11/20/15

The Worst Things Pregnant Women Do

When thinking about this topic, I thought Maybe I'd better do some research.  Perhaps the internet is swamped with humorous posts about this topic.

Nope.  Not at all.
It's all:  the worst things to do, say, be around a pregnant person.
Not how the pregnant woman can, in fact, be super annoying.  And while I've worn this crown of fertile "bliss" twice -- make no mistake, pregnant women can be annoying jerks.  Here's some real advice so you don't lose all your friends in the process of making a whole new person for the world.

{there is an I in team}

The first annoying things start where it all happened:  mom and dad.

We are pregnant.
He's not drinking alcohol because my body is growing a person.
We take naps spooning each other softly because my body is growing a person.
And so on and so forth.

Science is real.  Only a woman gets pregnant.
I have one of the most supportive husband/dads out there, but pretty sure it was my rib cage that split open with each kick, my nights that were reduced to 75 minutes (at most!) of sleep a night and my vagina that was torn in half bringing said person into the world.

It's us until it's not.
When I was delivering our first daughter and crying that I couldn't do anymore because it hurt too much, my nurse (who I still love to this day) looked me square in the face and said "Well you have to, because no else can do it for you."  
Sure as shit, she was right.  Aside from a major medical intervention - I was going to have to get this baby out.
We might have both been in the room, but my body was the one that did it.
And I did.  Twice.

You can raise a baby together, make a family together, but when push comes to shove (kinda a pun intended because c'mon...) it's all on you sister.  His not drinking a beer at night isn't going to affect the baby.
It may affect your mood because you're pissed you can't join in, but that's an entirely different subject.
That's not to say: Don't include dad.  Please do.  Kids seem so much happier with a dad who's around.
I'm only speaking very, very specifically about their gestation and the sanity of those around you.

{complain, complain, complain}

This isn't something that all mothers-to-be do, but a lot participate in (at least a little bit.)

Your feet hurt,
your gut hurts,
your hair hurts.

You complain, and the rest of the world thinks:
(men) Don't know, don't care
(women)  You don't even KNOW how much life hurts

You are uncomfortable, and a bit tired, it's true.  Mothers look at mothers-to-be and think:  This is the easy part.  Some will probably even tell you that; and then you'll laugh them off and say you don't know me and my pain.

One of the worst things about being pregnant is you don't know what you don't know.  And everyone else knows this, but you.

You don't know how tired you'll be.  Tired, sure - but you have no idea what that level of tired will feel like.  Truth time - it will feel like you want to die.  You may actually die, but your child's cries bring you back to life in a jarring, miraculous, painful way.

You don't know how frustrated you will be when your baby will not stop crying/eat/go to sleep/poop on a regular basis/stop being a jerk.  Early on, because you are a still rational human being, you will operate under the assumption that this baby is a rational human.  Wrong.  This creature is a completely, self-absorbed asshole who doesn't know what they want or when they want it.  Sooner or later, you will lose your ability to function as a rational human.  The baby will remain a completely, self-absorbed asshole.

You don't know that you'll want to murder your partner.  The plot may not manifest itself in a highly sophisticated fashion, but never the less, it will be in place.  They will piss you off, probably exaggerated by said exhaustion and frustration of asshole creature, and unknowingly they have then made themselves the closest target.  Heaven help them.

{become a worry wart}

Our mothers and grandmothers had plenty to worry about - like scurvy and drought.  With the internet, we have Candy Crush and Facebook to entertain us during those midnight feedings.
Unfortunately, with the internet, we have 1,546,889 other things to worry about.  The worst thing a pregnant woman does is makes those worries those of everyone else.

No plastic.
BPA-free only.
Organic.
Free range.
Gluten-free.
No high-fructose corn syrup.
No red meat.
No food coloring.
Non-dairy-fed dairy.
Nothing spelled with the letters used in "hypocrite"

C'mon.  There are hundreds of scary things out there you can try to avoid.  But really, there are an infinite scary things out there you can't.

It's only natural for you to want to protect your kids.  The "mama bear" is literally an instinct you can't deny.  Fun, right?

Do your best, but don't go crazy.  Also, take into some consideration that sometimes, life hands you a raw deal.  And while it is easy for me to say, being that I have two relatively healthy children, I like to think that I've been lucky.
There's no amount of diet, drugs or essential oils that would alter that path.
That's not to say I'm against any family from making those changes for themselves.  The whole topic of this post is to talk abut the worst things you can do and one of those things is to try to change me.

