Losing my ever loving parent mind

Have you ever taken a good look around at your life and wondered how you are still sane?  That’s me right now.  Dave has been getting his work travel on, which leaves me with the girls.  The girls have decided to up their game in the bickering department, the dogs are at an all-time high in annoying-ness, the cat cannot decide whether she wants to be outside or inside and the chickens have decided that flying over our fence is a good idea.   Out of all of that, the kid fighting is the worst.

Background: I have a sister but she graduated high school while I was still in elementary school.  I have no memory of being a bickering kid with her.  I do remember fun visits, letters, phone calls, being ecstatic when she came home and teary eyed when it was time for her to go.  Given that this is my experience with siblings…I have a hard time with how my girls interact.

I wanted more than 1 child, we tried for years to have Jane.  When she finally got around to making an appearance, Jules and Jane ended up almost 5 years apart.   Jules was so easy as a child that the difficulties that Jane presented almost broke me.  Jane scream cried every afternoon and would never take a nap.  She hated being on her stomach, hated being on her back, hated being in a vibrating chair, hated being in a swing…..on and on.  Getting her to sleep was an exercise in Mary Poppins Ninja moves.  Sigh…Parent mind.  I miss those days….Sigh.  See?  CRAZY!  When she outgrew that stage, there was this wonderful lull in which she hadn’t started talking a whole lot.  Then there was the game changer, Jane decided she had a voice and started using it.  Much to Jules’ dismay  The fights started almost overnight.  Jane did not want to be Jules’ minion anymore and let us all know about it.

I know that they have fun and can play well together.  

Proof

the happy crazy house jules and jane play

But man oh man, their noise level drives me out of my ever loving mind.  Or maybe it’s the constant MOM, MOM, MOM??

The ultimate crazy comes from the fact that I hate to be parted from them.  Example:  My mom and I spoke and saw each other multiple times last week.  I must have had that crazy eyed, visible nerves running along the skin parent look about me, as she volunteered to have the girls over for a sleepover.  My instant response was, Are you sure?  Mainly because I love waking up to them in the mornings.  The girls had their sleepover with mom and enjoyed themselves immensely, while I dealt with misbehaving dogs and chickens.  the chickens had to get their wings clipped – a necessary step to keep them safe.  see this video for an example.   Not the relaxing morning that I had hoped for, but what can you do?   HA!

I love those girls so much that it hurts sometimes.  They are so smart, cute, complicated, and challenging.  But apparently, I am surprised by how annoyed I can get by the whole being a mom thing.  I NEVER thought this would happen to me. Delusional?  Hell yeah.

but…..then they do something ridiculously cute and I melt.

the happy crazy house kids

iPhone pic in the car….sorry….but you see what I am dealing with right??!!  

Adorable

Advertisements

Jules Marie turns 10

Gorgeous Girl Jules turns 10 today.  It’s been 10 years, but it feels like last year that I was pregnant with her.  forgive the pre-digital picture below

Jules was a ridiculously easy baby.  She slept all the time and rarely cried.  She also had no hair until she was about 2……I am pretty sure she is making up for that now.

Look at those eyes.

the happy crazy house

Jules is a series of opposites that makes her one of a kind:  caring/careless, shy/outgoing, sensitive/thick-skinned, serious/lighthearted………but she is always my Gorgeous (inside and out) Jules

the happy crazy house

Happy Birthday Blondie!

the happy crazy house

Parent Judging

Free Range Parenting vs. Helicopter Parenting vs. whocaresletsjustsupporteachother

I ran across this article yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it and what it implies about the world we live in now.

Washington Post Article “Maryland couple want ‘free-range’ kids, but not all do

First off – I hate the idea and practice of labeling your parenting style.  It is a very popular trend and I feel like it divides rather than unifies parents.  Being a parent is challenging enough…..we don’t need people silently or not so silently judging because we are in a different parenting style group.  Now, don’t think I am a saint and haven’t had disdainful thoughts or words come out of my mouth about another person’s parenting choices, but you can be damn sure that I check myself.  (A very good practice passed to me from a friend, K.  But that is a different post)  No one is perfect and it is about time that we support each other and our parenting choices.

This video that has been all over Social Media pretty much sums up what we do…..but ends with what we should be doing.  If you notice that it was Similac that put out the video and feel inclined to make a comment about how the video is a subtle advertisement…..yes, I know that….but it does not make the message less valid.  I read the comments on the original video posting and it made me realize that the majority of people posting needed to watch the video again.

