Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"It's going to get worse before it gets better."

That is exactly what is happening with Baby Boy's "rash" which apparently is an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin that was given to him for the ear infections.  It looks absolutely AWFUL and my heart breaks every time I look at him.  Especially because the hives have now started attacking his precious face and both of his eyes are almost swollen shut!

I'm on duty today since hubby covered yesterday.  As for my work, I went in super early yesterday morning to make up for leaving at 11:00am Monday AND I stayed late.  Of course, my boss didn't seem to care, or notice for that matter.  I will probably have to do the same the rest of the week.  As well as apologize profusely for having to take so much time off followed by thanking him for being soooo understanding. {gag} It would be easier to do if he truly was understanding and if he knew anything about how hard I am trying to make my life/work balance successful.  I have bent over backwards on so many occasions for that man and he still makes me feel guilty for being with my son.  But, I am lucky to have a job and I am grateful for the time he has given me. {blah, blah, blah}

Okay!  I feel much better.  Had to get that out of my system.  I am now going to focus on comforting my little guy and getting over this hump so that he can be back to his healthy self.  Then I will be saying Hail Mary's, rubbing my lucky rabbit's foot, crossing my fingers and toes, looking into witch-craft and any other remedies, secrets and down right miracles to have him stay healthy for his 1st birthday.  Wish us luck! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"I see you more than my own husband!"

... said the Pediatrician as she entered the room yesterday.  Her comment pretty much sums up the winter we have been experiencing with our baby.  Yesterday's post is down-right laughable at this point...

A few hours after writing it I received a call from daycare that Baby Boy was covered in a rash.  Seriously?!?!  He was just feeling better.  We just had a wonderful weekend and I was looking forward to a stretch of healthy days. (sigh) 

Diagnosis? "It's hard to say when it comes to rashes."  At least food allergies have been ruled out based on how the hives looked to the doctor.  She thinks the virus that he had is still running its course through his little body.  She said there is nothing we can do for it at this time, she wrote a "clearance" note for daycare, and said to call if they get worse.

Fast forward to this morning... They have doubled in size, amount and color.  Hubby is on the morning shift since I had to leave work early yesterday and I will probably have to relieve him some time this afternoon.  As if I don't feel bad enough for my sweet baby, I also feel guilty for continually asking by boss for time off to tend to my sick baby.  Who is often a sick baby because I have to work full-time and he is in daycare full-time.  The stress and guilt pull very hard at me.

Regardless of my feelings the number one thing is to get my son healthy, attempt to stay focused and driven at work so my boss stays happy, and to put my faith into all of those people (doctors included) that keep promising me that Baby Boy is building up his immune system and it WILL get better.  I sincerely hope they are right.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy, Healthy and Hungry

We are in a sweet spot right now where Baby Boy is healthy and he is in the best mood ever!  When he is healthy he is a ball of energy and always giggling, exploring, and learning new things.  This past weekend was literally the first time we have been able to plan things for us to do as a family that did not include administering medication, impromptu baths after a vomit session, snuggling with our little guy because he was miserable, etc. (that last one really isn't a pain, it is the only part of a sick baby that I wish wouldn't go away once they feel better!)

So the three of us were back in tip-top shape and ready to get out of the house and have some fun!  Included in the day's fun was a trip to the Children's Museum, some quality time with extended family and of course, home cooked meals.

My husband and I made the most delicious chicken enchiladas that were so good we couldn't stop saying, "mmmm," or, "seriously, how good are these?!?"  I will be happy to share the recipe with you.  Let me know if you are interested.

For breakfast I made us a recipe I found for Pumpkin Cornbread Pancakes.  I seriously love this website because nothing makes me happier than making something delicious and healthy for my son to eat.  He loved these so much that we had to cut him off so he would have room for his bottle!  This is also a great recipe because it can be made easily with ingredients I always have on hand in the pantry.  I hope you like it as much as we did!


Friday, February 24, 2012

1st Birthday Advice Needed

My adorable, lovable, rough-and-tumble baby boy turns ONE next month.  I can't believe it!  I am a bit sad to no longer have a tiny baby but I am so excited to have a toddler and for all of the new adventures in store! 

