Monday, May 31, 2010

Mooched Mommy Idea #5

I swiped this idea in high school Home Ec.

1. Yes, I was in Home Ec.
2. I was actually the Vice President of the Future Homemakers of America.
3. I do, in fact, see the irony.

Moving on.

In the unit on child development, our teacher brought in a huge can of shaving cream and squirted it all over our desks. Everyone in the class was 15 or older, yet we played in our shaving cream for the rest of class. I remember that it smelled much better in there afterward...

I forgot most of what I learned on child development, but I never forgot shaving cream day!

So now, I strip the toddlers to their diapers, squirt a pile of shaving cream and remind them not to touch their eyes.

Endless entertainment!

And it always smells fresh and clean when shaving cream time is done. Not bad for the former VP of FHA, eh?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding Season Awards 2010!

The beginning of April marked the blast-off for our wedding season; we had 1-4 weddings every single weekend. I had a ball! Cake every weekend! Tears during every ceremony! Dancing every reception!

I am....tired.

Without further ado, here are my Wedding Season Awards for Spring 2010:

Most Shameful Moment

A Momzilla walked in while I was decorating a table. She didn't see me, so I crawled under the table and hid. And my sister had to deal with her.

Everlasting shame. I have no excuse.

Proudest Moment
When a Momzilla told us, "I've been so mean to you and you made everything perfect for my daughter's wedding day. Not one thing went wrong."

I then had an unchristian moment and wanted to throw out my ugly finger.

But I didn't. I smiled and replied, "Every Mom gets stressed."

Most Terrifying Moment
When I got a panicked call from my bride telling me she was going into emergency surgery 2 days before her wedding.

With some strong meds and a little champagne, she was feeling great on her wedding day.

Most Ridiculous Request
I got a panicked call at midnight from a groom that requested I forge a permit for something he forgot. He even went a step further and said, "I know you can do this! I have faith in you!"

Never, for one minute, think your faith will inspire any criminal activity on my part.

Biggest Melt-Down
During one particular wedding, we were being treated horribly by the clients and guests. I was frazzled beyond belief. So I did the professional thing and spazzed out on my sister. "I am not respected!" "No one loves me!" "Why did we start this business?!" "What is my purpose in life?!"

I then apologized. Then ate cake. And we hugged it out.

Favorite Moment
I overheard the father-of-the bride, who recently had a stroke, tell someone that walking his daughter down the aisle was what got him through the painful months of therapy. I've never seen such a proud Daddy as he walked his daughter down the aisle.

Oh, those daddies and their daughters get me every time!

The end. I'm going to the spa. I might not come back.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mooched Mommy Idea #4: Morning Ice Cream

Toddlers are picky eaters.

Every Mom knows this, but I take it personal anyway. When I prepare a home-cooked meal and he screams in terror at the thought of eating it, I know that karma is paying me back for all the years I did that to my Mom.

Therefore, I look for ways to be sneaky. The best weapon in my arsenal so far is Dr. Sear's Power Smoothie. I make one every morning for my little punk. I can hide all sorts of power-greens in it, too! My deception went one step further when I named it, "Morning Ice Cream."

Here is my edited recipe, and it makes about 2-3 servings of "Morning Ice Cream."

1/2 c. plain, organic lowfat yogurt
Handful of frozen blueberries
Handful of frozen strawberries, (or any other kind of berry;I just use what's in the freezer.)
1 banana
1/2 t. flax oil
1/2 t. berry-flavored cod liver oil, (my pediatrician says this is GREAT for toddlers)
Almond milk, add to right consistency
Handful of power greens: spinach, kale or avacado
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Ice cubes

*I just add milk and ice until I get a consistency he can drink through a straw*


He drinks this, and I don't fret about his nutrition for the rest of the day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

On God and Toddlers

There are so many instances where I am teaching my toddler a lesson and I wonder, "Is this how I act towards God?" (It's sad that I can sometimes equate my behavior/actions with a toddler's; just keeping it real.)

For instance, this morning I heard my toddler exuding a considerable amount of effort in the other room trying to move a huge bin of toys. Naturally, I offered some assistance.

Him: I do it!

Me: Well, I'm stronger and I can lift this for you.

Him: No help! I do it!

Pant, groan, push, strain.....

I had to smile. It sounds like recent conversations I've had with God:

"I got this!"

"I'll pray if things go wrong!"

"It's under control!"

Pant, groan, push, strain.....

And, perhaps, He steps back and watches me...smiles...and loves me anyway.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scenes from a Marriage

*This conversation took place after my husband gardened, mulched, de-weeded, raked and planted all weekend...without any assistance from yours truly.

Him: "Honey, will you help me bag the leaves and grass?"

I look up from my magazine, hoping he didn't mean me...

Wife: "I have allergies. I'm not supposed to touch nature."

He looks concerned about my allergies, then offers a solution...

Him: "Then just touch the trash bag and I'll touch the nature."

I think, after 5 years of marriage, the man is able to out-maneuver my Sara-logic. This could be very bad, indeed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mooched Mommy Idea #3: The Cookbook

All growing up, there was a daily tradition that my Mom never missed: The 4 O'Clock Panic. Due to her deep-seated hatred for cooking...yet determined to provide well-balanced meals for her Mother would wait until 30 minutes before dinnertime to think about, you know, actually cooking dinner.

The Panic would involve tearing through the kitchen, taking inventory of her food supply and then figuring out how to throw together a nice meal that would satisfy one major food snob and 2 little princesses. I'm not gonna lie, a lot of Hamburger Helper was involved.

