Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the thing about hormones...

i have read a couple different posts over the past two days about weaning and depression and found it fascinating because i think i went through very similar things myself (the posts are here and here if you are interested). in fact i think that i can pinpoint a lot of the times i have struggled with depression and anxiety (all of which have happened POST kids...i never struggled with it before) with times of hormonal changes. and the thing is...i am 33 years old...i feel like i should know better by now. i feel like its the first thing i should ask myself when i am having those feelings of being over-whelmed and sad.

i keep thinking about what Joanna Goddard had said about reading other blogs and feeling like everyone had these perfect lives and balanced everything so well. it got me thinking about my own authenticity and hopeful that i never portray that to anyone...in fact i hope its the opposite...i feel like the best things i write are things that come from struggle...not linking to pretty things around the interwebs - although that has a place...and its fun...and i like to write about fun things too...

i think i have been experiencing something similar...i believe it must be hormonal, but its not a depression...its more like anxiety in general. not specific attacks, but its been super hard lately for me to enjoy my kids and i feel like i have been the most depressing mean crochety old mom lately. part of it is that bobby is at one of the most challenging ages (for me...i feel like every mom has an age that they find hard - for some its babies for me its one and a half) and bodie is well into his threes...which with both of my older boys 3 has been more challenging than 2...i feel like they are at this age of "almost understanding" and right on the cusp of "reasoning"...but not quite there...

but anyway - challenging ages aside - nothing has seemed to help - a night off...or sleep...or whatever else i tried...but lately i started working out again and that is the only thing that has begun to help. its such a mood regulator...i had forgotten...running gives me those good endorphin inducing feelings and its so much more productive than napping. napping will just make me crankier sometimes because inevitably a child wakes me up. and even though i am 33 years old i still can't help but be cranky at you if you wake me up. even if you are my child. true story...i broke up with a guy for waking me up...

so working out is helping and also...planning a trip next year for Greece! my husband and i have talked about going to Greece since we met...i dont know why it has become this big deal...but it is, in fact, a BIG DEAL.we have saved for it so many times and then used the money for something else...and keep putting the trip off because of whatever life circumstances...but that isn't going to happen this time! so we started a little savings account that we are squirreling away for Greece and we are making it happen next year. still not sure what we are going to do with the kids, but a good friend told me to just plan it and things will fall in line...and so...here we go...and it has helped me...

please allow me a moment to frame this. i have been having these claustrophobic moments as a mom...every morning its the same...6:00 am...i feel like its some sick joke being played on me...i never get to sleep in EVER anymore...even if i do get the night away (like 1x a year) i wake up at 6 because my body is so trained...and anyway - i have just been having these over-whelming feelings that its never going to change and every day is the same and its hard and its never going to get easier and i am always going to be responsible for these lives (and can i please note that it is extremely exhausting just trying to keep these 3 boys from killing/maiming themselves) and i just sometimes get sucked into that way of thinking and my whole being kinda shuts down from it all. but planning this trip has just completely changed my outlook...i have this amazing thing to plan/save/look forward to. i get to finally go somewhere with my husband for more than 1 night...i get to have an adventure...i can plan lots of adventures...this is just a phase of my life - its not THE END. and then i look up on my wall and see my print that reads "This too shall pass" and i smile. yes. perspective. hello.

i just get so sick of people telling me how precious this time is in my kids life and it goes by so fast...sometimes i wanna scream "GOOD! they are driving me insane...LITERALLY!...insane"...but i dont because i know...its true...but its not all giggles and cuddles and cuteness...i appreciate it when other (older, wiser) moms tell me how they remember this time and its so so challenging and then it gets easier...and then harder again when they are teens...i like that...i like easier...even if its only for a year...

i feel like i am snapping out of it though...finally...it has been a couple months now...but i wanted to share about what helped me to come out of it all...because we aren't alone...even if we think we are.

Friday, February 10, 2012

on the rise...

so my bread making experiment of 2012 is actually going pretty well so far. i have been able to make it at least once a week...but a large part of that is thanks to my little sister for leaving her kitchen-aid mixer at my house and being too lazy to bring it home...ha! success! 

i will say though, that most of the breads i have been making i have made both in the mixer and without so that i could know if it affects the taste, textures, etc. i have found that its the same, but much more labor intensive without the mixer. i get ADD after kneading bread past 5 minutes...10 minutes is a looong time for me! 

anyway - i have been experimenting with my mom's basic bread recipe - been using half wheat flour - which has made the taste better, but definitely it gets harder faster...i only make it when i know the whole thing will be consumed in a day/evening...and that is usually not a problem in this house. 

