Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Make it Monday: BEST OF Oven Roasted Veggies!!

When little d and I picked out an eggplant a few weeks ago and after racking my brain for 10 minutes (since the only thing I ever did with eggplant was oven roast and mash into baby food!), I went to my default: Pinterest. The recipe is super cake and this stuff was like bruschetta gone to heaven. LOVED it. 

Unfortunately the link to the blog no longer works (stinks when that happens) but what I remember was you slice the eggplant long ways SUPER skinny, brush it with olive oil (on aluminum foil lined baking sheet), bake 10 minutes at 350, then take out and top with tomatoes and a dash of cheese (I used meunster), and cook it another 10. I know, I know eggplant seems questionable but seriously it was divine.
 Also something I like making a plenty over the summer (even if I do prefer the likes of cold salads) is roasted veggies. Take your pick of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and/or any color of potatoes (purple ones are my favorite!) and toss lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper. I use about a tablespoon and a half on this whole dish and barely a pinch of salt and pepper. I like the natural flavors to come through because they are SO rich and yummy with just a bit of olive oil. The worst thing you can do is drench the whole thing in olive oil, at which point you may as well run the whole thing through water to rinse it out and restart because nobody likes a soggy vegetable....yuck!

420 degrees for 20 minutes (haha get the pun??) the veggies will be slightly bendable with a bit of a crisp. There have been dinners that I have eaten an entire pan of these vegetables on my own, they are just that good!
 Something else I bothered to make in the last week has been my Boston Marathon shadow box. The picture doesn't do it justice and it has changed a handful of times since the initial placement but that is the great thing about shadow boxes... you can continue to change around the arrangement as you see fit. Aside from taping my splits (on the bottom lefthand side of the box here) onto the marathon welcome brochure, this is pretty much how it stands. I had other things too but the race blanket (background), course map, medal, bib, and race booklet were all things I considered the most memorable part of my race. Also still need to get an actual picture of myself running the race. Working on that. For now, this will work for me and I think I like it. When I get it in an apartment we will hopefully have by summer's end it will look much nicer instead of cluttered next to some old magazines and books by my makeup and hair products. All in due time. My next project is tackling the monster that is my jewlery collection. I hear pinterest calling...
 One final thing that has been in the works for literally months is this painting. Thankfully it no longer looks like that but I think I will wait to post the full completed thing until Monday, when the family will receive it and also because I am not done yet. So yeah enough time wasting, off to work on that...

Little d's third trip to Fenway and first red sox game

So good! So good! So good!
Perfect weather, quick game and perfect seats!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sweetest Sunday boys

One of my favorite things about having kevs around since the birth of my child is that they really do love each other. Little d tries his best to hug, clean, hug some more, and pose des for a photo op "ay cheese des!" and the crazed chipmunk/squirrel/mouse/bird-eating monster of ours calms like a ragdoll and allows the overwhelming show of love.

Also, the star picture of little d was taken for nursery an hangs outside the door at church so he knows what class to go to. I think he looks part wild child, part almost kindergardener.
Either way I am in love with his hair right now, as I just love when it gets all crazy and sweaty and he looks like a mad scientist. A mad scientist who can easily hit a 20 foot homer.

Friday, May 25, 2012

failing as a teacher vs. failing as a mom

Today is june 15, 2012 and i have had quite an epiphany on failure. Im choosing to publish this in a date that would have been very dear to me, the date that would have been the end of my third year of teaching, if i had continued on teaching full time. Why hide a post? I do it all the time, whenever there is something so heartfelt, maybe a little too much so, to put front and center on my blog. But I want to remember and keep it forever, so here it is, in all its glory (if you can even call it that if it was posted at almost 1am).

Just over a year ago I became a stay at home mom and I thought it was going to be the best thing in the world, having spent a full school year attempting the impossible task of being a full time working mother.

As a teacher, I have never felt like a failure. True story. Just like when I was going through high school or college, I felt like I could never truly fail at learning... you just don't do as well as you had hoped to do and resolve to do better the next time. So with being a first year and then a second year teacher, I would try new things, some would work and more often things wouldn't work out and I would not fret. I would make minor adjustments, tweak my lessons and try it again for the next go-around. If a class got really bad I only had 18 weeks with them anyway and then I would get a whole new batch of children who I could start over with a fresh clean slate. Even if I did have repeat students, they usually liked me enough not to make fun of me as I worked about awkwardly changing things around. Again, I never felt like a failure because there was always a sense of renewed hope every january or september that I could "fix" things and get a little bit better than I was last semester. The best teachers are not actually the best at anything, except at continuing to improve and better themselves and that's what I loved about teaching. If you were terrible that just means you have more room for improvement and can in theory only GET better, am I right?