Most parents feel judged, and not just judged about bottle feeding vs breastfeeding.  Parents are made to feel that their choices are not good enough, from how often you get up with your kids, when you start potty training, when your kids start to walk and to bring it full circle -to Free Range Parenting vs. Helicopter Parenting.  Stop it already.

Peace out peeps.

Happy Birthday my Beautiful Jules

My first precious girl turns 9 today.  Happy Birthday sweet girl

Halloween

IMG_2043

Before a Dance Recital

 

Ahh- my Honey, my Blondie, my Miss Thing

DSCN1554

Her Birthday Party is this weekend….we are going Ice Skating.  Update ya next week.

 

Friday Wrap Up – My girls are growing up

It is amazing how fast your own kids grow up.  I remember it taking forever for me to get old enough to leave the house but my girls are racing for it.

The previous few weeks saw my 2 wonderful girls heading off to their first days of school.  I can’t get over how fast they are growing up……..so cliche……..but DANG IT!!!!

Jules is now in 3rd grade and needs glasses during class.  3rd grade is really when my memory kicked in.  I have memories from before that time period, but they are disjointed.  3rd grade seems to be the turning point for me in remembering time frames, activities and actions clearly.  That is driving home the reality that my kids are growing up and no amount of want will slow time down.

IMG_2591

and then there is Jane….my youngest….sigh.  She started pre-school.  This is Jane on her first day of school.

IMG_2602

Jane is our youngest and last.  It kills me that she is getting to the point where she is no longer the ‘mini’ or the ‘baby genius’  ……that’s family code for Jane.  She was always small for her age so people were surprised whenever she spoke….baby genius style.  She has hit a growth spurt recently so that doesn’t happen anymore.  *sniff*

IMG_2588

My beautiful, smart, wonderful girls.

Labor Day

We were able to get away as a family this Labor Day….so get ready for the plethora of pictures.  Sad story, I was in such a hurry to get out of town and drive the many hours to our camp spot…..that I forgot my camera battery that I was charging on my kitchen counter.  So all of these are iPhone pics.

IMG_2926

IMG_2927

IMG_2921

IMG_2919

IMG_2924

Freezer Meals – Crock Pot style

My schedule is changing next week and in preparation I decided to try a series of freezer meals.

I devoted the evening before to finding recipes that my family and I would be interested in eating over the next few weeks and then compiled my shopping list.  I spent 30 (!!!!!) minutes in Costco getting the items that I needed -spending less than $200.  I only walked away with a few things in my cart that weren’t on the original list.  My recipes came from two different locations – http://www.5dollardinners.com/ and The New Creative Crock Pot Cookbook by Robin Taylor Swatt.  As I was choosing recipes – I picked those based on what I could alter to use similar ingredients and also to adjust based on my families taste.

This is as close a list as I can get – I made 2 each of the recipes.  So my list below is set up to support making 2 freezers bags of each recipe.

  • 25 to 30 chicken breast
  • 10 –  15 oz cans of diced tomatoes or 5 of the 28 oz cans and split each one in 2
  • 6 cans – 15 oz can of corn
  • roughly 20 lbs of potatoes
  • 1 bag onions
  • 12 red, yellow or orange peppers
  • 12 apples
  • sausage – I purchased a chicken apple sausage, based on recipe on http://www.5dollardinners.com/
  • 1 large bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 8 pork chops
  • 1 package stew meat
  • 2 boxes chicken broth
  • 4 cans of beans – your choice.  I used black beans
  • 2 cans coconut milk

IMG_2576

From the Crock Pot Cookbook

Chicken Provencal – adjusted for us……..Add into a Freezer bag

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 pepper – diced
  • 1 onion – sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • salt pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning = 1 tsp each

Curried Apple Chickens – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3 apples – peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • curry, salt, pepper = 1 tsp each
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Sunday Dinner Roast Beef – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 1lb of the stew meat
  • 3 potatoes – chopped or sliced
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper = 1 tsp each

Italian Stew/Roast – adjusted for us…….Add into a freezer bags

  • 1lb of the stew meat
  • 3 potatoes – chopped or sliced
  • 1 pepper – diced
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes or half the large can
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt, pepper = 1 tsp each

From www.5dollardinners.com\   (you should check this site out – if you haven’t already – when I was searching for freezer meals, this was the first one that kept popping up)

Freezer meals

To make each one – dump in your crock pot and cook as listed below:

  • Thawed:  low for 6/8 hours
  • Frozen – kinda thawed:  low for 8 to 10 hours

I am excited to try the new ones and see how the 2 hours in the kitchen and the 1/2 hour of shopping pays off in the long run.  Do any of you guys do freezer meals?  This is new to me, so I want to know how it goes over the course of time.