If there is one thing you should know about me it is that I LOVE to entertain.  I love having family or friends over and making them feel at home and loved with every little detail.   I even get to plan client events as part of my job and that is the part that I enjoy the most. 

Now, back to my baby's party!  We've got the guest list set and we are also working on the location.  We have a lot of family in town, so much that we will be having two get-togethers.  The big shin-dig on Saturday and then a smaller gathering with family at our house on Sunday.  I really hope it isn't too much for the little fella.

That brings me to the point of my post...  What did you do for your baby's 1st Birthday?  Do you have any advice to share with me?  Any do's and don'ts?  I appreciate your input and I will be excited to share with you the progression of my party planning as well as the final event!

(Click here to see how it all turned out!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baby it's cold outside!

I live in Denver, Colorado and today it is snowing like crazy!  Yesterday however, was 60 degrees and sunny.  Such is the life of Rocky Mountain livin'.  I'm a Colorado native but the weather here can still surprise me. 

As I was driving in today I was reminded of a time I went snowshoeing with my Grandpa and my Uncle.  Before I share that story I should "set the stage."  My Dad's side of the family owns land in Fairplay, Colorado and every winter we take a trip up for some snowshoeing followed by a fire and a picnic in the snow.  Everyone contributes to the picnic bringing homemade treats ranging from soup, green chili, dips, bread, etc.  There are also libations ranging from cigars, wine, and the occasional pull from the whiskey flask.  It is so much fun and I look forward to it every year.

This particular year no one in the family was available for the annual trek up to The Land except for my Grandpa, my Uncle and me.   We knew the weather forecast was calling for chilly conditions but we had plenty of winter gear and we were not going to let a bit of chilly weather detour us!

Before getting out of the car we noticed that the thermometer was reading -6 degrees.  No biggie!  We are Coloradoans, we can handle this.  You should also know that The Land sits in a valley and the wind can be vicious at times.  This was one of those times...  With the wind chill who know how cold it really was.

Upon exiting the car we all put our gear on as fast as we could.  When it is that cold outside you don't want to have your skin exposed for very long.  I don't think any of us has ever moved so fast!  We were probably done layering up, bundling up, and gearing up in 5-10 minutes tops.  On a normal day that can take 20-30 minutes. 

From the time we got out of the car, to the time we were ready to go the tube on my camelpak FROZE.  The insulated tube was frozen solid.  We should have called it a day right then and there.  Nonsense!  We can do this.

We started off snowshoeing... we made it to the top of a nearby hill... we looked at each other... and we turned around.  It was the shortest snowshoeing trip to date.  We were probably outside for a total of 45 minutes and that was long enough for my cheeks to be bright red and wind burned!   

Luckily there is a Motel in the town of Fairplay that we made our way back to and we had hot chocolates and I got to spend quality time with my Grandpa and my Uncle.  To this day, my Uncle will share that story over and over again.  He always tells the family and they all say, "we know, you've told us this one already!"  But he keeps right on telling it.  He tells his friends and even random strangers if snowshoeing or cold weather makes its way into the conversation.  That is what warms my heart the most.  The adventure itself was worth it, but hearing my Uncle say, "that trip that Kendra and my Dad went on was the most memorable yet," makes me feel proud, happy and special.

Do you have memories like this?  Something that maybe wasn't too big of a deal but it has left a significant imprint on your heart?  Those are my favorite kind. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I have been on a mission to start shopping smarter and cooking more in an effort to save money.  I have found the key component to this is having a well stocked pantry.  I'm still working on perfecting this but in the mean time I've found a delicious and easy recipe that you can throw together if you are in a rush, if you are home from a long day of work and don't feel like spending all night in the kitchen or if you simply want something yummy for dinner. 

