Monday, November 26, 2007

I feel like I have been gone month. I didn't really go anywhere but the computer was the last place I have been in the past several days. I felt a cold coming on a week ago. My youngest son was getting over a nasty chest cold and I felt mine starting to brew. My husband felt his coming on about the same time. I managed to run around last weekend and finish up picking up my kids Christmas gifts. By Wed I began feeling worse. Perfect timing I thought. Right before Thanksgiving. Thankfully we didn't have any plans to travel and were were not expecting any guests so when I woke up on Thursday with a full blown chest cold, feeling like crap, at least I knew I could stay home. We managed to have a nice Thanksgiving despite the fact that I felt horrible. By 4pm we were feasting on Tofurkey, stuffing, potatoes (thanks Dustbunny for the crock pot potato recipe), mixed veggies, rice bake, mushroom gravy (homemade by DH), and for desert pecan pie (also homemade by DH).

Friday I relaxed and tried to get well. DH had the day off so I was able to let up on my Mama duties. I started a new book. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I ended up reading it in 4 days. I highly recommend it. I actually shouted out two times while reading this book. It caught me by surprise a few times. It has been a long time since I have been able to read a book in less than a week with the kiddos and all. Anyways, I was dreading the weekend because I had paid a space in a two day craft show. The biggest in our area. By Friday I was not feeling like I could pull it off. DH and I came up with a plan. I would get up Saturday morning and go set up my booth (7am) and work it as long as I could. If i could' hack it I would drive home and switch with him. I would stay with the kids and he would go work my table for me. JB selling my jewelry at an all Women's craft show. Now that would have been a sight to see. But he was willing and I was grateful. I ended up being able to pull off both days myself. It was very hard but I did it. Unfortunately the show was very slow, I didn't make that much (no one did) and by the time I got home Sunday night I realize I had over done it. I felt horrible. DH had made chili and dealt with the kids. He even unpacked my car from the show for me. I got my but in bed early and prayed for a quick recovery. The next day was Monday after all. Back to work for DH, back to school for DS#1, and back to race around, Mama duties and work part time on the side for me.

Here we are now. It is 1:05AM on Monday morning. I woke up having a huge coughing fit thinking it was almost 5am or something. Nope it was 12:30 am. Shit. If I wake up this early coughing I know I won't get back to sleep without taking some cough medicine. I don't like taking it normally but if my cough wakes me up in the middle of the night I know I have to. So here I am waiting for it to kick in before I head back to bed. Wishing I had rested a bit more. Wishing I hadn't signed up for a two day craft show on Thanksgiving weekend. Wishing I had done it all just a bit differently, but thankful too. I am thankful I was able to have a nice quiet holiday at home with my family. I am thankful to my DH who stepped up and took such good care of me and the kids while I was down. I am thankful for the new friends I met at the craft show this weekend. Sometimes it isn't always about making money.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Talking to children about death

Last night at dinner all of a sudden my 6 year old started crying. He finally was able to get out in words what was upsetting him. He said he is afraid to die because he doesn’t want to not be able to live anymore. My heart sank. Tears came to my eyes. I wondered to myself how do I talk to my child about something that is also my greatest fear? The only death we have talked to our children about so far is of pets. Our neighbors lost a cat that we used to take care of. Next was our fish. My oldest son took these loses very hard. We discussed it with him but never gave more than what he asked for information. We never even brought up the fact that people die. We figured at one point the switch would go off in his head and he would put two and two together. Well he has.

It was a very difficult discussion to have with him. I myself went though years of therapy after I had babies because I suddenly suffered from health anxiety. After I had my first child I found myself terrified that something would happen to me. I didn’t want to leave my children. I didn’t want to die. I think everyone has these thoughts and feelings but for me the hormones raging through my body after having a baby made it worse. I guess it was a form of postpartum depression. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped me through those times. Becoming a parent thoughts changed me forever and I will always teeter on the edge of letting those thoughts consume me. Everyday I have to choose to look at life instead of death. Everyday I try to not be afraid.

So you can imagine how difficult it was for me to talk to my son last night. I held him, cried with him, and told him I am afraid too. Without promising eternal life to him I tried to comfort by saying he has a very long life to live and that it is very important to focus on living and being the best person you can be now.

It was hard on me but good in a way too. Facing the dreaded topic and being forced to look it in the eye is a great way to deal with it.

I found this great article about talking to children about death. It gives a helpful breakdown to ages of children and where they typically are with their thoughts on death. I am sure there are many many wonderful resources out there.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Slow Cookin' Italian Lentil Stew

Here is the recipe for the Italian Lentil Stew I talked about in my slow cookin' post below.

Italian Lentil Stew
serves 6

1 3/4 cups of dried lentils, washed (You can actually use any kind of bean here. Lentils are great but tonight I didn't have any so I used white beans. Garbanzo would work well here too. I also used canned beans and it worked well).
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 25 oz jar of pasta sauce
2 cups green beans cut in half
1 small green pepper, diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a slow cooker, mix all ingredients EXCEPT olive oil. Add 3 cups of water to ingredients.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6-8 hours, or till the vegetables and lentils are tender. Add olive oil just before serving.

Serving suggestion: a big salad and warm, crusty garlic bread.

***A few notes: You could alter this to use any veggies you have on hand. To speed up the cooking process use canned instead of dried beans. I put mine on around 11:30 and it was done by 5:00ish easily. Both of my kids loved this. It is very flavorful.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I feel time moving faster and faster
I see my children growing / stronger
I find myself crying more.

I wonder why we live for tomorrow
I try to stay in the moment / longer
I need to start saying no.

If I could freeze each moment
and bottle it up forever
I would study the little things / harder
and try to find the magic cure.

Slow cookin' Sunday

It has taken me a long time to like Sundays. It is hard to really enjoy the day because I never can get out of my head that the next day is Monday. I have started a new ritual that I call Slow cookin' Sunday. Around mid morning before I start lunch I begin a crock pot meal. Today it was chili. Last week I made Italian bean soup. It means more time in the kitchen earlier in the day but I find the time it saves me later on is priceless. For some reason I feel like my day is longer because I don't have to interrupt my Sunday afternoon to start dinner.

p.s. Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Holy shit my kid ate meat!

Ever since my oldest son started kindergarten this year (which is public in our elementary schools) I have felt like I have lost control. First he started drinking milk for the first time in his life because that is all they serve there and now to top it off my vegetarian child has had meat for the first time. I have been allowing him to have hot lunch a few times a week when they have vegetarian options. One of the days they offer a hamburger, cheeseburger or veggie burger. He has been getting the veggie burger so far. I picked him up from school on Friday to find out he had eaten a cheeseburger. When he asked for it he thought he was getting a veggie burger with cheese on it. He doesn't know. He has never eaten meat before. Come to find out he has eaten this the past few weeks thinking he was eating a veggie burger. I felt crushed. I just felt it like was one more thing I have lost control over. Like all of my values no longer matter because once he walks in those doors he is in a different world.

I have always said when he was old enough to make his own choice of whether or not to eat meat I would let him. Although I will never cook meat in my house. I have asked him over the years and so far he has not wanted to. I also make sure I tell him what meat really is. I think it is important for children (of a certain age) to understand that meat is not just a package of food you buy at the grocery store. I have told him that animals are killed to get the meat.

I am not sure what is going to happen. At this point he seems to be looking at me to still make the choice for him so I have told him that we will have a deal. For now he will continue to not eat meat at school lunch but if he ever wants to try it again to tell myself or my husband (who does eat meat) and we will allow him to do so. He seemed to like this deal. I think it was too much for him to choose on his own right now.