mostly there have been successes...but i have also had some epic fails...a few things i have learned (so far) in my journey:
1. it is never okay to ask your husband to remember to take the bread out of the oven after you have been making it for the past 2 hours...even though you made him set an alarm on his phone and the kitchen timer...3 HOURS LATER...it was still in the oven...completely inedible.
2. i have had a lot of trouble with the first rise - my kitchen is COLD. i heard a tip to turn your oven on to 200 degrees and leave the bread to rise on the back burner on top of your oven (see pic) - BEST RISE EVER!!! i have alternately tried the microwave with the door closed and the oven turned on then turned off - neither of which worked as well in my coooold kitchen.
3. pizza dough can be left in the fridge after the first rise for up to 3 days for most breads...which works well - i need to remember how easy it is to make pizza dough (and yummy) but also need to PLAN for it! (P.S. Best Pizza Dough so far - Ina Garten! - thanks Jena!)
4. yeast is touchy...i have killed it with scalding butter...i need to remember to leave butter out to room temperature on bread-making days...
5. bread making is not hard once you learn the basics...the only way to learn the basics is to DO IT! listen...if I can do it...so can you! So go make my mom's bread today!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Winter Garden

our winter crop

rainbow chard, arugula, beans in the back

snap peas


see the carrot?

our stoooopid lemons...huge and void of taste

looking toward spring

this is our first winter garden...but certainly not our last! and i love that i am posting pictures of it...because that is about as far as i can go in taking any type of credit for it. bryan completely over-hauled one of our boxes and put in new soil and went to town back in december. everything was very slow growing until a couple weeks ago when we had unseasonably (who am i kidding...its so-cal?) warm weather and the garden just woke up! it was actually pretty amazing to watch...

we have been really loving arugula lately - especially since finding out that arugula'soul mate is goat cheese...those two can really conquer any dish - we have made pizza, salad, sandwiches, egg scrambles...you name it - with the pair and it always seems to come out right!

also - our rainbow chard is so beautiful. my boys will snack on it raw...but they wont with spinach...so i am guessing its cause of all the perty colors that makes it kid-appealing...but even bobby goes over and tears off a leaf and goes to town...i follow his lead because there is something so delicious in something so beautiful and fresh! same with the peas...i like them best raw...i have to open them up for bobby and bodie, but at least bryson is also eating them raw.

we have also been enjoying the lemons from our neighbor's tree that have been making its way onto on yard...which is so nice...we have two lemon trees in our backyard, but one is dumb...makes these big tasteless dumb things. we still use them - for the peel/rind and for juicing....and the other tree gives us like 5 a year. our neighbor's tree though has been great...whenever i need one i just go outside and pick away!

we also have some strawberries growing...and artichokes...both of which will pop with spring. and we have our starter garden growing in our dining room (last pic) that will get a home in the next few weeks as well.

i have some big plans for spring...our yard makes it difficult to plan properly because only a small portion of our backyard sees the sun for enough time to support veggies...so we need to make the most with what we got. i do want to get finally back going on composting...i want to grow out my herb garden now that i am cooking with herbs more...and i want to grow some veggies we dont normally eat...any suggestions on adventurous veggies?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Love It! Tooth Edition

my 6 year old still has all his teeth...but at his last dentist appointment the Dr. showed me a little big guy tooth trying to come up...ahhhh...something so sweet and sad about losing your first tooth...shedding the child in a physical way...or something...i tend to over-dramatize things a bit...but in the spirit of losing teeth i thought i would share some of my favorite tooth fairy/tooth ideas!

1. This Tooth Fairy Door (Image by Sharnel Dollar for My Life My Loves)

2. Monster Tooth Pillow (photo and link - The Long Thread) 

3. Using Gold Dollars as the Tooth Present!

4. Of Course I Make my Kids watch my Uncle do Timmy the Tooth!

5. DIY Kids Toothpaste! (photo and link via crooked moon mama)

6. A mama told me she leaves "Fairy Footprints" by mixing glitter and baby powder and using her finger makes a line to the bed and all over the money - cute idea!

7. Cute Book!

8. A special thank you from the Tooth Fairy for when they lose their first tooth! 
(photo and link to etsy store luxely)

9. Did you know the tooth fairy has a website?

10. Wondering what to do with your kids baby teeth? Why not turn them into a necklace?  (link and photo via etsy - rockmyworldinc)

ummm....not quite sure with #10...my mom kept ours in a band-aid container (back when they were tin) and i remember finding them once and being disgusted...but what are you supposed to do with them??