Friday, April 19, 2013

Just Be Nice!



This post has been a long time coming I just didn't realize it, until today......

I am a SAHM to 4 amazing little boys, I love them with all my heart and soul, they are the reason I was put on this earth.  With that said, I am a very protective Mama and when my children, myself or  my parenting come under attack I am naturally upset.  Sadly in today's day and age, many people feel it is OK to simply speak their mind and do not consider how it may make others feel, I am often the  recipient of unwanted comments, advice or blatant stares. I don't take as much offense to the "God Bless Yous" or " My your hands are full" comments it's the often rude, unsolicited one's that bother me. Please don't tell me how to raise my child, or ask me why I have so many kids....neither is any of your concern.

This morning my two" little" boys and I were  at COSTCO, my son was upset with me and acting a bit stubborn (no screaming or crying) he was just standing in the way of a woman in line behind us, I said to him "Honey please move up so the woman behind us can unload her cart" he refused and I went to move him at that time she proceeded to say (to my 2 1/2 year old son) "Someone needs a whooping" I was shocked and appalled! I told her that how I discipline my children is none of her concern and that she needs to mind her own business or that better yet why not offer some kind words of encouragement? instead of making unwarranted comments. More was said by her, I won't get into details but both my son and I literally left in tears..he was crying and saying "I am sorry Mama, don't cry Mama".........unacceptable that we were made to feel like that by someone else's cruel actions.

Now I am not saying I am a perfect parent or that my kids are the best behaved at all times, ( although more often than not I do get compliments on their good manners and behavior) I am saying that we all have bad days, off days or rough the above situation my son was upset because he wanted the Wreck it Ralph DVD.....(we already have the DVD at home and he didn't understand why I said No, I wouldn't buy it) he is 2 1/2! he is still just a little person learning right from wrong. It is my job to guide and teach my children the best I can with caring, kindness, age appropriate rules and guidelines... not physical punishment! 

I am seriously thinking of printing out a little note and keeping copies in my purse to hand to those people who feel the need to make comments. It would read a little something like this.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank YOU for judging and loudly commenting on my child's behavior, my parenting, how many children I have, or whatever else we have done to warrant your attention.  Since YOU took the time to point out all of our misgivings YOU must have perfect children, and are yourself a perfect person or perhaps it's simply been awhile since YOU have had small children and don't recall how it can sometimes be hard to grocery shop, or run an errand and keep everyone 100% happy ( even though I am doing my best to raise well behaved/mannered children. Well I have some advice for YOU. 

  • STOP, and really LOOK, you will see that I am a mother doing my best to raise a smart, sweet, polite child, LISTEN- I am explaining/teaching my child how to behave. I am 100% present in this moment and while I am not enjoying it anymore than you are, this is a learning experience in social behavior for my child, help me teach them by setting a good example yourself, be kind to another human being, I am doing my best job as a parent, whether you agree with how I am doing it or not.
  • SMILE! it may help put me at ease (it is already tense when a child/children are having a rough time) show some remember these days right?
  • Walk away, if my child is truly bothering you that much by all means pick another check out lane
  •  Hold your breath, bite your tongue, count to ten.....I don't care what you have to do but please keep your comments to yourself.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter, have a terrific day!

The ****** Family

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The "Me" in Mommy

Once again I am joining these fabulous ladies in their "Build Em Up" blog post series, today's topic is "Remembering You" taking care of yourself and keeping your identity. This topic couldn't have come at a better a busy stay at home mom to 4 boys I have been totally immersed in motherhood for 10 years...I am very good at making sure everyone else is taken care of, not so much myself.  Don't get me wrong, I cover the basics for myself, I shower,get dressed and eat everyday day but beyond that I have a hard time saying "yes" to myself and "no" to others and I realize that is not a healthy way to be or set as an example for my I am making some changes:

  • I joined a gym yesterday ( I belonged to one before #3 & #4 were born and I loved it) I need/want to get healthy so I can be around for many years for my boys and feel better about myself in general, I am also trying to make a more conscious effort to break free of my "mommyform" (aka mom uniform) of yoga pants/leggings and whatever baggy shirt is clean, hair in a pony, no a more polished appearance-I am wearing "real clothes", makeup, doing my hair (and nails) and it makes me feel put together and pretty 

  • mandatory date night once a month(we started doing this about 2 months ago)  it's amazing what a few hours and a meal alone can do for our moods/relationship

  • girl time-also at least once a month I meet a friend/s (usually another mom!) for lunch, coffee, happy hour,shopping or whatever else appeals to us

  • alone time-I sometimes need just the "quiet" I will grab a Starbucks and just sit, sip and breathe, or browse/window shop Home Goods/Target/the local resale/thrift shops for clearance goodies.

  • read, bake/cook a new recipe, diy something-anything to get my mind working/accomplish something other than the day to day routine

  • blog-I am slowly finding my groove......:-)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Let's Play!

Link Up Party via Kelly's Korner

We put so much pressure on ourselves as mother's to have the house clean, perfect hair makeup and outfit on, and a  meal worthy of a 5 star chef on the table at night that we lose sight of the things that really matter. Time is the greatest gift we can give to someone, especially our kids...(I could care less about what toys I had as a kid but you bet I remember going to the zoo or reading with my mom.)
I am that person that still seeks out the "kid table" I mean that's where all the fun is at anyway am I right? I have 4 boys ages 10, 8, 2 1/2 and 1 1/2  I am always up for doing something fun and being in the moment...(my mom was the same way with me so I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree)
even as a young girl myself I always loved kids and finding ways to play with and entertain them ( I was the regular Mary Poppins of my neighborhood booked weeks in advance for babysitting!) so taking a cue from good ole Mary herself....
In every job that must be done,
And remember little effort goes a long way plan your meals/chores for the week, prep as much as you can in advance, and say NO to things that would take away precious time.