I made it all with items that I had on hand and keep my pantry stocked with.  If you want to add some freshness to this warm, gooey dish I would recommend adding diced tomatoes or avocado slices at the end along with the scallions.  Cilantro would be nice too, if you're into that sorta thing! ;)


  • 2 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (or Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs or even a Rotisserie Chicken)
  • Chili Powder, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Garlic Powder, to taste
  • 4 cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • ¾ cups Frozen Corn
  • 15 ounces, fluid Can Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 cup Cream Cheese, room temp
  • 4 ounces, fluid Can Green Chilli's
  • ½ cups Salsa
  • 1 cup Low-fat Cheddar Cheese, Plus More For Topping
  • 2 Tablespoons Scallions for Garnish

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet, heat the oil.  Season your chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder to taste.  Place in the skillet and cook on each side until there is a nice crust and it is cooked through.  Place on a separate plate and allow it to cool.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for scallions and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the cream cheese and cheddar cheese are stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Use two forks or your hands to shred the chicken and combine it into the rest of the mixture.  Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese if you would like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Having cooked chicken on hand definitely makes this process easier.  You can also use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. If you have those two things, this can be thrown together in a matter of minutes! The other great thing about this dish is that you can make it more complicated if you want to.  Add onions to the skillet after browning the chicken, after they are brown and caramelized add chipotles in adobo followed by chicken stock.  Let it simmer and reduce almost completely before adding it into the bowl with everything else.  Dress it up or dress it down, either way it is yummy!  It can also easily be made ahead of time and reheated.SOURCE
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Monday, February 20, 2012

It happens...

An old friend of mine posted something on Facebook this morning that inspired me to share my story today.  She did not only inspire me but she also has given me the courage to share my story.  She wanted others to know so that the same thing might not happen to them.  Up until this point I haven't shared it with anyone other than my my immediate family.  I've been too ashamed.  Today however, feels like a good time.

I was on maternity leave and I was at home attempting to do a bunch of different things.  You know, chores and tasks on top of tending to the needs of my almost 3 month old son.  At the time the best place for me to put my son when I wasn't babywearing or if he wasn't in his swing or crib, was in his bouncy chair.  I could carry the chair with me where ever I went and he could be right there as I accomplished all of my tasks.

It was summer and this particular time of day the sun was beating down through our skylight and the island in the kitchen where I usually set him in his chair would have cooked the little fella.  So I set him on another counter in the kitchen.  What I failed to do was check to make sure he was really secure in this spot...

I went downstairs to grab my phone and that's when I heard it.  The worst sound I have ever heard.  I heard the jungle animals that hang down from the chair clank together and the most thunderous crack followed by the worst crying baby boy had shared to date.  I ran up the stairs and came across him face down on the cold, hard kitchen tile with his chair over him.

I immediately scooped him up and laid him down on the couch examining his body and head.  A huge bump and bruise immediately formed on his forehead and I started dialing the pediatrician.  Luckily they are literally two blocks away from the house and they had me take him right in.  I was seriously shaking and trying to keep it together.  I called my husband and that's when I lost it.  He reminded me to stay calm and he would meet us at the doctors.

Based on my son's age and the fact that he still hadn't stopped crying upon arriving, the pediatricians wanted us to go to the emergency room.  There he was, my tiny little baby in the hospital for something that I DID to him.  His little car seat was placed on what seemed like an enormous hospital bed and he was wheeled into catscans and x-rays.

I was a wreck.  How could I have done this?!?  How could I have been so stupid?!?  Why didn't I just take a second and put him in a more secure spot?!?

He ended up being just fine and of course the doctors and nurses in the ER attempted to make me feel better and said things like, "we see this all the time," and "don't be hard on yourself."  I didn't care. I was hard on myself.  I am his mother.  I am NOT supposed to be the reason that he is in the hospital. 

My mother-in-law said, "he is going to get hurt, it's part of being a kid."  Yes, she was right.  He IS going to get hurt and every time he does, although I won't be thrilled, I will know it is because he is doing "kid things."  This was not a "kid thing."  He was a loaf of bread who couldn't walk, talk, or make decisions for himself that keep him out of harms way.  I am supposed to do that for him.  I am supposed to be his advocate, his protector.  Even writing about it now I am sick to my stomach. 

The bottom line is that he wasn't hurt badly and has no residual effects of hitting his head.  We were lucky and protected that day.  Although it was a terrible way to learn a lesson, I now try my best to take my time and not do too many things at once.  Especially when my baby is around.

I've tried to forgive myself but I don't know that I ever will... 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blueberries are Deeee-lish!

