Tag Archives: letsgetrealmoms

Baking With Children

Sometimes when I don’t feel like I have enough stress in my day I will have my boys help me bake something. Today it was scones. I have long since learned that having both of them help at the same time leads to fighting over whose turn it is to break the eggs, pour in the sugar, or stir the batter, and inevitably something gets spilled.

Perhaps I should have them take turns, you might be thinking. Oh reader, I do. I do. But my kids have this uncanny ability to both forget who poured in the last ingredient, literally 30 seconds ago, and both be 100% sure that it is their turn and that we are trying to sabotage them by insisting that it’s not.

So our rule is that only one boy at a time gets to be assistant baker. Today the younger insisted that he needed to stand right next to the counter and watch even though it wasn’t his turn to help. 

So see, this was easier because I had one boy scooping flour and sugar, and the other boy standing to the side talking and asking questions constantly. Questions like, What are you doing? Why are you doing that? What kind of milk is that? Why do you keep the frozen blueberries in the freezer?

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So between trying to stay one step ahead of the boy reading the recipe and doing the things, and correcting his mistakes, I was trying to answer the other boy kindly when I really wanted him to just leave the kitchen, my goodness why do you need to be in here?

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Then after rolling out the dough and cutting it, the helper is rolling around on the kitchen floor on his hands and knees like a naughty puppy. Normally I’m okay with this, because it cleans the floor as it dirties the child, but I’d rather not have floor filth in my scones, so we pause the recipe to wash hands.

Now, when you and I wash our hands, we understand that there is a sequence of events that must take place every time in order for our hands to truly be considered washed. You turn on warm water, you scrub with soap, rinse, and then for goodness sakes, dry them.

My children, however, reserve such fanciness only for important events, like presidential visits, or Christmas.

So out of the bathroom he comes, dripping water everywhere, and when I tell him to dry his hands he rubs them down his shirt. Did you use soap? I ask, and receive a blank look in return.

Back to the bathroom he goes, with instructions to use soap and dry thoroughly.

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Blueberry scones are completed, my kitchen is a mess, the younger boy is still chattering away to nobody in particular. I hope you didn’t come here for 10 Tips for Baking With Children, this ain’t that kind of blog. You should actually head over to my friend Brit at Little Mountain Momma. She’s awesome at doing stuff with her littles, whereas I tend to say stuff like, Can you not? and You gotta get outta here, you’re making me crazy.

I guess I should end this by saying something like, It’s worth it, bake with your kids! And it is. You get to eat scones at the end, so there’s that.

 

The Story Behind the Insta’

Two weeks ago, I put this picture up on Instagram:

With this caption:

“I love this! This is on the wall in the weight room at my gym. I’m thinking about all the areas in my life that this is applicable to: exercise, art, parenting, prayer. Is this encouraging to you as well?
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Also, I dreamed that I did squats until my legs turned to jelly, and then my alarm went off and I had to get up, go to the gym and start all over. Why don’t dream squats count, for real?
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We go to the gym first thing every Monday morning. It’s hard to get there some weeks, but so worth it. It starts the week on a positive tone, makes for a happier momma, and a more productive homeschool week.
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What do you do to start your week?”

When I read it again later in the week, it made me cringe. Do you ever do that? You throw something on to Instagram or Facebook with the best intentions, but then later you realize it was little more than a humblebrag?

We all know how easy it is to put up the easy pictures, the beautiful pictures, the not-completely-truthful pictures. Pictures taken in the one uncluttered, well-lit corner of our home. Pictures that just tell part of our whole day, skipping the messiness, tears, stretch marks, and dirty laundry.

I wanted a do-over with this picture.

I honestly do like the sentiment. A lot. It made me think about several areas in my life where I need to loosen up and enjoy the process. So I don’t think I should just scrap the photo and the info.

But what if I just told the whole truth, instead? Here goes.

We do go to the gym bright and early every Monday morning. And honestly, it’s hard to get there almost every week. Sometimes I drop the kids off at the childcare and go sit in the locker room and try not to cry, while boosting my courage enough to go to the weight room.

And you know what the biggest motivation for me to get out of bed and get there is? If I cancel my reservation for free childcare, made a week in advance, they will charge me. I don’t want to pay $10 to not work out.

Do you know why I work out? It’s to save my life. I am keeping one step ahead of the weight of depression that is constantly threatening to settle on my heart. For me, the best long-term treatment I’ve found is regular exercise and nutrition. I know that if I don’t make it to the gym, I will have to fight even harder the next morning to wake up and face the day without dread. And with the dread comes negative thoughts. Then self-loathing. Then numbness. Then nothing. And the nothingness is scarier than anything.

