Nadia’s Hair

Anyone familiar with toddlers pulling on their own hair? Nadia does it every night while drinking her bottle and while we rock before she falls asleep. I don’t know if she actually pulls out any hair, but she certainly tries. I googled it and got terrified…

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Happy Friday!

How is the week over already??? Today is my last day with Eric, kid-free, until the end of the month. He has tomorrow off too, which should be a good, relaxing at home, family day. Sunday he is taking our oldest, Nora, out-of-town to a baptism and then that evening he leaves for Ft. Dodge to start his week with clinic there Monday. He’s commuting this week and then on-call the following, so my time with him will be very limited again for two weeks. I’m a but bitter he’s traveling out-of-town with Nora Sunday to a family baptism… I don’t think he actually wants to go to the baptism, or even feels he has the time to go, being he’ll get home and have to leave right away again. It’s more he feels a need to show up at family events. I think what he fails to remember though, is that all the others at the baptism are teachers who have their weekends free… Oh how life would be different if Eric’s schedule was M-F 8-5. No, I’m not saying teacher life is easy, or even that all teachers have nice hours, but I happen to know how his cousins’ spend their weekends, thanks to many Facebook posts.

Most of this week with Eric has been spent at coffee shops, as he’s studying for his oral boards he’ll take in February, I think. Which means in three weeks when he’s off work again, he’ll be studying, again. I’ve been coming to coffee shops with him, in between mom’s clubs get-togethers, mainly so we can still spend time together despite his constant nose in the book, highlighter in hand. We’ve been dropping off and picking up the girls from daycare together. I wonder if they wonder what the heck it is we do??

Speaking of daycare, I’ve noticed a lot of teachers are out with influenza. I was browsing Facebook this morning and came across a post with people arguing about how the flu shot causes the flu and is otherwise unsafe. Da people. Just da. If you don’t believe in vaccinations or the flu shot you might as well just stop following my blog now. Fine, don’t get the flu shot or vaccinations, get sick and die. Survival of the fittest I guess… You realize people are dying from the flu, right? Don’t even bother commenting, let’s not argue. Just stop reading my posts. I don’t want to argue. Rather, spend your time doing actual, peer-reviewed research on the safety and necessity of vaccinations and flu shots. End rant.

Imposter

This morning my mom’s club held a coffee get-together called “Empty Nester”. Basically a monthly event for moms only, since all over events welcome children. With my girls in daycare I, of course, took the opportunity to join in. And I’m so glad I did. The ladies were super welcoming, the chit-chat was enlightening, and the mocha was tasty. This is the third event this week I’ve attended with these ladies.

Problem though, although perhaps only a problem in my mind, is that I totally felt like an imposter. All of the other ladies present have children in school, some in pre-school, yes, but still. They know my story, they know Eric’s schedule and how I’m using daycare to save my sanity when he’s working so much. And yes, they welcomed me with open arms to the group. But then why do I feel so guilty? Why do I constantly feel like I should be doing something more productive with my time, being we are paying an arm and a leg for childcare?

Only one of the ladies present at the get-together this morning works outside the home. And from my understanding she’s very part-time and makes her own hours doing billing for a local pre-school. I chatted a bit with her about my feelings, about how I feel like I should be looking for a job, but also my fears of having a job and then always needing to take off, as I essentially parent alone. Eric would not be available when the girls are sick, for appointments in Iowa City, etc. And if I was working, I’d never see him, as our time together is currently limited to his days off every third week. I don’t want to be stuck working those days, do I?

Maybe my feelings stem from needing a larger purpose? I used to see my role as a stay-at-home mom. But how can I call myself such when my girls go to daycare? What is my role now? We hire cleaners for the house… and as my Christmas gift Eric set up a laundry service… So what do I do? Why do I still feel so busy and stressed? Is it true we all somehow just fill our time?

It’s moments like these I get crazy ideas. Ideas to change the course of my life, take on a new endeavor. So I requested information about a marriage and family services masters program at a local university. I’ve always been fascinated by psychology. I love reading self-help books, even if they don’t really pertain to me. Like books on marriage I find interesting, like how we pick mates, why some marriages prosper and others don’t… Just interesting. I think I could see myself as a marriage therapist. But then again, a few months ago I saw myself as a coffee shop owner.