The only thing I like better than Friday nights are Saturday mornings.  You don't have to set the alarm and I get to spend a few uninterrupted hours with my baby boy.  Hubby gets to sleep in on Saturday mornings and I get to sleep in on Sundays.  It's a pretty good arrangement for us.

The only thing I love more than Saturday mornings is when I make something for my son to eat and he can't get enough!  Working full-time definitely limits our home cooked meals.  We try to make at least a couple during the week but the weekends are when we really get to do what we enjoy the most.

For breakfast I am currently on a "baked oatmeal with fruit" kick.  I came across this recipe from Annie's Eats and I have been hooked ever since.  I love how easy it is, how delicious it is and how much my baby boy loves it.  I have made it with the blueberry/banana combo as well as with mixed berries.  The blueberry/banana is our favorite so far but I am looking forward to trying different fruit.  It is apparent that blueberries are quickly becoming one of baby boy's favorite things so I will stick to them for a while.

I'm going to start working on taking photos of my recipes but until I get a good handle of it (and get a better camera) please bear with these shots.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Have a great weekend!


Friday, February 17, 2012

What A Difference a Day Makes!

So the diagnosis on Baby Boy is double ear infection and upper respiratory gunk. :(  I think it is harder on me as a parent than it actually is for him.  I hate seeing him crying from complete discomfort.  It is also amazing how resilient babies are.  Even though he is miserable and uncomfortable, he will still smile and giggle and want to play with his toys.  I don't think I have that type of attitude when I am sick!

Since he can't go to daycare today we have to juggle our schedules.  I've got the morning, then my father-in-law will take the mid-day shift and my hubby will come home early in the afternoon.  We are soooo lucky to have a ton of family nearby and it is such a blessing that they are so willing to help out at the drop of a hat. 

Yesterday I was feeling frustrated and stressed out.  I know I was whining and complaining a lot in my last post.  I think I just needed to get that out.  Today, I am feeling much better!  My baby is on meds and will hopefully be back to 100% in no time, I was able to get some consecutive hours of quality sleep, and we have family around that loves our son as much as we do.  My heart is happy and I am feeling blessed.  Plus it's Friday and that doesn't hurt either!

I hope the end to your week is a good one and despite what was thrown your way the past few days, I hope today is better for you and that you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If I could go back in time...

...I would hunt down myself before having a baby and any time I would utter the words, "I'm soooo tired," or even the overly dramatic, "I'm exhausted," I would slap myself upside the head!!  I didn't even KNOW what tired was before having a baby and I should have just kept my stupid mouth shut!

Baby boy is sick with a relentless cough that is preventing him from sleeping through the night and, in-turn, prevents hubby and I from sleeping through the night.  We are on day two and I am hoping it is getting better.  We belong to a wonderful pediatrician practice that believes in a "holistic" approach.  I was very impressed by it at first but then my baby started daycare and he is ALWAYS sick.  When the doctors say, "we aren't going to prescribe him anything, you are just going to have to stick it out."  I want to tell them that it is just fine if THEY want to come to our house and "stick it out" with our crying, sleep deprived, fussy baby, then go to work all day just to come back home and do it all over again... by all means, come on over! 

I don't want to give him medications if it isn't necessary but I hate having him be sick.  Especially because he is a daycare baby and we only get a few healthy weeks, and sometimes, only days in between the sickness.  Just one more thing to make me feel guilty for working full-time! (sigh)

Now I have to suck it up and attempt to be productive at work when I am thinking of my poor coughing mess-of-a-boy at daycare with all the other coughing messes of babies.  "I think I can, I think I can..."  Must tackle the action items, must show boss I am focused and definitely must figure out a way to go back in time and shake the s$@% out of my former self! (name that comedian)

Coffee mugs up... Let's make it happen again today!! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baby Boy's Valentine Adventure...

Today is a very special day; at least that is what I am told.  My mama said I am her “Valentine” and she proceeded to smooch me AT LEAST a dozen times this morning.  I thought I’d humor her and reciprocate the gesture… 

She was very happy and told me I’m her, “handsome boy.”  C’mon Mom, don’t make me blush!