When I had my very own family to cook for, I learned quickly that the 4 O'Clock Panic was not for me. I just couldn't throw together anything on-the-fly.

Enter MMI #3: the Photo Book Cookbook.

Seeing my despair, my former boss, Jennifer Jones, took a photo album and filled it with 4x6 index cards of her favorite recipes. She knew my cooking prowess was non-existent, so she made them easy and they didn't have more than 7 or so ingredients.

I use it almost every evening. It's how I plan my meals and my corresponding grocery list. I steal meal ideas all the time, add it to my book, and throw away the ones I don't use. This system has brought sanity into my kitchen for 5 years.

Let the cooking-challenged-wives rejoice!

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Mom. The 4 O'Clock Panic is further proof that you love us madly.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Heart Products

A friend of mine sent this to me.

He said, "I instantly thought of you."

He clearly doesn't understand that I need each and every one of those bottles.

No one understands.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Post Break-up

Since I ended my affair with fast food meat and unorganic meat all-together, I've had all the usual symptoms of a hard break-up:

-Painful withdrawals
-Learning a "new normal"
-Random bouts of sobbing....usually when I pass a Sonic.

For example, one of my clients brought in a bag of Taco Bell during a consult, and, I automatically thought, "I'm going to go get some tacos after this appointment." As I was absentmindedly driving towards the drive-in window, I remembered the slaughter houses, beef fillers and animal mistreatment. I went straight home and warmed up some soup instead.

And it felt freaking great.

With the help of some very supportive friends, I've discovered these local resources to help with my new eating/cooking plan:

The Living Kitchen

Natural Farms

The Downing Family Farm

I have also put in an order for half a cow. Never thought I'd say that...but one of our church members is a rancher with organic meat, and you have to buy in bulk. My deep freezer will be put to good use come October....

I have to chuckle at myself...Sara has half a cow in her freezer.

Also, I have a small favor. If you have any resources to help with this endeavor, would you please leave it in the comment section or e-mail me at

Thank you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mooched Mommy Idea #2

I started this Mooched Mommy Ideas segment in hopes of passing on ideas I stole that make my life easier. Today's MMI: Water Play

I mooched this idea from Carolyn when she told me her daughter would stand at the sink for 30 minutes and do dishes.

30 minutes.

I went right home and filled up the kitchen sink. I'm just keeping it real: there is nothing more pleasant than busy toddlers that are not demanding my attention.

I add some plastic dishes, a little soap for bubble fun and they each get an apron. (Sidenote: these are not all my children, I participate in a baby-sitting exchange.)

I feel there are 5 major advantages:
1. I can finish my coffee and surf
2. They practice doing dishes.
3. They have a blast.
4. They will have cleaner toddler hands.
5. I can finish my coffee and surf

Hard at work...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Food, Inc. and Those Poor Chickens

At the insistence of Oprah, Dr. Oz and Emerging Mummy , I watched the documentary"Food, Inc."

I am now mad at Oprah, Dr. Oz and Emerging Mummy because I have lost all appetite for:

1. Big, fat juicy burgers
2. Pepperoni pizza
3. My $5.99 economy bag of chicken breasts

"Food, Inc." answers the most basic question: Where does our food come from? I truly thought I knew. Turns out, I had no idea.

*Manda Mae, stop reading now*

The documentary goes behind closed doors at the chicken farms, slaughter houses and feed lots. What they do to animals is brutal; I was deeply disturbed:

-Chickens genetically altered so badly by hormones that they can't even walk because their breasts are so large.
-Animals that have never experienced fresh air, green grass or sunlight .
-Animals screaming at the torture they endure.
-Animals covered in manure which, Surprise! Surprise!, gets mixed up all together in our "ground meat." That meat then gets treated with a bleach solution to clean it right up. REALLY?

They said in the film that if there were glass doors on these places, everyone would be a vegetarian.

I'm considering it.

The film also goes into great detail about the abuse of farmers, government failures to act, alarming U.S. health statistics and our addiction to cheap food. I found their information to be thorough, accurate and sobering. The film ended with the admonition that we, as consumers, get 3 votes per day to decide change: breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm changing the vote in our house from this day forward.

I have proclaimed a food revolution in our kitchen:

-We are not eating fast food beef or pork now that I've seen exactly what "meat fillers" are.
-We will buy organic meat and dairy.
-We will start shopping at farmer's markets.
-I will write nasty letters to the USDA.

I have officially broken up with processed foods...something I thought could never, never, never happen.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mooched Mommy Idea #1

My first day as a teacher, I received advice that has changed my life:

"Everyone mooches ideas, no one is original. If you see something you like, copy-cat it!"

I have carried that wisdom into my mommy career and it holds true. If I'm doing something cool or educational with my toddler, I can almost guarantee I mooched the idea. So, without further ado, here is MMI #1:

The Cozy Corner
This idea was mooched from my mommy friend, Julie. The cozy corner is a quiet place in the house, stuffed with blankets, pillow and books. The goal is for children to have a special place to focus on reading. I've been doing it for about a year, and he'll read for up to 20 minutes now. Woo-hoo!

My cozy corner is in my toddler's closet. I sit in there with him and read my book as he reads his. Sometimes he lasts 5 minutes, sometimes he'll go for 20 if the book really catches his attention. Sometimes, he has to sit in his laundry basket to really focus... All I know, is that it's been a brilliant idea to help foster the love of reading in his little 2-year-old heart.