Category Archives: Domestic Duties

Cooking, cleaning, shopping, organizing…

One month down, five to go…

So,  I realize how fortunate we are being able to have a new house built. A home that we create and design together. A home that we are proud of. It is a great opportunity and I am so excited about it.

But I am allowed to be annoyed during the process. I am only human. Going from a modest 4 bedroom home with a backyard to a two bedroom small apartment with porch has been an adjustment.

For some of us.

Chris gets up at 5 am to use the gym here so that he can get to Starbucks by 7 to work remotely. They recognize my daughter at this point. I should note that his normal time before we moved was 5:30, so the adjustment has been awful for him.

I have used the gym once.

My main issue with living in the apartment is that I get absolutely no privacy. NONE. I can’t hide anywhere. If she is awake for the day and I want to sleep in because daddy is home, forget about it. She could give two fucks about my need to get extra sleep or need to pee alone for that matter.

The month of September also brought a new side of Charlotte. A dark side. One that hits people and things, screams at the top of her lungs, flings herself around, cries, throws things and repeats “no” as if she is stuck on repeat. I heard this wasn’t supposed to happen until March of next year. I told her to get it together. So she hit me. We are in negotiations.

She has endured multiple injuries in the short time we have lived here. Mostly because we have tried to cram most of our furniture in this apartment. Also, see above mentioned behavior. Her poor little face is bruised and I had to explain the Doc Mcstuffins band-aide on her forehead to the pediatrician at her 18-month check-up today. Awesome parent moment.

I have mostly lost my desire to cook. The kitchen is disorganized and tiny. I am too lazy to put any real effort into managing the kitchen and organizing it. I use the short stay as my crutch. So meals are always simple, sometimes pre-made (yes, judge me) or take-out. I just can’t find motivation to cook. Which makes me a little sad, because cooking is always a little therapeutic for me.

Another fun fact I have recently learned is that by being the primary grocery shopper I get to carry all the groceries AND the toddler/crap upstairs every week. But hey, that’s a work-out so whatever.

Walking the dog with a toddler in the rain can be added to the list of shit I am getting used to.

Monday through Wednesday takes a toll on me. Watching other people’s kids during those days in addition to my own monster, I mean strong-willed toddler, has an a pretty big effect on me. Plus she is teething currently and since I can’t hide from her in this apartment she basically lives on me. So by friday I am a walking zombie. She can also see the park from our apartment door so when we go on walks with the dog if she is feeling so inclined, she just starts walking that way. She also likes holding the dog leash and it is too cute to take away from her, so one friday I found myself at the park, in my pajamas at somewhere around 9:30 in the morning. I am pretty sure I didn’t even finish one of my morning cups of coffee. It’s easier to go with it I have found. Sort of like ‘play dead’ so she takes it easy on me. So we I went to the park, in my pajamas and played with her.

I know one thing my husband would say he is not enjoying about apartment life is the money I spend doing stuff that will keep me out of the house. I have to leave sometimes, for hours, to reset. So what kinds of things can I do: pedicures, manicures, massages, shopping, coffee. The way I see it, I am stuck in this apartment for 3 days with watching other people’s babies and parenting mine. I earn some money and my sanity is vital to this family. I enjoy those things and they help me stay afloat.

During the first month of this little adventure, we decided to rid ourselves of cable. We have broadened our knowledge to other options and now have a Roku. Love it. So naturally I started binge watching shows like Weeds, Orange is the New Black and the season I missed of American Horror Story. Which has definitely worked against me as far as blog productivity. I am actually trying to multi-task right now and watch Weeds. I just started it over.

I wonder what the next five months will have in store for us. I hope the fact that every month from now until we are scheduled to move in has a holiday to celebrate will help.

I hope I get to use the gym more.

 

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake, a Family Favorite!

Perhaps not the easiest of recipes to make while a one-year old tugs at your apron strings, literally, but worth the hassle for sure.

It is fresh, light and delicious. Perfect for summer.

Ingredients 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.

 lemon zest from one large lemon, or 2 tsp.

 generous 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 tbsp. to sprinkle on top of cake

1 egg at room temp.

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups of flour- set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with blueberries

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

*1/2 buttermilk

*to make homemade buttermilk, you simply squeeze some juice from 1/2 of the lemon you just zested into a cup. Add 1/2 cup of milk to the lemon juice and let it sit for about 2-3 minutes before adding to batter.

Blueberry cake ingrediants

Instructions

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream butter, lemon zest and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

2. Toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup flour and set aside. Get your buttermilk going now if you intend on making it yourself.

3. Whisk together with flour, baking powder and salt. Grease a 9-inch baking dish with butter or coat with non-stick spray.

4. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk a little at a time to the batter. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk.

5. Fold in blueberries and add to dish. Bake for 35-45 minutes. My oven is closer to 45 minutes.

Enjoy!

I should note that if you add a full cup of buttermilk you get more of breakfast tart. I tried it out last time I made it and I like that variation of the recipe as well.

Breaking News: Step-parents Matter

I think one of the most challenging things someone can do is to take on the responsibilities of someone else’s child. Becoming a step-parent is a big deal, and should be treated as such. I mean, I don’t think I am alone in thinking that. Having a child of your own is a big decision and responsibility, so taking on the responsibility of a child that is not your own is definitely a big deal.

Kids are hard, and often the ones we share DNA with are a challenge to handle. So I can only imagine what it must be like to handle a step-child. Add on factors such as rocky relationships between biological parents, distance between parents, difference in parenting styles among parents, siblings… I mean the list can go on.