Then I was off for another fun-filled day at daycare. (I really am excited here.  Can’t you tell?)    

Upon arrival, I made my usual rounds saying hello to my buds.
“Hey, man!  How’s it going? I’ll see YOU at snack time!”

Then I began to look around the room and I noticed that all of the girls were dressed in pink and had hearts on their shirts.  That’s when I knew… I would have some choices to make! I needed a Valentine to call my own. It shouldn’t be too hard.  I mean… just look at me!

I started with proximity…  She seemed nice enough.

But she was going to play hard to get… At first she didn’t even look my way.

So I did the next logical thing… I picked up some blocks and banged them together in an effort to entice her with my musical prowess.  

Still nothing.  I decided we were better off as friends.  Then… as if out of nowhere, I felt a gentle breeze.  I looked behind me and there she was… 

I pulled out all my moves… Showed her my killer smile.  Shared with her my impressive range of single-syllable “words.”  You know, “ga,” “ba,” and my all time favorite, “da-da.” I even ever-so-gently tucked a blonde tuft of hair behind her perfect ear.

Could this be the Valentine I’ve been searching for?

   Yes it was! 

As I sit back and reflect on my attempts at finding love I only have this bit of advice for you… go for the girls that can’t crawl yet.  It’s like taking candy from a…

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my loved ones!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I will always love you...

It was very sad to hear the news of Whitney Houston's passing.  I don't know what was harder to take... the fact that she died or the fact that not many people were surprised.  You always want to see someone get better after going through some "tough times", especially those that have such great potential.  I hope she is at peace and my blessings go out to her family and friends.

As a child of the 80's I grew up listening to her music.  I was an avid dancer from the age of 5 and was even in the top level Company at my dance studio.  One year when I was 12 or 13, we did a number to "I will always love you."  It's funny how even though it was many years ago I still remember most of the dance.  Sometimes, when the song comes on the radio I won't change the channel and envision dancing to the song along with my peers.  That was the single most impressive number that my Company ever performed.  We won competitions and earned recognition as one of the best dance studio's in Colorado.  That song, that dance, and those memories are very dear to me.  Thanks, Whitney.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


There is a terrible, down right AWFUL commercial in circulation right now.  It is for Dreft laundry detergent.  You know, the detergent you are supposed to use when you have a newborn because it is gentle for their sensitive skin.  I am not alerting you to this horrendous commercial to point out that you do not need to purchase a "special" detergent to wash your newborns clothes and blankets with.  You simply need to have a sensitive detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes.  I am alerting you to this outrageous commercial because of the final line.  Brace yourself.  Are you sitting down???  As a mother of a 10 month old baby the following line shot through me like a dagger! 

"... you will have a child forever, but you will only have a baby for one year." 

I looked over at my 10 month old the first time I saw this wretched commercial and I literally burst into tears!  I'm serious.  Actual crocodile tears.  My son looked back at me and gave me his huge, scrunchy-faced smile... I scooped him up, kissed his gigantic cheek, placed him back down amidst his play zone of destruction and we proceeded to keep right on playing.

I only have a baby for two more months... (sigh) (sniff) (tear) 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cauliflower, baby!

Last night I made this as a side dish for dinner:  Cauliflower Au Gratin

It is great because it is safe for baby boy to eat and delicious for the grown-up palettes as well.  Since it was a hit with the baby I will definitely make it again but I think I will make a more flavorful version that I've done in the past.  I have two that you could chose from: Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Pancetta (this one has a bit of heat that you may not want to include if the baby will be eating it) or Cauliflower and Bacon Gratin (this one is definitely kid friendly)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Full-Time Tip:

If you work near a Target or grocery store and you get an hour break for lunch, run your errands during your lunch break.  Have a list, have a budget, get in, get out.  Then you can just go straight home after work to have more time with the fam.  Obviously the grocery run isn't the big "stock-up-the-fridge" type of trip.  It is for the little things that you might need to complete that night's meal or an essential household or baby item.

