Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

Just Call Me Super Mom April 29, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:22 am

Or not…

It’s been a long week already.  Jeremy has been out of town for work since Sunday morning.  Only 2 more days to go.  Trust me, the kids and I are counting down!  They have done well, for the most part, although I can tell Jeremy’s absence is definitely affecting Cooper.  I have caught him staring longingly at Jeremy’s scooter saying, “I want Daddy.  Where’s Daddy?”  Mason definitely misses him, but she’s gone into auto-drive – like me.

Due to his absence, our routine has gone a bit haywire.  I’m not making serious meals for dinner that enforce veggies and meat.  We’ve had English muffin pizzas, chicken and veggie stir fry (ok, that one was healthy), Potbelly sandwiches and ice cream (Yay! 31 cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins!)…  Tonight I’ll probably cook hot dogs and tater tots.  Tomorrow is pizza night.  I feel guilty that I didn’t do more, but it’s tiring being a single parent and trying to stick to the routine and the meal plan.

Added to my guilt is that I kept Mason home from school on Tuesday because of her ear infection and a sore throat.  But work was super busy, so I had to plop her in front of my laptop with an array of movies while I worked.  And then I took her to Wendy’s for lunch!  Chicken nuggets and french fries.  Great mothering, right?

But the kicker in my mothering abilities came this morning…  I’m still not into my routine of packing lunches the night before despite our new efforts thanks to EasyLunchBoxes.com.  As I passed through the kitchen on my way to work out this morning, I started thinking about what to send for lunch today.  Easy – Lunchables.  I knew there were several in the fridge, and while I consider it a treat for the kids, I felt they deserved it today.  And heck, I deserved the break of having to think about it yet again.  I was fine with my decision.

But then I watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution while I was on the treadmill.   If you’re not familiar with the show, please watch it!  I have learned so much from it (as will be evidenced soon in this post), and I think what Jamie is trying to do is so important for America to witness and become a part of.

In the last episode, Jamie returns to Huntington, WV to see what has happened since he left.  He was disappointed to see that instead of parents encouraging their kids to eat the new, fresh food served at school, they were sending them to school with brown bag lunches filled with their idea of a healthy meal.  And do you know what the majority of students had?  Lunchables.  Jamie had a fit.  He couldn’t even talk about them because he knew it would just bring out profanity, which would then have to be bleeped from the broadcast.  He referenced the ingredients on the back of one of the boxes, and the list was astoundingly long for what should be simple foods.  Because the food is so processed, it’s not doing our kids any good.

I admit, in the back of my mind, I knew they weren’t good for my kids.  I knew there was a lot of processed stuff in there, and I’m sure the sodium amount is ridiculous.  But it’s just so easy.  It gives me a break from making homemade lunches once a week, and because of that extra 10 minutes I get by not making a lunch, I am feeding my kids crap.  That’s not fair to them.

Ok, let’s back up a bit.  I just said it’s not fair to them.  If Mason and Cooper were old enough to understand, they would say, “But it’s so good, Mom!  We love Lunchables!  It’s fair because we get to eat what we like one day a week.”  Yes, my kids love Lunchables.  Mason only eats the pizza ones.  I serve Cooper the turkey and cheddar ones.  I assume he likes them.  And I will say that I only buy the basic ones that do not include a treat.  And if they do have a treat, I have instructed Mason to throw it away.  (It’s Airheads for the pizza one – disgusting!)

But all that is just Jamie’s point.  If we serve the processed crap to them, even for just one day a week, we’re undermining all the effort we put into serving them healthy food all the other days.  It’s an effort I need to keep up every single day, even when it is difficult.

Sadly, I have the Lunchables in the fridge.  Sadly, I cannot afford to just throw them away, nor would I because there are starving people in the world that would appreciate even a processed meal.  And saddest of all is that I still sent the Lunchables to school this morning.  And I served my kids Pop Tarts for breakfast.  So yes, just call me Super Mom.  Maybe some day I’ll live up to the title.  Today was not the day.  This week was not the week.  But I promise I will make every effort I can moving forward (once I run out of Lunchables!)

 

Time Will Continue To Fly April 23, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:16 am

I realized something last night…  As hectic as our evenings are, they are probably the least hectic now than they will be over the next 16 years.