2018 Honda Odyssey

Remember when I had to have the newest Honda Odyssey? The 2018 model, completely redesigned with all new whistles and bells and features no human actually needs but probably thinks they want? Okay, yes, the magic sliding seats are amazing, not going to lie!

Anyway, here’s what I wish I’d known before rushing out to purchase the top of the line 2018 model halfway through 2017… Redesigned models have bugs. Lots of them. In fact, I notice a new one almost every day. And no, I’m not lying. It’s in the shop now, and has been for three days. The newest we noticed, the horn doesn’t work, nor does the idle engine feature. But those are small, to me, in comparison to the rear speakers often deciding silence is best, the steering wheel controls randomly functioning improperly, the rear cabin watch system displaying the rear cabin just some of the time, the anti-theft system powering off whenever it pleases… You get the idea.

My only advice. Perhaps refrain from purchasing a new model year vehicle. Of course, everything is fixed free of charge to us, including the three recalls its already been issued, some related to seatbelt issues, but it’s a pain in the butt to keep parting with it, especially with Eric working out-of-town so often. And since it’s a new model year, all issues are reported to Honda, which takes the dealership even longer!

Another Instant Pot Fail

Maybe it’s me. It seems the entire world, as I know it, is ranting and raving over these freaking instant pots. Remember the spaghetti I made that was rather tasteless? Well, the following day I made a chicken and dumpling recipe I found online. And I didn’t care for it either, even though it claimed to be the best pressure cooker chicken and dumpling recipe to ever exist. It was tasteless. No wait, it wasn’t completely tasteless. The chicken tasted like chicken. The dumplings tasted like flour. But there was no happy mingling of flavors. I’m beginning to wonder if that’s an issue with cooking food superfast, faster than ever really intended. Don’t foods need time for the flavors to join? Is that’s the beauty of slow-cookers? Although pressure cookers have been around for years and years, right?

I’ll keep experimenting…

Nora Mae’s Boutique

Thankful & Blessed

Women’s brown/rust fitted long sleeve crew t-shirt – A New Day™ with bright white ‘thankful & blessed’ lettering ~ Specify shirt size (XS-XXL)

$19.99

Mama Needs Coffee

Women’s fitted black long sleeve crew t-shirt – A New Day™ with bright white ‘MAMA needs coffee’ lettering ~ Specify shirt size (XS-XXL)

$19.99

Sweet Little Pumpkin

Infant onesie – Carters brand white onesie with orange glitter pumpkin decal ~ Specify size (newborn – 24 months)

$9.99

The Love Dare – Day 2

Recap of Day 1

  • Did anything happen today to cause anger toward your mate?
    • Ha! I’m not sure about the rest of you, but living with someone who is rarely home while you’re trying to raise a one year-old and two year-old together is obviously going to result in some friction! I’m not sure any was real anger though, perhaps more along the lines of small frustrations, like why does he always have to close the dishwasher when the racks are still out???
  • Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them come out in words?
    • Unfortunately, yes. Negative comments often spew from my lips, out before I even realize what I’ve said. I’m not sure I can say I mastered day one, but if anything, this dare certainly made me more aware of my negative comments to Eric. And aware of our faults is perhaps the first step toward correcting them. I hope.

Day 2 Love Dare

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Married to Medicine

Have you ever watch the show Married to Medicine on Bravo? Yeah… that and my life are as different as night and day? Black and white? Dead and alive? You get the idea.

All last week I thought Eric had clinic all next week, meaning he’d be commuting back and forth each day and have New Year’s Eve afternoon and New Year’s day off. Wrong. Apparently the holiday really did throw schedules off. He left this morning for another week of call.

In the true fashion of my life, we’d get our first snow storm when he’s away. The forecast called for 4 inches I think, but I got up as planned, dropped the girls at school and headed back home to shower. Kona had a grooming appointment at noon, but they called around 9am to see if I still wanted to bring her, due to the weather. It was really snowing already by 9:30am when I called them back, so I rescheduled her bath and nail grind for next week. I’d showered and put on make-up though (for once) so still wanted to run a few of my errands, including getting my new glasses adjusted. When a girl does her make-up, people should see it!