When do you eat lunch then?  I either eat my meal while still on the clock, working at my desk or I have enough hearty snacks packed that I can nibble throughout the day.  Because I am still on the clock I'm very careful to not take an actual break.  I'm truly working and getting things done as I eat.  If you really need to you can eat in your car on the way but that isn't very relaxing, or safe, if you ask me.

One of those mornings...

To all my full-time working moms out there, how do you do it?  How do you manage to juggle all of your demands and keep a smile on your face?  There may not be a simple answer to this as we don't know exactly HOW we get through the day-to-day grind, we just know that we do our best and always make it happen. 

This morning my baby boy woke up much earlier than normal.  He is really good at throwing curve balls and they usually occur right at the time when I am feeling like I finally have a solid routine down.  I finally feel like I've got a handle on things then... POW!!  He mixes it up to keep me on my toes.  Thanks, buddy. 

I usually have a system where I wake up at a time that allows me to shower and get myself completely ready for work.  Then he wakes up and we have just enough time to give him his bottle, let him work out a poo while I am getting the car warmed up and getting his daycare bottles out of the fridge.  Then while the car is warming up (we live in Colorado so the mornings are very chilly this time of year), I quickly get him dressed, get him bundled up in his winter gear and we are out the door. 

All of this is made possible by doing most of our prep the night before.  Do you do this?  The night before is a well choreographed routine between my husband and I.  One person cleans the day's bottles while the other person preps the clean bottles for tomorrow's daycare.  We each get our work clothes ready for the next day all the way down to our underwear.  We have our breakfast, lunches and any snacks planned out for ourselves and they are either stacked and ready to grab in the fridge or they are already waiting in our work bags.  The coffee is prepped and we are ready to rock n' roll!  Then there are days where we have to factor in trash day, bath night, etc.  Phew!  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  That's all after each of us has put in a full day of work and we haven't even gotten to dinner yet or had play time and family time with our baby boy. 

Do you have a similar routine at your house?  Isn't it amazing how we get it all done?!?!  This is just the tedious prep stuff.  I haven't, and won't, even get into all of the stuff that I did at my job during the day!  I'm sure yours is crazy too.

The original point of my post was to share my crazy morning.  But since we are just starting to know each other I felt I had to lay the ground work.  Anyway, my morning:

  • Baby boy woke up 45 minutes early
  • Bottle was given but being that he is 10 months old now and curious about EVERYTHING what used to take 5-10 minutes is now taking 15-20 and you know as well as I do that in the morning while we are trying to get ready for work, EVERY MINUTE COUNTS.
  • Baby boy did not want to be placed in his jumper, did not want his pacifier, did not want to do anything but be held (not an option while I am running around like a crazy person at this point)
  • The jumper was my only option.  He cried basically the whole time.
  • The jumper induced a poo.
  • Upon changing poo, it was discovered that said "poo" was leaking out of the diaper onto his PJ's and now onto his leg and now, my hand.
  • Change was successful, clothes were on, had to go back in the jumper.  Crying ensued.
  • Finished getting myself ready and we were out the door.
  • Forgot we had to stop for gas.
We finally pulled into daycare got baby boy situated.... turned to him as I was walking out the door.... said, "I love you buddy, have a good day!"  Blew him a kiss... he smiled at me with his cute scrunchy face exposing his two bottom teeth, then... he realized I was leaving.  Cute scrunchy face rapidly turned into bottom-lip-quivering sad face.  Then the tears flowed with his stubby little arms outreached for his mama.  The door closed.

"Must. Stay. Strong.... Keep. It. Together." These were the things I was telling myself as I left.  Even though he was a bit of a pill this morning all of that was washed away and I wanted to call work and tell them I wouldn't be coming in because my baby boy didn't want me to go. 

It is so hard.  Working and being a mom.  It's tiring, it's draining, it's intense.  But it is my life.  It is what is best for my family.  I will keep doing it, keep making it work, keep doing the best that I can because that is all I can do.  Will it get better?  Will leaving him at daycare get easier?  How do YOU handle it?

Keep up the good work.  We are in this together and we are in good company.  Coffee mugs up... CHEERS!  Let's make it happen again today!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mission Accomplished!

