Whoa Mama

Friday, February 25, 2011

Simply Real

Back in the day, I worked for a company that was in the business of development of products featuring ease and innovation. That year a fun new mag hit the scene with recipes, problem solutions, decorating tips, accessible fashion suggestions. It was like Martha Stewart for every girl. I subscribed, saved issues and used the heck out of them.

There were things like:
New uses for orphaned socks
Best detergent for allergy sufferers
A weeks worth of meal in under an hour
Spruce up your home for spring for $50
Making the most out of the last of a roll of wrapping paper
Best method for clearing a zit, washing the cat, writing a cover letter, organizing your desk

Really loved this magazine. Over the years, I stopped reading too many magazines; any of them. I try to squeeze in the Sunday paper, a crossword puzzle, and few books, but rarely magazines. I ultimately canceled the subscription to Real Simple, Fitness, Newsweek, leaving only the People mags that Colleen bequeathed my for gym usage.

A while back I subscribed to the Real Simple online newsletters. They include bite-sized bits of things I could digest in the limited time I have; a recipe or two always jumps out, maybe a helpful tip. I've enjoyed it for awhile.

I've decided though, that I need to dump it because the themes lately have seemed, well, less than "real" and only "simple" if you are pondering life's challenges with your feet up eating bonbons, dissatisfied with contrasting pillows and duvet and pondering a deeper pile for the carpet. These are a few of the recent, actual teasers:

Cutting Board Holder (the counter?)
Beer Koozie as Shaving Cream Holder (or for a koozie for beer and shelf for the shaving cream holder)
Ribbon Smoother (not aware that my wrinkled ribbons were a lifestyle problem)
8 Adorable Egg Cups (wah??)

8 Delicious Treats for Bacon Lovers (Delish, weird, not making my life any better)

what really really sent me was this, the Joseph Joseph Double Dish. The pitch read: Edamame pods, pistachio shells, olive pits: There’s never an acceptable spot for tossing them. The three pockets on this space-saving double dish are made for stashing.

Well, Real Simple, it's been good. It's been meaningful. But you've jumped the shark.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Long ago, "Three Under Three Feet" was renamed "Whoa Mama" because my young 'uns were no longer all under three feet.

Tonight, I was tucking the twins in and listening to a rattling noise. I asked Sammy what he was doing. He reported that he was measuring himself. That made me chuckle a little because Sammy never does anything without a purpose. This could have had something to do with rides at Disney that he's anticipating being tall enough to ride or how deep into the pool he'll be able to stand. Who knows?! Kisses and hugs and snuggles to Aidan and Noah then off to investigate.

Me: so, how tall are you?

Sammy: four feet, three inches

(stunned silence)

I knew he'd had a growth spurt. He is noticeably taller. And now, he's exactly one foot shorter than me!

This revelation, coupled with formal announcement that Aidan and Noah are eligible to go to sleep away camp this summer and this girl is having a moment.

A moment that is making me even more anxious to snuggle the bundle of sweet baby tre. As much as I'm looking forward to meeting him/her, I really hope he/she hangs out just until this mess goes away.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get out what you put in

My mom and I were chatting recently about juggling it all, so to speak. I took into account such things as making breakfast two or three times a week. This is down from the 7-12 times a week it felt like I used to make breakfast. Pancakes, waffles, and occasionally eggs. Throw in some turkey bacon, yogurt and french toast and fruit and that makes an ideal breakfast spread.

This started early in my motherhood. I remember like it was yesterday the day that the sweet, loving, and gently firm day care provider said to me, "I think he'd like something more. He seems to like the look of the pancakes." Sam was 7 months old. It began Sam's and subsequently the twins' love affair with the breakfast carbs. I make pancakes from scratch, though am not above a box of complete pancake mix. (If I'm going to cut corners, I'm going to just add water.) I own and use a waffle iron. We have favorite muffins, ranked by flavor and maker (Wegman's is the favorite).

When the boys were very young, another mom of young 'uns asked, "do you make pancakes *everyday*?" At that point, I did. Pancakes, yogurt and fruit were our typical breakfast. Let me simplify, because I never meant to make this mom, or anyone else feel anything about themselves, parenting, their children, etc etc etc simply because of food:

1 c. flour
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 beaten egg
1 c. milk
2T. oil

Mix dry ingredients. In separate bowl, combine, egg, milk and oil. Add flour all at once to wet ingredients. Stir until blended but slightly lumpy.

Pour 1/4 c. batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle. Turn heat to low.

Cook until first side is bubbly and edges slightly dry. Flip and brown second side.

Serve it with syrup, powdered sugar or rolled up with brown sugar in the middle or any other way you please. Enjoy!!

It isn't anything more than sustenance. But it is what I know. I cook, bake and poke around the kitchen. I am the daughter of the daughter of a farmer's wife. When you have to feed a dozen mouths, you cook good, healthy, hearty meals, as my grandmother did. My mom stayed at home with us. She made breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch. It is just what I know. Admittedly, making breakfast from scratch is the expectation that I put upon myself because I choose to, I enjoy
it, I want to, I feel that it is a little something I can do for my boys.

When I came upon this quote, it resonated, and made me laugh a little:

When you cook it should be an act of love. To put a frozen bag in the microwave for your child is an act of hate. -Raymond Blanc

However, it also occurred to my that I am unsure of what it means when you call Imperial Pizza.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring has sprung

I pulled in and there was a woman, shivering, huddled over her steering wheel trying to hide her dirty secret. But she needn't be shamed. There were lines of people in their parkas, moon boots and trying to dig their money out through gloved hands. Ungrateful kids climbing on dirty snow, threatening to topple their recently acquired goods into the snow. First of many that will need to be replaced this season. Nothing could dampen the mood!

It's February 15! Happy spring!


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Recovery

So, if you have been following the manic chronicle of my life at all, perhaps you remember when Aidan let go a little word we like to reserve for adult use. I quickly copped to it as it is my word of choice though I'd always thought I was careful about not swearing in front of the kids. I was recently vindicated with the following conversation.

Aidan: Mommy there are three bad "S" words:
the one that you say when you want someone to stop talking
the one that is mean to call names
the baaaad one. The one I said

Me: if it was so bad, why did you say it

Aidan: Louis (named changed to protect the innocent) told me that it was a reeeeeaaaalllly bad word. Then it got stuck in my head like a song and I just said it.

Oh that poor little honey must have just been about to burst! More importantly, IT WASN'T ME!!!!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Which one are you?

Who doesn't love library day? Our boys are lucky enough to be at a school that doesn't cut corners on "specials". Library, gym, art, music, spanish, and my personal favorite, dance. As to be expected, you must return your library book to get a new one. Sometimes this works out for the boys, and sometimes, well, sometimes, we enjoy Star Wars for weeks and weeks when it reappears at unpredictable intervals, but never on Monday a.m. when needed.

This morning, the sun shone down and library books were returned and new ones brought home in their place. Noah broke from his pattern. He's been in lurve with all things adventure, even better if it is a comic book, ahem, graphic novel.

I need to deviate briefly to share that over this past weekend, I backhandedly called Noah "Mr. Hyde" after he went from sweet to whiny. Then told him the very brief, 1st grade version of the story. He did not seem to be overly moved or interested.

Back to library day. As if to compete with his older brother's sweet, engaging, almost Haskell-like behavior, Noah ran to me after school and hollered, "Mommy! Guess what I got from the library??" I guessed a bunch of silly answers. He responded with "NO! Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! Mr. Hyde kills people!"

Not sure that was the literary exposure I was going for.