So when I write about doing squats, I’m barely lifting anything. I’m just doing it. Doing the little I can to remain emotionally present in my life.

And you know what? I rock at Monday mornings, even when it’s a struggle to get there. My kids are dressed and fed, and I drop them off in a new environment with new toys and books to explore for two hours. Yeah, Monday mornings are my jam.

But you know what’s not my jam? Pretttty much everythig else. After the gym, we come home to a 9 year old puppy that always wants attention, clean laundry that hasn’t been folded in two weeks, a sink that’s usually full of dirty dishes, a floor that probably needs to be mopped, a to-do list that I can’t even find. And I can’t even get started on those things because then our homeschooling day starts.

So that’s the truth. I rock Mondays. The rest of the week? Meh. I’m working on it.

So I’lll ask the question again. What do you do as part of your weekly schedule to bring life to yourself? Do you hit up the gym? Lots of coffee? Employ a maid service? Yoga? Prayer time? How about if we celebrate the life-giving things, while all knowing that we struggle in other areas? We know we’re not all perfect, so let’s stop pretending. There’s freedom and grace there.

#letsgetrealmoms

Not the Monday Post I Intended

So this isn’t what I had planned on writing about today. I wanted to write about how I’m treating Hashimoto’s with diet and supplements. I wanted to talk about the Paleo Diet and how it’s The Best Diet. I’ll have to get to all that later, because I can’t get my brain to work that hard today.

I didn’t sleep last night, hardly at all. I suffer from insomnia, and have for a long time. It’s been better lately, thanks to some amazing supplements, regular exercise, and a healthy diet. But every once in awhile, I struggle. Big time.

And my brain and memory do this fun thing where not only am I lying there for hours not sleeping, but I recall every bad, embarassing, awkward, stupid thing I’ve ever said or did in my entire life. And I obsess over them. And by morning I’m curled up in the fetal position convinced that no one could love me, I’m the worst at everything, and there’s a chance I might be becoming Gollum (I’ve been reading Lord of the Rings).

I had scheduled childcare for my boys at the YMCA this morning so I could work out, and as Tim was leaving for work I told him I didn’t think I could make it because I could hardly stand up because of my tiredness. He encouraged me to go anyway, and get the endorphins flowing (that’s what he always says, “Get the endorphins flowing.”), and since he’s almost always right (don’t tell him I said that) I got up and got ready to go.

When we pulled into the parking lot I looked at my phone, expecting it to be 8:00 and saw instead that it was 8:30. Wait, what? My reserved time was supposed to start at 8, and I was half an hour off. I’m still trying to figure out where that missing half hour of my life went, it just disappeared into oblivion, because I really thought we were on time. Sleep deprivation, guys.

Now, if you follow me on Instagram (you should, you should! Check it out! It’s over there ——> ) you might already know most of this. And that is why I needed to write about it.

When I’m struggling, or hurting, or miserable, I sometimes convince myself that no one else could possibly understand what I’m going through. I wonder if you do the same? I tell mysef, “There is not a soul in the world that could even know how I feel or has ever been in this exact situation. I’m hopelessly alone, I know it!” And come on, how stupid and egotistical is that? What? I think I’ve got the corner on human suffering all to myself? Of course not!

So today, I put it out there. I was open on social media about how crappy my day started. And I was overwhelmed by the response of my friends, those I see in person, and those I don’t. I have the best friends on Facebook and IG, you guys. The. Best. I felt lifted up, but I also felt like there were others who knew exactly what it felt like to be in that situation, or to have insomnia and depression go hand in hand. You all rock!

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I wonder if you would consider putting yourself out there too? We try so hard sometimes to create this facade of what we want our lives to be by only showing the beautiful things on social media. I wonder what it would look like to truly be our authentic selves. I don’t mean that we should complain all the time. There’s a difference between being honest and straight up complaining.

My good friend, Brittany, over at Little Mountain Momma, started this hashtag a while back: #letsgetrealmoms. She’s the best at it, really. She includes that tag with pictures of her messy life in all forms, created by children, and not. So maybe throw that hashtag out there the next time you post on social media. I’ll probably see it, I occasionally look through those tags, and we both will feel uplifted.

Let’s get real, moms. Let’s get real, women. We are authentic, and we are encouragers. Carry on, Warrior Women.