I'm good over here with my plastic-y toys and my red meat.
I like dairy - I don't care where it comes from so long as it's cold and not spoiled.
I enjoy sugar.  All kinds.
You do you.  I'll do me.

---

When you're pregnant, especially for the first time, you feel this enormous, overwhelming sense of responsibility.  Or at least you should - you're growing a person for Christ Sake!

Make no mistake, it is a big deal.
Being a parent is always a bid deal.
But know you will make mistakes.  You need allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes.
Others will make mistakes.  You need to not care, because they're not yours to own.

Oh!  But here's the best part.  Motherhood will be terrible horrible a bit of effort but now you know it will be for everyone.
You have a common bond.
For those jackasses who lie and say "Not me," simply skip past them in your list for good friends.
Being a mother is hard work.
Being a good mother is always the goal, but sometimes the bronze is good enough.  Sometimes even making it to "regionals" is enough.
You need other women who think the same.
Avoid all people are "tsk tsk."  Look for those "atta girls" and keep them close.
That's the best thing pregnant women can do.


11/19/15

Beer Cheese Dip

I love dips.  This is a well-known fact about me.

I've made several.  Check them out {here}

My most-recent favorite is this beer-cheese dip.  The beer is minimal, which means we basically have a full can leftover each time I make it, which has been as frequent as our need for a gallon of milk in the house.  But it's delicious.  Especially with these zippy ranch pretzels.

And after some research on Pinterest, I determined that the beer is really a thinning-agent to the cream cheese.  If you are a non-beer person, I'm sure you could use water or milk.



Gather up:

2 8-oz bricks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c beer of your choosing
1 packet dry ranch seasoning
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choosing - go nuts!)



The true secret to this dip is in the very first step.  Very soft, very whipped cream cheese.  You don't want to have to dig through something to eat it.  Whip that cream cheese for a long time - 5 minutes at a minimum.  The more air, the softer it is, and the easier it will be to eat after sitting in the fridge.

Once it's good and whipped, mix in your ranch packet and ground red pepper.  Then, slowly mix in your cheese.  You don't need to shred it again on high or anything.


Then you're done!  It's good to eat now, but I'm a fan of letting any dip I make merry and chill for a few hours in the fridge before diving in.  It take a huge amount of restraint on my part, and yes, I am a hero to some for this.


Perfect snack.  Anytime.  Enjoy!

Zippy Ranch Pretzels

It's been awhile since I've blogged about food.

It has not been that long since I've thought about it, however.  I have made many yummy things and thought I should share this with the world and then I find a new Netflix show to binge, or decide I'd actually like to try to sleep for 8 hours in a row (bahahahaha) and it didn't happen.

These.
These however will trump Netflix and sleep, combined.  But not wine.  Mama needs some typing fuel.
I made these once.  And then when that batch ran out, I made a second.  And then a third.  And so on.  Let's not make this about our snacking habits.

Oh, and these pretzels also "come with" a dip.  And because that dip recipe makes way more than once batch of these pretzels, we get on a vicious merry-go-round of catch up.  Again, let's not judge, shall we.


For this round, I made the tough, yet-wise parent decision to not fight Avery on taking a "short rest" and let her help me.  You will see as the photos progress that she was in fact, tired.  None the less, the pretzels were made, and then immediately consumed.



















Gather up:
1 lb bag of pretzels (I use twists for their dippable-strength, but I'm sure sticks would work great too)
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1/4 c oil (vegetable or canola)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground red pepper (here's where you get your zip!)

Preheat your oven to it's lowest, warm setting.  Mine is gas, but the lowest temp on the dial is 200 degrees, so I go with that.


Combining all of your dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  If it's one you can pour  from easily, even better.  That steps comes in a bit.  Whisk a bit to combine everything.


Add in the oil and whisk well to combine.  No dry chunks.


See.  Sleepy eyes, I mean, really?  But she wanted to whisk, so I allowed the tired-demon inside her to stay hidden and let her whisk.  And then I did it myself to make sure it was done... well, better than a sleepy 4-year old.


Then comes the fun part.  Pour your bag of pretzels into a gallon-sized ziplock bag and shake.  If you don't have a bag, you can spread your pretzels out and pour over and toss to coat.  But, trust me, the bag shaking is way more fun.



Because I am a cooker, not a cleaner, I always line my baking sheets with foil.  For a batch this size, I use my two large jelly-roll pans and split the bag event between the two.  You want the pretzels to be in a somewhat even layer, but don't get too OCD about having them flat and not touching.  Unless you have nothing else to do, in which case, email me.  I have a list of about 279 other things you could be doing with your time.

