Monday, October 26, 2015

Seren-MOM-ity{Give Time To Get Time}

     Last weeks Never Lie post was a bit heavy but oh so true.  I was so grateful for taking the time to write it because I needed that reminder.

    This weeks topic is Give Time To Get Time which I know sounds a bit backwards but I promise if you give 5 minutes you get 20 and that is the key to getting stuff done with littles and even as they get older it still applies.

     One day I put my 1.5, 2, and 4 year old at the kitchen table with playdough which was a weekly occurrence a the time and I sat down with them for 5 minutes and we played. I had a huge to do list and so  I got up and did the dishes while watching them create and smush that playdough into grand masterpieces.  When the dishes were done I came back to the table and asked them all about their creations(about 2 minutes) and then I went and switched the laundry and folded it and put it away.  I then came back to the table and made a creation of my own then left the table again to continue down my to do list.  I continued with this pattern.  2 hours later we were putting the playdough away and getting lunch ready.  That afternoon as the children were napping I pondered on how wonderful the morning was.  How much I had accomplished and I even played with my children and the rest of the house was NOT A MESS!!!  Why was that day different than the other days where I felt a little less like a great mom, a terrible caretaker of all things domestic, and left feeling a bit frazzled and feeling behind.  It hit me I gave my time and attention to my children not in a 2 hour playdough fest but a minute here, 2 minutes there and therefore they stayed engaged in their activity longer to show me their creations.  Was this a fluke???   Did I figure out the key to feeling like a good mom and not feeling like I lived in a trash pit???  The next day I put a tub of animals and blocks on the floor in the living room and went about that same pattern.  They didn't quite last the 2 hours as the previous day but I did accomplish a lot in the the hour or so but I felt like I was onto something.  The next day I put glue sticks and paper for them to rip and glue onto other paper and guess what...2 hours again!!!  I realized my children love to create and so the activities that had them creating and not just playing(which important but I was trying to get stuff done while also keeping them engaged)were going to be the key along with me taking the time between each task to praise and create with them. This was one of those triumphant moments for me as a mom to realize I could keep them engaged in a fun activity, get things done on my to do list, and not have a messier house afterwards.  

        To this day I continue this pattern of checking in on them, seeing what they are doing, and then getting my tasks completed.  Now I am not saying by any means that I still don't have days where I feel like oh my goodness how am I going to accomplish this all and I am failing completely as a mother because guess what I do and then I remember this pattern...Give Time to Get Time!

BE AWESOME,
Julia

Friday, October 23, 2015

Oh SOOO Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese


This is about the most amazing thing you will put in your mouth on a bad day.  It is the requested meal from my daughter when she has had one of those days and to be honest it is so so good and a great meatless dinner served with a side salad or fruit.  Without a doubt you will enjoy this creamy dish and one of the best parts is it takes about 20-25 minutes to make!!! ENJOY!!!


1 LB pasta{gemelli and cavatappi are our faves}
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 Cup Milk
1 1/4 Cup Cream
1 Cup freshly* shredded white sharp cheddar
1 Cup freshly* shredded gouda
1/2 Cup Pasta Water
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped chives for garnish

*If you use preshredded cheeses in a cheese sauce in will not turn out creamy and will have a gritty texture in your mouth due to the caking agent added to the cheese.  Taking the time to freshly shredded your cheese is well worth it.

In a large pot cook noodles until al dente.  Before draining the pasta reserve 1/2 Cup of the pasta water and set aside.

In a large pan melt the butter and once melted stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Slowly add the milk and cream stirring continuously(I add the cream and milk together in one bowl and add about a 1/4 cup at a time).

Heat mixture until it bubbles over medium heat and continue to stir.

Turn off heat and add the cheeses.  Stir until melted.  Once melted add the pasta water(adding the pasta water helps the cheese sauce to stick to the pasta) and pasta until well combined.

Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.  Top with chives and serve.

BE AWESOME,
JULIA

Monday, October 19, 2015

Seren-MOM-ity {Never Lie}

SEREN-MOM-ITY{things I have learned as a mom as I have utterly failed and picked myself up dusted myself off and tried again and then discovered a most delightful gem}

     I have realized as of late that I have learned a lot about being a mom over the past 21+ years.  I am by no means a perfect mom and have grown to be a better one everyday.  I have made huge parenting blunders and have joyous moments of triumph.  I also have lots of friends that ask me for advice and I thought well I could share some of that knowledge here that I have in this brain of mine and maybe help other women out that feel like being a parent might be the death of them and believe me some days you are going to feel like that.  Being a mom is hard and we all need help. We all have really bad mommy days and we all have fabulous days...it's true that mom you see over there that looks like wonder mom she has a bad day or even a bad week ..and do you know what that is okay. Your children love you more than you can ever comprehend and are so forgiving just keep trying to do better and you can be a wonder mom too(because you are)!!!

      My first thing I learned long ago was from a young single adult conference I attended.  Yep you read that right a young single adult conference and the keynote speaker was a parenting "expert", he spoke to us several times over the weekend and as a single parent I was soaking everything in.  I had no idea what I was doing as a mom and I was fascinated by his every word.  It was the first time I realized I did not need to figure this all out on my own there are books I can read.  Since that conference I have read many books and I highly recommend it but a word of advice go into reading these books prayerfully and take the nuggets of advice that will work for you and your children.   At this conference I learned a truth that has become at the heart of who I am as a mom... Never LIE to your child!

     Let me explain have you ever said I will come help you after I do this one thing and then you do 2 things?  You have just lied to your child(face palm).  Have you ever made a promise to your child and not kept it and not explained why hoping they would forget?  Again you are a liar.  This is hard to hear being called a liar but this one thing is so important about never lying to your child I want you to get it DO NOT LIE TO YOUR CHILD!!!  When you never lie to your child your words gain a whole new power that I never really understood before.  If you never lie...how much more does I love you mean, I am proud of you, you are amazing, or when you are trying to teach them something of eternal importance...if you never lie those words mean everything and they are true because you never lie.  Powerful stuff right there.  Yes we are going to make a promise we cant keep and possibly threaten to hang them from the ceiling if they argue with a sibling again, its going to happen. Going back and apologizing and explaining the situation or saying sorry for saying something that you didn't mean because you were frustrated takes that lie away.  We want our words to mean something and never lying to them gives power to your words.  Never Lie.  Give Power to Your Words they are important!

Be Awesome,


Julia