Last night I had a very important and very difficult task to accomplish.  Nothing to cook for dinner, and literally $9.00 in my bank account.   While at work I did a mental inventory of the pantry and remembered that we had small corn tortillas, a can of refried beans, and a can of green enchilada sauce.  Then I mentally perused the fridge... lettuce, a few grape tomatoes, half of an onion and pickled jalapenos. 

The menu for the night hit me like a ton of bricks. TOSTADAS!!  I knew I couldn't just stop with the ingredients we had on hand.  After all, I don't know the last time my husband actually went vegetarian and walked away feeling satisfied.  I had to get a protein.  But depending on what I get, there goes most of my teeny, tiny bank account.  Think.... think.... Ah ha! Chicken tortilla soup!  I bought a 16 oz tub from the grocery store for $4, a lime for $.35, and two avocados at $.88 each.  Homemade tostadas and store bought chicken tortilla soup.  I'm a genius.  In my own mind.

I jazzed the beans up by adding lime zest, chili powder, garlic powder and minced pickled jalapenos.  I fried the corn tortillas in a bit of Veg oil and used the enchilada sauce to drizzle on top.  The whole thing turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  We only needed one avocado for our tostadas and I used the second one to make guacamole for my baby boy to eat with us at the table.

For his I just mash the avocado, add diced tomatoes (which he can pick up with this fingers), a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder.  He can't get enough!

My mission was complete.  Hubby was happy and fulfilled, baby was in green goo heaven and I was pleased with my resourcefulness.  Now if only I can harness my photographic "kitchen memory" into something more useful....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Therapeutic Journey

So in the the time between my last post I came to a realization about how I really want this blog to be.  In order to get my story out there and to fulfill my mission of discovery, it will be essential for me to be as honest and open as possible. Therefore, I feel the need to share with you that I see a therapist once a month.

Everyone has a different perspective and attitude toward "seeking professional help."  I can only speak from my experience and although many different types of therapy exist, I will only be able to share with you the "type" that works for me. 

The first thing that I feel is important to know is that you don't need to suffer from mental illness in order to see a therapist.  I do not have a family history of mental illness, I am not on any prescriptions for mental illness and I don't even have any symptoms severe enough to constitute mental illness.  Sure, there have been times in my life that I may have found myself in a depression-like state but I never want to confuse that with true depression.  If you or someone you know suffers from mental illness then you know that it is not something to take lightly.  It completely effects your day to day life. 

Additionally, a life-changing, horrible event hasn't had to occur in your life in order to see a therapist.  Sure we all go through hardship in our lives, some more than others, some more severe than others and there have been scars left on our psyche that we need to address.  I have not had any severe life-changing events to speak of.  I've had life-changing events, but nothing severe.  I've had pain in my life but an outsider looking in may not constitute my pain as severe.  My point is that we all have our own realities and just because my reality may not compare on the severe scale as many people out there, it doesn't mean that I can't find value in therapy.  

At my worst, my depression-like state would paralyze me from going places by myself.  That sounds silly, right?  I couldn't go to the grocery store, or run any type of errand for that matter, unless someone was with me.  This was at its worst when I was in college.  In turn my class attendance suffered because the idea of getting out of bed, getting dressed and ready, driving to campus, finding a parking spot, then walking all the way to class... by myself... was unthinkable.  In addition to my paralyzed behavior, I was in an overall funk that I couldn't shake.  I went to the campus mental health area and began seeing someone when I knew this wasn't something I couldn't "make better" on my own.  That was my first experience with therapy...

I thought I would simply sit down, share my feelings and the therapist would tell me what to do to "make it better."  I thought we would immediately start analyzing my childhood and every personal relationship I've had up to that point in an attempt to find out what was "wrong" with me.  That is NOT how therapy works.  Based on what I was going through at the time I was prescribed a mild anti-depressant which I took for about 9 months.  The problem was, I started to feel better.  Which meant the drug worked. I FELT better so I thought that meant I was better.  I stopped taking the drug.  I was not better.

My college therapy wasn't "true" therapy.  The therapist may have been doing their job correctly but I can honestly say I wasn't doing my part correctly.  I carried on with my life having cycles of "down times" as I would call them.  It wasn't until I was 28 years old that I found myself in a place to give therapy another shot.