Bake at 200 degrees for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  You want the oil to dry out, but not burn your pretzels, so keep an eye on them.


While I was sliding my sheet pans into the oven, I turned around to this.  Remember.  She's not tired.


Once they're all dried out and wonderful, you'll still have to let them cool before diving in.  Store them in an air-tight container for... well, to be honest, ours haven't really every lasted more than week due to eating, not spoiling, so i'm not sure.

Probably a week or two.  That seems fair.

11/16/15

currently

A lot has happened in the last week, not only for me, but for the world.  Major events, like those in Paris, or even minor ones in our own cities, often put things into perspective.  My frustrations over dirty dishes seem petty in the grand scheme of things.   I am praying for the day when our children only read about these things in history books, and never have to witness hatred first-hand.

{reading} 
One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis.  It's the book for my wine book club.  I also have The Martian checked out from the library, so I need to get crackin' on that one too!

{listening to} 
Cold, fall rain hitting my window, and DVR.  Right now, I'm catching up on The Good Wife.  I love "Denny" and always will.

{thinking} 
I really need to get our "toy room" situation in order for Christmas hits.  These kids have SO MUCH STUFF.  A good purge would make me very, very happy.  Same goes for the girls' closet.  I've been hanging on to baby blankets ... for what?  Some stuff is sentimental, but I need to pack that away for good and give the rest away!

{smelling} 
Candles.  They've become my latest home obsession.  I light one every afternoon and leave them on til after the girls go to bed.  It gives me a (sometimes false) sense that I've got a clean enough house to have a spot to have a lit candle.

{eating} 
Zippy Ranch Pretzels and Beer Cheese Dip.  Recipes coming soon.  Such a yummy snack, I eat a little (or a lot) just about every day for the past 2 weeks!
{wishing} 
Avery would give up her paci for good one of these days.  She wants to, but it's too hard.  And I don't have the strength to fight her night after night over it.

{wearing} 
In the past few days, I've been layering skinnies with scarves and my puffy vest.  Soon enough I'll have to swap things out for a down jacket and snow boots, so I've got to rock the "fall" as long as I can!

{loving}
My wine tasting weekend.  The weather was gorgeous, we hit up some "local" spots without the kids and just got to be adults for a change.  On the flip side, I am not in love with "Movember."  Too scratchy.  Ick.

{wanting} 
A new home.  Just a little more space, another bedroom would be fantastic.  Some day.
{needing} 
More sleep.  The past week or so I've been "newborn" tired.  Staying up late because the kids have sucked so much of the daylight hours - and I love most of it.  But I need to wind down, and then it gets late, and then they're up early.  I'm to the point of laughter or tears at any given moment.




I've found a new link up for my (somewhat sporadic) currently posts!  Check out siddathornton for more!

11/6/15

BE YOU

Do you ever look around and compare yourself to others?

Of course you do!!!

You're human!  You're a feeling, vulnerable, most-likely exhausted, slightly sticky person.

I am going to attempt this month to have gratitude in each day.  Not only for my own sanity, but that of my family.  I am trying to not turn into a walking version of a fortune cookie here, but a friend of mine made this phrase her Facebook cover photo:

Gratitude is what happens when what we have is Enough.

Wow, right? And so true. I'll be the first to admit that I am guilty of the constant comparison, even when I don't want to.

So, this feeling lent itself to my next FREE printable for blog fans!  {Grab the first one here}


I've designed these darling reminders, and you can have them.  For free!  Take your pick, and you can have either a PDF or JPG version of one or all of them!

And this goes without saying, but no selling or distributing these with my consent, got it?  Be cool man.





Enjoy dear friends.  Be happy.  Be You.

11/4/15

So What Wednesday

It's back!  I was so pumped when I saw Shannon mention she's got this post on her docket for the week.  Wednesdays are my favorite - not only because of Matt Bellassai and Whine About It, but also because I get to do my own whining (and wine-drinking) with you fine people.

So make sure you all head over to Shannon and see what she's got going on this week too!

