taking the time to just be a mom…

I am not one for resolutions in the new year or at any other time.  I find them hard to keep and ultimately depressing when I fail at them.  But I am all for making changes, and seeing if the changes work for you and then making them part of your life. And I am starting to realize that I need to make a change.

I am sure that I am not the only stay at home mom (or working mom) that feels this way, but recently I feel like I have been so caught up in everything else that I am not spending enough time being a mom. Not enough good uninterrupted time anyways. There is always laundry to be washed, dinner to be made, dishes to be done, bills to be paid, thank you notes to write, beds to be changed, closets to be organized… I could go on and on. It does go on and on.  That’s the thing about a “to do” list, as soon as you have checked off one item, something else needs to be done.

Before I had kids, I thought that my ability to get things done was a positive trait.  I didn’t fluff my clothes thirty times saying that I was going to fold them eventually.  I just folded them.  Go me! Right? But now I constantly find myself leaving the playroom to go change a load of laundry, answer a quick email or prep dinner; sometimes in the middle of a game or puzzle.

I have to realize that there will never be a moment when I say, “Great! The house is immaculate! All of our laundry is don! Dinner’s in the oven! Let’s finally relax and play!”  That’s just not the world that we live in when we have children.  There will inevitably be sand in the entry way (or everywhere), dirty clothes and dishes and many unchecked items on the “to do” list.  So it’s time for me to embrace the mess and move on.

I am going to make an effort to play and chat with Leo before school instead of immediately jumping into emptying the dishwasher.  I am going to read more books to Lucy and sing more songs.  When the buzzer on the dryer goes off, I am going to ignore it and keep on playing.  I know that in 20 years when I look back on these years I probably won’t look back and think of it as a time when all of the laundry was done… so here’s to engaging more with my family in 2015.

This should be an easy change to make.  After all, Who wouldn’t want to play with this little cutie?

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Easy mushroom, kale and parmesan quiche

We love quiche around here. I know, it’s not health food but it’s a quick and easy thing to make, great for leftovers to quickly reheat or even to eat cold, and packs well in a lunchbox.  Even Leo will eat it (sometimes). Quiche makes the perfect dish to serve to guests because you can make it ahead. Have I convinced you that quiche is the best???

This recipe calls for frozen kale; you can use finely chopped fresh kale as well. I highly recommend buying a bag of chopped frozen kale.  I use it all the time around here to add to smoothies, soups and recipes like this quiche.

You will need a Microplane Zester/Grater for this recipe. If you don’t have one, get one!  It it seriously the best way to zest citrus and makes the prettiest little parmesan curls on top of your pizza, pasta, or whatever… In this recipe, it helps the parmesan stay light and fluffy in the quiche.

If you are gluten-free, low carb or forgot to buy a pie crust you can skip it entirely and make this as a frittata. Just make sure to cook your veggies in an oven-safe skillet and pour your custard mixture right into it.

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You will need:

1 frozen pre-made pie crust (I like the Wholly Wholesome brand)
1 1/2 cup of heavy cream
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 big pinches of sea salt
1/2 of pepper (or about 10-15 course grinds with your pepper grinder)
dash of nutmeg
2 cups of chopped white mushrooms
1 cup frozen kale
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated with your microplane grater

Heat oven to 375

Roll out your pie crust and place in a lightly greased pie pan.

Heat a large skilled on medium-high and add olive oil.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes or until all mushrooms have browned. Add the kale and continue to cook 3 minutes. This step is just as much about removing the moisture from the mushrooms and kale as it is cooking them.  If your veggies look wet, keep cooking. Add your scallions and remove the pan from heat.

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In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the three eggs.  Next add your cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and continue to whisk until all of your custard ingredients are well combined.

Once your veggies have cooled off a bit, place them in the pie shell and add 1/2 cup of the parmesan on top.  This is why you don’t want your veggies too hot, if the parmesan melts it will make your quiche too dense.

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Pour your custard mixture into your pie shell so that it completely covers your veggies and parmesan then sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on top.

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It should look like a light dusting of snow on top of your quiche.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the top of your quiche is golden brown.

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Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving… if you can wait that long.

Please excuse that I took zero time to clean up or photoshop these quiche photos.  Little Lucy has a cold and is being slightly fussy and demanding…

Bottle Drama

If you recall my last post about bottles, we were torturing our toddler.  Taking the bottle away from Leo was one of the hardest things that we had to do as parents… or so we thought.  Little did I know that having a baby that wouldn’t take a bottle would be a thousand times harder.

I never really thought about “if” Lucy would take a bottle.  I just assumed that it was a given.  Leo loved his bottle right from the start. We started him when he was a month old on breast milk and added in formula when he was almost 8 months. We gave Lucy a bottle about three times a week starting when she exactly one month old, she took it. Great!  Then something happened and she just stopped.

The face that Lucy makes when you put a plastic nipple (or maybe it’s silicone?) near her face is one of a baby that is so deeply offended and emotionally hurt by the very idea of it. Anyone who tries to bottle feed her gives up almost instantly.  I have spent countless hours asking others for advice, doing google searches and trying just about every thing possible to get Lucy to take a bottle.  We have literally every kind of bottle.  I have nipple shields as a type of transition from breast to bottle.  Every grandparent and caregiver has tried.  But nothing is working.

About a month ago, when my cought just wasn’t getting any better and we still hadn’t figured out that I had pertussis, my doctor ordered a CT scan.  Thinking nothing of it, I showed up for the scan only to learn that I would’t be able to nurse for for 24 hours after having the scan because they were going to inject me with contrast solution (iodine). 24 hours seemed like a crazy amount of time to not feed my baby.  After delaying the test, discussing it with my husband, my doctor and with Lucy’s pediatrician, I decided to go ahead and do the scan. “She’ll take a bottle if she gets hungry enough,” was what everyone said.

Oh my, were they wrong.  My little girl did not eat a thing.  We went through so many emotions during those 24-hours, but mostly I felt sad and helpless.  Lucy was was crying so much and was so desperately hungry that she sucked so vigorously on my arms that I had large red hickeys.  She was very hungry. She did not take a bottle.  She did suck a small amount of sugar water and diluted formula off a washcloth out of desperation. It was terrible and I don’t ever want to have to do it again.

That being said, it’s really hard when your baby won’t take a bottle.  After having a certain amount of personal freedom back when Leo started pre-school, it feels like it’s been taken away.  Hello manicures! Shopping alone!  Showering without a toddler watching! I miss real date nights (now date nights are 2 hours max and that includes driving time), going for hikes and going out with my girlfriends.  I know that it will probably just be a few more months and I will probably miss nursing her when she finally weans but right now is hard.

Next week Lucy will be five months and we are going to try some food.  Wish us luck and hope that she likes the spoon more than the bottle!

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Little Lucy.