't allow her to whine and scream when she expresses hers I should not be allowed to snap at her angrily. There are better ways for us to both communicate our feelings.
  • The point is that is not the kind of mom I want to be. I don't want to be impatient and short tempered with my daughter. I was trying to express that for people who will be there and to know I am not alone in failing to be the type of mom I want to be. 
  • It is possible to fail as a mom and the reality is we all do at times. 
So much I wanted to say in response. But I didn't say any of it...mainly because I have had experience trying to rationalize with this person before. It never gets any where and I am left feeling frustrated with and judged by someone with whom I wish I could have a deeper and more honest relationship. But I also didn't say any of it because what if the real truth is I don't really seek to understand their heart the way I should either?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

I had a baby shower to go to last weekend and volunteered to bake something. I wasn't sure what I wanted to make. I had grand ideas of trying a new recipe and making some fancy scones. But then I remembered...I have a two year old, a newborn, and I started back to work last week....I don't have time for fancy right now. Luckily, strawberries were on sale last week which reminded me of one of my favorite bread recipes.

We love this bread, a loaf barely lasts two days here. Plus it is relatively easy to make. I found the recipe on a blog several years ago, and have absolutely no idea what that blog was any more :( The original recipe called for almond extract and topping with sliced almonds, but I didn't care for that. So, I switched to vanilla extract and sprinkle to top with sugar during the last 20 minutes of baking. It gives it a great strawberries and cream flavor.

Strawberry Bread
Makes 1 regular sized loaf or 3 mini loaves


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, or margarine, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½-1 teaspoon vanilla (depending on preference.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed strawberries or 1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries, thawed and drained on a double thickness of paper towels
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray or grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or a mini loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and almond extract until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the flour mixture alternately with the crushed strawberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes (50 to 55 minutes for mini loaves), or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and turn right side up to cool completely.

*If you prefer substitute almond extract for the vanilla and top with 1/3C sliced almonds before baking. 

In an effort to make this a little more fancy (because I am after all a neurotic perfectionist) I also made a batch of this strawberry was fantastic!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blog Fail

So I started this blog last year excited about sharing my thoughts on motherhood. I was excited to share my journey with you and have you all share your journey with me. But unfortunately, I failed majorly in this endeavor. In my defense, I have a pretty good excuse.

You see, I was working on another major project:

That's right, we added a new member to our family this year. Our little man was born on November 7th. We couldn't be happier to have him in our family.

The problem was I had another difficult pregnancy. Severe morning sickness for the entire pregnancy, lots of back pain, etc. Basically, I HATE being pregnant. And this time it was harder since I had a toddler to take care of. So, some things, like this blog had to go.

But the little man is two months old now and I am ready to get back in the saddle and try this thing again. Because, after all, that a part of motherhood too...starting over when you have failed.

I have several thoughts that have been ruminating but for now I will leave you with a couple of pictures of our new family.
 The Monkey loves her little brother! She can't get enough of him. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Forgive me for the lack of posts recently. We have all been under the weather lately and I have barely been able to keep my head above water. I hope to be back to updating this week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

One of my favorite things over the last few years has become chai tea lattes. I got hooked on them when I was in grad school and the lovely barista at Starbucks recommended it to me when I was looking for a caffeine fix as I don't like coffee. It was love at first sip!

However, our budget doesn't really allow for me to frequent Starbucks as their chai lattes run me 3-4 bucks a pop! Ouch! So, enter my favorite thing:
Tazo Chai Concentrate! You simply mix it with milk and enjoy! I love it because I can usually get a carton of this for about $4.50. This will last me about 5 days, so I get almost a week's worth of enjoyment for about what I would pay for one drink at Starbucks! Win! 

I am able to get this at both Meijer and Kroger, but you can also order it online if your local grocery store doesn't carry it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Knowing what makes you a better mom.

So, one of the things I have been thinking about recently is the importance of knowing what makes you a better mom. I often think about this when I am talking to my mom friends who are feeling worn out or like they aren't getting everything done that they want to. I often wonder how are you taking care of yourself? Are you doing what makes you a better mom?

I think that we as mom's tend to struggle with this for two reasons. One is that we are often so focused on taking care of everyone else's needs that we forget about ourselves. Or maybe, in reality, it is that we just run out of time to take care of ourselves because we don't make ourselves a priority. I often have this conversation with people I work with. There is a lot of guilt associated with taking care of oneself because so many others need us.  However, if we don't fill into our own lives how are we going to have anything left to give to those we love? We must take care of ourselves first so that we can, in turn, take care of them.

Another reason I think that we are bad about this is that we buy into all the shoulds of motherhood. By that I mean there is always someone to tell us how we should do it. We should be at home, we should nurse our babies, we should feed our children only organic foods, we should... I find that we are especially susceptible to this in the church community. I am not sure why this is. But, the fact is, nowhere in the Bible does it say I have to be a stay at home mom to be a good mom. And the reality is what works well for me is not necessarily what works well for you.

That being said, if we are going to take care of ourselves and if we are going do what works well for us as moms we have to know what makes us a better mom. We have to think about it and be intentional about implementing it. Some times it may be trial and error, but working on taking care of yourself is important.

So, here are some of the things that I have realized make me a better mom:

   -Working part time. I love being at home with the monkey, but I also love my career. But, more importantly than that, I need something that is mine, and I need time away from the monkey so I can better appreciate the time I have with her when I am home.

   -Waking up a half hour before the baby. I used to sleep until the baby's cries woke me up. I tend to need more sleep than the average person and thought it was great that my schedule allowed me to sleep in. However, I soon realized that I was often cranky with the monkey first thing in the morning. However, if I wake up a half hour to an hour before her I can drink my first cup of tea, read my emails, and wake up a little bit...I am MUCH less cranky once she gets up.

   -Girls' Night Out! I think every mom should try to make this happen when they can. I love having a night off from mommy duty to just hang out with the girls. Of course I talk about the monkey quiet a bit but it is also nice to have a meal without worrying about the toddler throwing food on the floor.

  -Fostering my hobbies. I love to bake and cook, in fact, I find spending time in the kitchen to be therapeutic (at least I do when there isn't a toddler hanging on my legs begging to be picked up). So A and I try to make time every week for me to get some alone time in the kitchen. It doesn't happen every week, but making it a priority is important.

So, those are a few things I know make me a better mom. What makes you a better mom?