I was working full-time and coaching a competitive All-Star cheerleading team (more on that later).  I was putting in over 60hrs a week and was wearing myself thin.  I was a ball of stress... all the time.  I didn't have balance in my life and I did not have any "space" for myself.  My marriage needed my attention, my boss needed my attention, 30 young girls needed my attention and the one person that needed the most attention of all was being neglected... me.

Something had to give.  A co-worker at the time was seeing a therapist herself and she recommended that I give her a call.  I made my first appointment and I have been on the most comprehensive and fulfilling therapeutic journey that I have ever been on.  This time I was doing it right.

This time it was explained to me that therapy is a journey.  It is an investment in time.  Nothing is going to fix itself and no one is going to fix it for me.  This time I would share things and then I was given the tools and the opportunities to change behaviors, to build self-worth, and most importantly... make "space" for myself.

Like I said, therapy is a journey and I believe that it never truly ends.  I have taken time off when I've felt I was in a good place and I've resumed my sessions when I feel I have a need.  I'm not where I want to be yet, but I am working very hard every single day to get to a better place.

My hope is that you don't see therapy as a sign of weakness or something that only "crazy people" do.  My hope is that if you need help or if you just need someone to talk to or to listen to you that you get the help you need.  My hope is that you have the courage to change your life and to be the person that you know you want to be and that you deserve to be.  We are full-time wives, mothers, career women, etc.  We have many people that demand our attention and I bet anything that you have become VERY good at accustoming everyone.  Well, now it is time to do for yourself what you do for others.  Find that "space" for yourself that no one else can creep into.  I promise it will be worth it.  We can even do it together.

The journey starts here...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Something Out of Nothing

My husband and I have been together for 13 years and he STILL manages to surprise me.  When it comes to my cooking style I am very much a recipe follower.  Even if I have cooked something over and over again, I will still refer to the recipe card.  I only have one signature dish that I am able to make from scratch without looking.  My psychological diagnosis for this is that I am afraid of taking risks.  I don't trust myself.  I am working on that every day...

 My husband is the opposite.  He can make something out of nothing and it always turns out great!  Case in point, last night's dinner:

Me: I guess we can't make tuna melts anymore.  We are out of mayo. Wanna have left overs?

Hubby: Give me ten minutes.  I'm gonna make mayo!

Me: W-W-W-WHAT!!

(ten minutes later)
Hubby: There you go! Homemade mayo.

Me: (after picking my jaw off the ground) Wow! Nice work!  Julia Child would be proud. :)

It may seem like no big deal to you.  But to me it is amazing. It is brilliant. It is even couragous.  Where there was none, now there is some!

... And so it begins.

Greetings, Bloggers!

I am so excited to share with you the adventures of "My Full-Thyme Life!"  Here is what you need to know:

  • I am the wife to a loving, supportive, oh-so-handsome man with a great sense of humor and an undeniably good looking behind!  I literally fell head-over-heels in love with him when I was 17 and have been in love ever since. 

  • I am a mother to the  most amazing 10 month old baby boy and he is the light of my life.

  • I work full-time in a job that I love like.  I have worked full-time everyday since I graduated from college.  I have worked since I was 15 years old and when all my peers were taking summer vacations, spring break excursions, and other "totally awesome" outings, I was working.  I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up but I am very determined to figure it out.  Soon.  Today would be nice.

  • I am a full-thyme foodie! I am obsessed with all things food.  My DVR is full of more cooking shows than reality TV and I am the girl who gets food magazines instead of glossy fashion mags.  Luckily, my husband loves to cook and we share the same passion for good eats.  He was actually the one that inspired me to start cooking in the first place.  Trying new recipes and whipping up our tried and true specialties is one of our favorite things to share.
So there you have it.  The basics.  The very surface.  I suppose I should also let you know that I am now in my 30's and I am just starting to figure out who I am.  That may sound weird... But you see, I've been a "we" for all of my impressionable, soul-searching years. I wouldn't change a second of it because that time allowed me to develop a love that most people use those "impressionable, soul-searching years" to find.  So I've got that covered. I am now on a mission to explore the boundaries of myself. Try new things and take some risks.