Side note: I probably never really went into detail about the exact location of our new home. Let’s just say it’s in a neighborhood, a small neighborhood, but off of an unpaved/gravel road about five minutes off the interstate. Needless to say, my street, and the streets it’s off of, don’t get plowed. I’m not sure if ever. We are outside the city limits, which is nice for less expensive property taxes… but, those taxes actually pay for useful things!

By 10am when I was driving into town I realized the roads, including the interstate, were shit. Snow covered and slick with semi trucks barreling by. No way was I running my errands and picking up the girls later. How would I ever get back home?? My new Honda Odyssey is not awesome in the snow, I learned. I so miss my all-wheel drive Infiniti SUV that Eric is now driving. Granted, it eats gas, but it goes anywhere and I always felt safe.

The girls and I were back home by 11am. Nadia fell asleep in the car and I managed to transfer her to bed, but she only napped 30 minutes the entire day until her bedtime at 6:45pm. Nora napped an hour and a half, but the day still felt incredibly long since Nora wasn’t in bed until almost 8pm. I had hopes of doing laundry, dishes, picking up the living room, going through the girls clothes and putting away the ones they’d outgrown, etc., but none of that happened. Those two tiny things wear me out! Nadia wants to be held every minute. No seriously. I set her down and she screams. The girls have a billion toys, no joke, but yet they just want to hang on me. Nora is addicted to her iPad, but wants to play games she is really too young for, so she’s constantly saying, ‘need help mommy’. Which yes, is cute, but…

I wish I could be that mommy that wants to hang out on the floor with the girls all day playing games and coloring…

I’ll admit, I was definitely on my phone today more than I wish I’d been, checking Facebook, reading comments on my blog, texting friends, reading emails… But it feels like my only lifeline to the outside world.

What is wrong with me that a day home with my girls makes me feel trapped?

Thinking about the next week here without Eric is quite depressing. I’m not great with entertaining the girls when I’m alone here with them. I tend to work on house stuff, like laundry and such, which leaves me constantly pushing them away, and feeling very guilty. The snow storm and below zero temps isn’t helping my feelings of being trapped either. I really don’t want to take them out in the cold and snow tomorrow, but staying home all day makes for a lot of hours to fill.

And to top off the day… the company we hired to plow our snow called. Apparently they didn’t realize how far ‘out’ we lived. They want to charge us $75 for each time they remove snow from our drive and sidewalk. Like what else?! I’m here alone with the girls, I’d prefer it be done for me, so I said okay, but that I’d let them know if I find another company that might have clients already in this area. One more thing to add to my to do list of worries. Oh, and the van needs to be fixed. Eric broke it Christmas Eve. Don’t even ask.

Instant Pot Spaghetti

Link to Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe

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So… I must admit… the spaghetti I made for dinner last night in my instant pot was just… okay… Probably wouldn’t make it again…

Making spaghetti the ‘traditional’ way of boiling noodles, browning hamburger, adding sauce and heating, isn’t really all that difficult. And doesn’t take all that long, although either way feels like FOREVER with two screaming children hanging on your pants. This was my first experience with my new instant pot though, so probably something good to break myself into fast cooking.

My biggest complaint about this recipe was the overall flavor. It was blah. I suppose you could add a lot more spices and such before cooking, or after, and cheese after too… The recipe calls for 36 oz of water, which I suspect is needed to cook the noodles, but I have a feeling this is what also contributed to the blah, watered down flavor of the sauce. Also, some of the noodles were stuck together and uncooked, but not a huge deal to fish those ones out and pitch.

Here’s what I wasn’t prepared for, this being my first instant pot experience… The recipe says to cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. Sounds super fast! But… I didn’t realize it takes at least 10 minutes to preheat before it starts the 8 minutes of actual cook time. And another 2 minutes at least to release all the steam, which note to self, next time don’t place pot under cabinets! Adding in the preheating time, and the fact that you still brown the hamburger first, although in the pot, saving a dirty dish at least, well, it just really wasn’t much faster, or better, than traditionally made spaghetti. In my opinion 🙂

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