And there there is being a mom. Where the pressure to be perfect is frighteningly high. Where you know you have that child for the next 18+ years and they remember stuff that you do (like let them pick out the super expensive raspberries from the organic section in the grocery store just ONCE) and boy do they NEVER forget it. I may only have an almost two year old but already I am wincing at things I have done and wishing I could get a do-over, a January or even better a September, completely fresh start. I wish I hadn't have said "stop that!" so many times during our utah trip to stop the whining because he says it now. I wish I wouldn't have used the phone as a default to placate whining when we are in public. He remembers. And it breaks my heart. I feel like a failure because I have to carry this around for the rest of my life, and not just for this child, but for each child to come it will multiply. How can I handle that? I wish I spent more time teaching him things and less time letting him watch Curious George while I snuggle next to him in bed. I wish I didn't spend 4 hours training to run a marathon and instead took him to the zoo. Nobody every warned me how much regret I would feel as a mother!! And especially not how terrible it would make me feel as a person, not just as a mother, although the older I get the more intertwined those terms seem to get. I feel like a failure ALL the TIME. It doesn't help that all around me are mothers doing joyschool, teaching their kids science projects, and otherwise upstaging me in the department I already feel pretty lousy in.


I'm not saying I am a lousy mom. I'm not. I think I am just like every other mom who feels overwhelmed with the sense of responsibility to care for a life and a child so perfect and precious, knowing that every THING you do can and may impact them for a very long time. Becoming a mother was hard. But parenting and discipline and being a mom is an even more daunting task than I ever realized. Which is not to say I am not up for the task because I am.

I love being a stay at home mom and I would not trade it for the world. But sometimes I do the thing I feared most while working full time, and that is that I take it for granted. I get lazy and nap and loaf around and eat and do nothing when I should be lighting up the life of my pride and joy. After 15 years of babysitting experience I really thought I had this raising a kid thing down pat. But it is so much more complex than I ever gave my parents, or any parents, credit for. My job has some good and some bad days, but it also has a boss who will never fire me and will constantly keep me accountable. And who loves me no matter how much of a failure I think I am. And That is enough to keep me trying. Continuing on my road to improvement. Because I thought I had a lot of room to improve as a teacher?! HA! I have MUCH more room to improve as a mother.

Wonderful Wellesley

This past weekend was a celebration of "Wonderful Wellesley", where we started off on Friday by going to a fair outside of a local elementary school where we spent our tickets on fishing (win), bouncehouse (not a good experience), and this huge slide down with burlap sacks (double win... he wanted to do it over and over again but we had to stop with a slide apiece with me and uncle tooey), watermelon and pizza and ice cream with sprinkles (win).

Saturday was just gorgeous!!! We played outside, took little d mini golfing (for the first time!) where he did amazing and lasted through 16 holes before having a meltdown since we were cutting it close to dinnertime and it was scorching hot in the blazing sun.
Sunday night we went to watch fireworks (which were super impressive) with Tooeydani (little d's nickname for Cory and his girlfriend, in town from Cali). He was a trooper and stayed up till 9 (when we just started getting his bedtime down to 730) by doing crazy dances and keeping us constantly entertained. Love this boy!!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

22 month highlights of (a not so little) dustbug.