This week (or the relative past few weeks for that matter) I'm saying SO WHAT:


  • The last time I dusted my house when I put the Halloween decorations out.  That was four weeks ago.  And it will probably happen again around Christmas, and then the take-down.  And maybe once in the summer when the sun hits a surface just right and I can see that Avery has written her name 7 times in the dust.
  • I like the new Adele song, but I don't think it's her best work.  Maybe the rest of the album will blow me out of the water.  However, being a super fan I will sing it at the top of my lungs in the car. Make no mistake, I have already pre-ordered if from iTunes.
  • I am already sick of political campaigns and we don't even have names on the ticket yet.  Barf.
  • Likewise, if Trump is elected, Nate, the girls and I will be moving to Europe. Immediately.  I feel like we won't be the only ones.
  • I am a firm believer in celebrating one holiday before moving on to the the next.  It pains me a great deal to be working in reds and greens for my Etsy shop, but hey - you gotta give the people what they want!
  • Friday mornings, I have been bringing Avery to the library in the morning under the pretense that she can find new books and play with the toys there.  Real reason - so I can read my OWN book in a somewhat adult setting and not have to stop to:  help get a snack, wipe someone else's ass or breakup a sister-fist-fight.
What are you saying SO WHAT to this week?





11/3/15

I Am Not A Parent.

Bold title, right?  Catch your attention?  Good.

Because I mean it.  And, no don't mean that I've gone screaming into the wilderness, abandoning my children to fend for themselves.  Or not today anyway.

I am obviously someone's mother.  Two people actually.  These two, clinging-monkey-like creatures that can only use the names "Mom" or "MOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!" when they need something.  "No, no darlings.  Let's not bother Dad's game of Candy Crush.  What can my fifth arm do for you at this surely very urgent moment during my dinner preparation?  Oh, your sister is looking at you?  With both eyes?  At the same time?  Well, I think we should all sit down and talk about feelings in a rational matter."

I am not a mother.  I am not a parent.  I am not even a wife.
I am a person who happens to be a mother, a parent, a wife.
I am just me.  I have needs.  I go nuts.  I cry.  I laugh.  I have insecurities (tons).  I have doubts (even more.)

And what's more is I am a person who doesn't feel like apologizing for being me:

I will teach my children to turn on Disney Jr. and watch a show so I can get another 30 minutes of sleep.  Mostly in part because they have interrupted my sleep on at least two, if not three times during the night.  I'm constantly tired because of you little monkeys.  I already want to take a nap tomorrow is on constant replay when I wake up each morning.

I will make "a game" of having the girls bring me a Diet Coke from the fridge because I Just. Sat. Down.  And again, I'm tired because of them!

I will sit on our second couch, separate from the hubs because I just need a little space to feel my own skin not being pushed up against another person (read: those clinging-monkey-like creatures.)  Granted, I will also move to his side of the living room for the exact opposite reason.  Without warning or reason.

I will drink during the week.  It doesn't even have to be someone's birthday.  If I'm feeling extra lazy, I'll go for the wine - you know because of the multiple bottles required to make a vodka tonic and then there's the lime cutting.  A quick pop (or in my case, tapping of boxed wine) is so much easier.

I will turn a certain shade of jealous green browsing Instagram and various style bloggers with their cute chambray shirts, skinny pants and booties.  I'll even buy replicate outfits and then still go out in a hoodie and Toms.  But I will put on lipstick.  I'm not a hobo for goodness sake.

I will get regular bikini waxes.  For me.  I will do so with no intention of Nate even seeing it, let alone anything else.  It's something I do for me.  To feel - nice I guess.  But I guess it does help for those times I do want to play wife, instead of just Liz.  {More on the subject}

I will not over-schedule my children.  Now, I know this seems like me being a parent in this one, but I assure you it is purely selfish.  They will learn to fend for themselves and explore the power of imagination without me hovering over every activity, whether it be in or outside of this house.  I do not wish to be the constant source of entertainment for my kids, nor do I want to play taxi driver.  "Mama's got her stories to watch - go play with the one of 10,000 toy-like items in the house.  Or that toilet paper tube.  But just make sure you're quiet, and it lasts for at least 26 minutes.  In a row." 


Here comes that fortune-cookie tone again:  I'm learning to embrace the fact that I can't fill up anyone else if I'm empty.  I need to know this fact, and demand this in my world.

Being honest with Nate about my needs is extremely important (and vice versa - dudes need to be just people too.)  The children are too little, too selfish still to know the difference.  They can't help that they're jerks sometimes; this is where having that support to "tap out" is critical.  Recognizing this in our marriage has been extremely important.  It makes us better, so when we do come to the table as "mom", "husband" or "personal chef" we can do so with a smile because we want to be in that hat, not because we're forced to be.
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