Blended families are a dime a dozen now; the Brady Bunch is no long a novelty. So people are faced with the decision to not only get married, but to become a step-parent pretty frequently in today’s society. I don’t feel like it is really ‘taboo’ to get divorced and remarried. I joke about starter marriages all the time. As a matter of fact, I am a member of that club, since 2003. Or 2002, I forget now. I was a baby bride.

Anyway, my point is this. Getting remarried often means blended family. Children are hard to hide, so a potential spouse has to know that children are a part of the package. So why are there still step-parents that are ass hats? If you hate the prospective spouses kids, why would you take them on to be your own? If you can’t handle all the kid(s), have issues with the kid(s), or just don’t want the added responsibility, why go forth?

The relationship parents have with their kids is important; this is not breaking news. Step-parents are important and the relationship they have with their step-children matters. Not to go too far off on a rant, the rocky relationships I have had with my own step-parents has greatly impacted who I am today.  

I just don’t understand it, to put it simply. I just don’t understand committing to someone who has a child or children and being a terrible step-parent to them as if they don’t matter. I know there has to be a period of adjustment, so I can see how it isn’t rainbows and butterflies right off the bat. But a continuously shitty step-parent with zero desire the work on it is something I can’t get on board with, or understand for that matter.

Why commit to that person. Is it with the assumption that you won’t really have much interaction with the step-child so it doesn’t really matter? Unless they are 17 going on 18 and moving out, I don’t see who that is valid thinking.

I just believe that all kids matter and how you treat them greatly impacts who they become.

Is this one of those ‘walk a mile in my shoe’ type things?

 

 

I Guess I’m That Mom

Finding a snarky post or two about helicopter moms that spend too much time on Pinterest and in cleaning gloves is pretty easy. I can appreciate the overwhelming feeling of destain for the mom who seems to have her shit together and ducks in a row while you feel like you are drowning in dirty laundry and haven’t had a good night sleep in weeks.

Organized and efficient often translates to uptight and controlling. Someone who keeps a clean house and home cooked meals on the table is described as a Martha Stewart type or a Stepford wife. A mom with a parenting plan is viewed as a know-it-all.

So, after reading enough post that describe all the way moms can be annoying and all the things they should quit doing I can only come to one conclusion; I am that mom.

Moms who post way too many pictures of their kids on Facebook. I am that mom.

Moms who go nuts on Pinterest and actually do what they pin. I am that mom.

Moms who post pictures of food they have prepared. Guilty again.

Moms who make over-the-top meals for their toddler even though they hate food. You betcha.

I am certain I will also be guilty of making cute bento box lunches with notes for Charlotte when she starts school and be a member of the PTA as soon as I can.

I was a very organized, tidy individual before my child arrived, only makes sense I would carry that on. Spending my time cooking, cleaning and taking care of my daughter isn’t enough for me. I never planned for this gig, nor did apply for it (but I am happy to have it). I was a happy, hard-working professional before hand, so I simply cannot just stop the hard-working aspect of my personality just because I multiplied. Well, I could, but my husband might object.

I need hobbies and projects, I need to set goals and accomplish them, I need a focus for my day or my week. It’s how I cope with the challenges of motherhood and being a stay-at-home mom. Not to mention the constant struggle to feel like myself. And it’s how I help manage my anxiety. When the house is dirty, the fridge is bare and I have nothing on my to-do list I feel out of whack. I spiral. That’s no good.

 

How to plan a first birthday party in 20 easy steps!

 

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My One Year Old
Planning your first child’s first birthday party is similar to planning your wedding. Especially with a type A personality. Everything has to be perfect, down to the last party favor. You start well before the actual month just to get a leg up on all the planning such an event requires, you set ridiculous expectations and create multiple boards on Pinterest to help organize all your fabulous ideas. The cost creeps up before you know it and you justify it by repeating your new mantra “well, it only happens once!” If you are like me, the anticipation of any eye rolls at the over-the-top shindig not only motivate me, they excite me.

Before you know it “your project” has taken over.

So, here is how to plan a first birthday party in 20 easy steps.

1. Create as many Pinterest boards as you need to organize ideas.

2. Spend many hours scrolling Pinterest for ideas, pinning the good ones.

3. Spend many hours scrolling Etsy looking for more ideas and options.

4. Decide on a theme. Yes this party has to have a theme!

5. Find the perfect outfit they will wear for one day. If you get it custom made from Etsy you’re an A++ parent in my book.

6. Order custom made party invitations that everyone will misplace and contact for information anyway.

7. Make sure to include RSVP information that no one will pay attention.

8. Plan a menu using recipes you have found on Pinterest that fit the theme. 7 to 10 different dishes should be sufficient, you know, since so you have to guess.

9. Make sure you have all the proper serving dishes. Everyone will notice.

10. Make all your handmade decorations.

11. Purchase more decorations when your handmade ones look like garbage.

12. Find the perfect party favors. You don’t want someone reminding your kid later how what crappy favors your mom handed out at your very first party.

13. Set up ridiculous and expensive photo shoots so that you have cute photos to display and or use in the invitations.

14. Create a shopping list for the menu you created.

15. Order cake AND smash cake. You must have a small cake for baby to poke at and or bathe in.

 

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Wasn’t a Fan of the Smash Cake

16. Buy food for party.

17. Find another adorable outfit to buy because you ordered the first one too early and now it doesn’t fit.

18. Pick up cake and smash cake.

19. Put balloons or something in the yard to announce that YOUR BABY is turning one.

20. Remember to assign someone to take pictures of the big day. Don’t want all that planning to go to waste!

There you go. Easy peasy.

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A Few of My Efforts

You’re Welcome.