You know when you spend over an hour on a post and it just deletes and there is no way to recover it?
Yup, that just happened and I have no desire to recap everything again so sorry this is going to be super abbreviated.
22 month little d is...
-cosntantly demanding "moo-saks" (fruit snacks) or smartphones he claims as his own (but only deleting the apps on my phone for some reason, I have re-installed PBSkids and Angry Birds more times than I remember).
-Flirting with girls already.The other day we were at the grocery store and he saw twin girls (about 3 years old) in a shopping cart near by and he yells out "Hiiiii go-es!" (girls), which they thought was about the best thing ever as they giggled at the "baby" calling out to them. We have been working on distinguishing between boys and girls and it astounds me how quickly he picks up on certain things like that.
-Calling everyone by their names (even Bob, Dolvett and Anna if you know about the Biggest Loser) unless he doesn't know them and he calls them "friend". When he sees someone up high (on a ladder or on top of a house), he shouts, "Friend! Get down!" because once there were some guys cutting down branches off a tree and I was telling him how dangerous it is to go up that high.
-Loving on his Kevs, like ALL. THE. TIME. Hr rushes over to snuggle with him or get down to Kevs' level to say hello and ask "Ah pay? (play) It (with) me?" But his is not afraid to knock down Kevs if he is on the table (but nicely) and says "No no table Des. Et down."
-Turning into his father. This shouldn't be a huge surprise to me (hello, blonde straight hair and piercing blue eyes?) but personality-wise it is quite evident that he is his father's son. In addition to being a flirt and an athlete (we can add lacrosse, fishing and golf to his list of sporting skills added this month), he is a goofball who makes faces at himself whenever he catches a reflection and does silly things like fake falling and running into things to make people laugh. This is especially evident when he is surrounded by his girlfriends (our 11 year old neighbor and her friends):
-A loving boy!! Any and every animal he sees he walks right up to and does his typical "come here" squat while patting his knees (even if the dog is three times his size). Dogs, rabbits, cats, squirrels, chipmunks, ducks, this boy has a lot of love. He is also very willing to freely offer Mr. D and I kisses, hugs and snuggles, even when we least expect it.
-Into just about every standard (non trashy) cartoony little kid thing: Dora, Mickey Mouse, Blue's Clues, Curious George, Sesame Street... he loves to pick them out whenever he sees them in the grocery store (balloons, sunscreen, shampoo, etc).
-Eating just about everything I do. Monkey see monkey do. This is great (chobani, edamame, salads, smoothies) and sometimes not so good when he discovers me eating some of my vices (that of course he loves too like bacon, fruit snacks, chocolate, ice cream...).
-Singing all the time. Some songs are from nursery or what we learned at music class. His favorite song is "Dahs-dan's song" which goes something like "daaaaaahs-taaaaaaahn sooooooooooong" repeated indefinitely. Also itsy bitsy spider, happy and you know it, wheels on the bus still never get old and are my saving graces during trafficky car rides.

Everyone is always telling me how adorable and sweet little d is... I know it!! I miss that baby super fattie but this toddler is just getting more fun by the day! two months till he is two years old aaahhhhh!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Make it Monday: Guiltless Mac and Cheese

Have you heard of Bobby Dean? Yeah, me either until I found this to die for recipe in one of my magazines. Apparently he has his own show where he takes his mom's grease and butter laden meals and makes them a little healthier. I've made this twice and I think it just may be my new favorite way to make homemade macaroni and cheese! You drastically cut fat and calories AND its a great way to sneak in some yummy veggies. Good thing Rachael Ray had him on her show the other day or else this recipe would probably still be gathering dust in one of my notebooks!

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray, for baking dish
  • 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen petite peas, thawed (ew!!! I cannot stand peas so I used finely chopped broccoli)
  • 1 cup finely chopped cauliflower
  • 4 cups cooked multigrain elbow macaroni, drained (I used my new favorite pasta Picolini made with carrots and squash!)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Yields: 10 servings

    Preparation

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, add the cheeses, milk, egg whites, reduced-fat sour cream, mustard, salt, pepper, peas, and cauliflower. Mix ingredients together until combined. After the macaroni has been cooked according to package directions and drained, add your cheese mixture into the warm pot you cooked the macaroni in and stir, the residual heat will help the mixture combine. Pour into your prepared casserole dish. Evenly sprinkle the whole wheat bread crumbs over the macaroni. Bake, until the filling is hot and the topping is golden, 35 – 40 minutes.
    Calorie Info Per Serving:
    Bobby's Guiltless Cheesy Mac: 289 calories, 7.3 grams fat
    The Lady's Cheesy Mac: 520 calories, 28 grams fat
    Differences: 231 calories, 20.7 grams fat

Saturday, May 19, 2012

22 month golfer

Go ahead and add pro golfer to the list of athletic prowess my son has over me. He is officially better at football, baseball, basketball, and soccer than I am. All that remains is running for me, but only because he's so bowlegged that he falls over every third step.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

missing my boston marathon 2012

can you believe it has been one month and one day since this happened?


I miss it. A lot. Like tears coming to my eyes when I think back on it. 
I am so so glad I finally got the guts (and the hookups) to run my first marathon.

The nice thing about the last month is that I've been able to stop eating like a complete maniac, and since I have scaled back the running I have been able to get into some fun weights, spinning, and cardio classes at the gym. Love it! My longest run since the marathon has only been about 5 miles, but I feel great when I do run. I miss racing!! It will be torture to watch my sister and friends running the UV marathon next month! A half marathon is definitely in the cards for me very soon.

Until then, I need to add something new to my wardrobe... still deciding on which ones to get. Since its kind of odd to wear my medal around everywhere, I need to buy one of everything so I can always be reminded of my Boston Marathon, rain or shine or cold or 2012 marathon heat.

I am thinking, everything on this line minus the duffel (I already have two)...