Some our favorite "playtime" activities are:

With the little two:

1) Puzzles-like this Melissa and Doug one
2) Reading Books
3) Play Doh
4) Train Board/table (we made ours! for $15)
4) cooking/baking (all four LOVE this one)
5) music-put on the radio, grab the instruments and DANCE (good exercise!)
6) Lego Duplo blocks
7) Little People play sets-our favorite
8) Playing on our play set, sandbox, bubbles,sidewalk chalk and any type of ball (weather permitting we do live in MI )
9)Wagon rides around the neighborhood

The older two are in school full time and involved in sports combined with homework that doesn't leave a ton of free time during the week so we take advantage of weekends and vacation times to do most of our "play" and it typically consists of playing catch, shooting pucks (street hockey) bike rides

Outside of the home all 4 of the boys enjoy:

1) Farmers Market (let them choose items, use their senses....teach colors, shapes)
2) Petting Zoo and Splash pad at the County Park (buy the yearly park pass!)
3) City Zoo (yes it is worth the yearly membership!)
4)Library activities (check your local library ours has great free concerts, magic shows, story/craft times etc...)
5) Book store (free play areas and of course books/activities)
6) Grocery shopping at a "specialty store"( my 2 1/2 year old LOVES Trader Joe's because he can push his own little cart the store provides them for free use)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Use what you have (Leftover) Chicken Salad

I enjoy a good chicken salad a small scoop with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers or fresh fruit on the side really hits the spot! and in an effort to both eat healthy and stretch the grocery dollars I came up with a yummy chicken salad doing just that. On Monday I made the (Skinny) Greek Yogurt Chicken recipe that I kept seeing all over was delicious! I thought to myself oh I will just slice  up the leftovers over a green salad for lunch....then it hit me! CHICKEN SALAD....mmmm yum! Here is what I did:


2 chicken breasts (leftover chicken) cut or shredded
celery ( I used one stalk) diced
1-apple (with the skin) diced
2 tbsp golden raisins (or 1/4 cup sliced grapes)
2 tbsp walnuts/pecans (chopped)

for the dressing:

1/2 c. Greek yogurt (plain)
a drizzle of honey
fresh squeezed lemon juice (from half a lemon)
1/8 tsp dill
kosher salt and pepper

Combine above ingredients ( I use a glass measuring cup) and simply pour it over the chicken, mix well and serve immediately or chill for even better flavor!

(Sorry for the crummy cell picture, in the process of replacing my camera)

Friday, February 22, 2013

2 for 1:

I LOVE when I can stretch my grocery dollars by making two different meals from one main ingredient. I made this amazing Santa Fe Chicken (Crock pot) I reserved 2 cups of the chicken and used it the next day to make this equally delicious Southwest Chopped Chicken Salad
they were both a HUGE hit, a major victory in my house!

*My alterations/additions*

I served the Santa Fe Chicken with flour tortillas/corn taco shells/chips for the kids they also had shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream to add if they wanted.

To the salad I added 2 extra tomatoes and only half a can of beans (since the meat had alot still in it)
 I served the salad with a lime wedge, salsa and shredded cheese for adding if so inclined, I think it would also be fun to serve in a tortilla as a sandwich wrap (will try that nex time!) the flavor is very reminiscent of Applebee's Fiesta Chopped Chicken Salad

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Soup on Sunday

I am apparently in a soupy mood if soupy is even a word.....I made 2 delicious soups today :
all I can say is YUM!!!! go make some! to get the recipe's just click on the links under the pictures.....
Tuscan Vegetable Stew (sorry for the shadow hands)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Second day Soup (Gluten Free!)

I LOVE soup! I love everything about it, making it is theraputic, the smell of it simmering is soothing and the nice warm full tummy is so comforting. (and in my opinion soup always tastes better the second day)  On that note one of my favorite soups is from a little restaraunt in Milford, MI called  Hector & Jimmy's they call it Yesterday's soup, it's served in a coffe mug which adds charm...I have gotten lucky every time I have ordered it has been Potato soup! So when I ran across the recipe below a few weekends ago in the USA Weekend paper,it reminded me of that soup and I knew I had to try it  it did not dissapoint!:

Baked Potato Soup

For the soup:

• 4 large baking potatoes
• 2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) butter, or 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 8 cups (2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup (heavy whipping) cream
• 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby or mild cheddar cheese
For the garnish:

• 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or parsley
If you are baking the potatoes, Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Rinse the potatoes under warm running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Prick each of the potatoes several times with a fork or sharp knife to let steam escape. Place the potatoes in the oven and Bake them until cooked through, about 1 hour. When done the potatoes will be easily pierced with a knife. If you are microwaving the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a microwave oven and cook them on high power for 5 minutes. Then, turn the potatoes over and cook them for another 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the microwave and let them rest for about 1 minute. Check for doneness by cutting into one potato with a sharp knife. If the potatoes are not done, return them to the microwave to cook for about another 1 minute, then repeat the test for doneness.
Set the potatoes aside. Place the butter or olive oil in a large heavy soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until the onion it softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato flesh into the pot with the onions. Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let come to a boil over medium heat, stirring, and then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer until the potatoes are very tender and the soup is well combined, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cream.
Working in batches, ladle the warm soup into a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and add 1 cup of the cheese. Cook, stirring, over low heat until the cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. The soup can be refrigerated for 2 or 3 days.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish it with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and crumbled bacon and chives or parsley.
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 298 calories, 23g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 16g fat (8.3g saturated), 2g fiber, 48mg cholesterol, 561mg sodium
Credit: Excerpted from Unbelieveably Gluten-Free! Copyright © 2012 by Anne Byrn