 Maybe the shorts? Or one of the tees? Maybe a visor in case I have to run another sunny marathon?

Ok, I'll be honest. I love EVERYTHING here. How on earth will I ever choose??

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My second mothers day.

Tomorrow I'll be straightening my hair for the first time in months. Going on a run with my boy. Spending the day with my husband and in laws and chatting with my wonderful mom, dad, and siblings. Maybe I'll go crazy and put some makeup on for church.

It's gonna be awesome. No lie. :)

Thanks, mommy. For growing me in your tummy for nine months then teaching me how to be a good mom for the last 26 years. I love you!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Hey I just met you. And this is crazy. But heres my number.

Google chats with my parents and sisters may in fact be the highlight of my weekend. It's so fun to me, even for just an hour, to feel like we are bickering (in a good way of course) around the kitchen table, even though we cover four different states.

And no I don't make normal faces while I video chat with my family. Ever. It shows them just how much I love them duh.

Also I am fairly certain cats arent supposed to actually eat the dried catnip they give you to put on the scratching post. Especially not after rolling in it. It just doesnt look normal.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

So let it be known

I know I talk a lot about little d's vices on this blog (remember last weeks 4am wake up call?) but days like today make me feel so bad about saying stuff like that because he was just a doll baby today.

He woke up at 6:20, I brought him to our bed where he happily played with my PBSKids app for an hour, had breakfast (which after months of figuring out what he really wants for breakfast we have finally narrowed down to a baseball hat cup of Special K red berries with milk), played and colored and he watched Blues Clues while I showered. We played baseball in the yard till church, he had the best experience at church that he has had in almost 22 months (the very best being that first Sunday when he was about 12 hours out of the NICU and slept through all three hours, he has only done that once!), and he happily told me "i nap, mom! Night!" when I put him down. No crying or whining. It was a miracle. A much needed miracle.

I've found that keeping little d busy and entertained (yes even if it means a little tv so I can catch up on sleep or a shower!) makes him happiest because he hates being bored!!

I have a wonderfully active, happy, energetic, non-stop toddler that I love so much and I really wouldn't have him any other way. Honest. My life would be sooo boring without him!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

You know you have an aspiring photographer when

You find this in your photo album.
Off to celebrate cinco de mayo with some classic homemade Mexican food and all the guacamole I can fit into the next 24 hours.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

This is why I have a gym pass

There was a time in my life when I enjoyed tanning and working out. Both were expensive monthly and required daily upkeep. When I married Mr. D and "my" money became "our" money, I had to make a choice between the two. It doesn't take more than half a glance at my chalk white legs to know which one I picked. And to those of you who would say "yes but you cans till tan at some gyms at a discount" you have to remember I have a kid now so THAT is an extra fee in and of itself.

After spending $24/month on a gym pass in Provo, then about $45/mo in pleasant grove (including child care) and a comparable price in Ohio, paying MORE than $100/mo for a gym pass with unlimited child care (and that is a steal compared to most places!) was a tough pill to swallow. That's why it took me so long to finally pick one out (nearly a month was spent without a pass... Gasp!) but let me tell you something.

When I walked out of my gym after a good hour long workout, freshly showered, and with a happy toddler at 9:30am, it felt GOOD. Most days I just come home from the gym and wait for a good time to take a shower (since we usually go home, play, lunch, nap, and play) which usually ends up being around 4 or 5pm.

How have I never used the gym showers before?! They give you towels, shampoo and body wash (not to mention free use of locking lockers) and I am kicking myself for not having discovered this earlier. Sure it cuts into workout time, but seeing as how I have 90 minutes a day of childcare, it certainly wouldn't hurt if half of those days I go (and I go with little d mon-sat) I actually get in a shower before noon instead of an extra 15-30 minutes workout.

I am SO relieved I have solved the problem of "how will I workout and get a shower in with more kids since u can barely get in a shower with one?!"

Totally worth every dime.
Thank you thank you thank you husband, for letting me keep my little piece of selfish spending. I love you for that!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: brothers.

Note to anyone threatening to go all CPS on me: All photos taken before the bloody mouse incident.

365 Love letters week 16

Shorter week, but only because there was SO much going on! 
Boston Marathon, family in town, 100th Anniversary of Fenway... it was a busy week!






Rude rude rude rude rude

Will someone please explain to my almost two year old son that waking up at any time beginning with the number 4 is rude, unacceptable and a right reserved exclusively for babies.

I can think of a lot of words I want to use but the only appropriate one for this blog and my readers is rude rude rude rude rude.

It's going to be a long day, people.
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