It is a common complaint/issue/frustration of working parents.  We only get about 2 hours at home with the kids each  night.  Granted I do get a couple of extra hours with my reduced schedule, but that time is only with Mason and her friend right now, and I am most likely still working the entire time.  So we get home from picking up Cooper at 6pm.  The kids’ bedtime is about 7:30pm.  That leaves us a quick hour and a half to eat dinner, play, get baths, read stories, etc.  The time flies!  We try hard to focus our attention on the kids, but between making dinner, working out, doing dishes, and just decompressing from the day, it is hard to fully take advantage of every minute.

My advice to mothers going back into the workforce is always to appreciate the time you have.  Do the dishes after they go to bed.  Work out in the morning while they are still sleeping.  Make family dinner a priority so you can all eat together and catch up on the day.  But I don’t always follow my own advice.  I get sucked into the madness and just try to get everything done by 8pm so that I can then sit down and relax before my own bedtime.  But by doing that, I miss out on the quality time with my kids.

Like I said, this is probably the least hectic time we will have before the kids go off to college.  What happens when sports classes get scheduled during the week?  What do we do when we have to squeeze in homework?  What changes if one of us gets a new job that involves a long commute?  (We’re super lucky with the time we do have now since we have only 1-2 mile commutes!)  Our world will get turned upside down once they are in elementary school.  I need to remind myself again and again to appreciate the time we have.   Dishes will have to wait.  My alarm clock will continue to be set for 5:30am to squeeze in my workout.  The hours of 6pm to 7:30pm are sacred.  Time is flying by and will continue to do so.

 

Busy Days April 19, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:59 pm

As we head into spring and summer, our schedules get overbooked very quickly.  Not only are there family get-togethers and birthday parties, but there are playdates, baby showers, girls nights out for me and boys nights out for Jeremy.  Needless to say, we have not spent a lot of “family” time together recently.  We cherish what we do get, but otherwise, Jeremy and I have had to rely on pictures to get a feel for what we’ve been missing. 

Most recently, I went away for a night to help throw Jen her first baby shower in Charlottesville.  I was super excited about it – not only did it mean I got some precious time with my sister (without kids), but I got to participate in a lot of things baby-related.  (I’m loving all this baby prep – especially since it is not for me!)

Laurie, Francine, Jen and I post baby shower! What a great event!

What would a post from me be without a picture of the latest baking creation? These were the almond cupcakes with white chocolate frosting I made for the shower. Pat myself on the back - delicious!

But while I was gone, Jeremy and the kids were having a lot of fun without me.  A trip to the zoo, a birthday party for dear Anna, bagels in Bethesda, playground visits…  Jeremy definitely kept them busy!  He was exhausted by the time I got home, but that didn’t keep him from spending the entire day on Sunday mulching our yard.  (My hero!)  Honestly, I think he was perfectly happy being outside away from the kids after 30 hours straight with them.  What kind of wife would I be if I hadn’t let him do yard work all day? 

Super Cooper! I sure did miss this kid while I was gone - even if only for a night!

And I missed this beautiful girl too.

I missed the bacon and lettuce bagel sandwich that I would have gotten here with them... Oh yeah, and I guess I missed Jeremy too. ha ha ha

 We have a whole week coming up without Jeremy.  I’ll have to take lots of pictures while he’s gone so he can stay current on all of our stuff.  We’ll definitely miss him, but look forward to some true family time coming up when he returns.  Busy days behind.  Busy days ahead.

 

Where Have You Been All My Life? April 12, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:20 pm

How have I gone my whole baking life without a cake turntable?  Seriously.  How did that happen? Why did I never think it was an important enough purchase?  Well, thanks to my sister who apparently knows me better than I know myself, I now have one.  And it is my new favorite thing.  (Jeremy gets excited about a camera, and I get excited about a cake turntable.)

I used it for the first time over Easter weekend, and I was rewarded with a beautifully iced cake.  And thanks to my classes at Cake Love over a year ago, I learned the techniques required to make some very simple yet visually pleasing cakes.  Here is my first attempt chronicled by none other than the new family photographer!

What should have been a 14-layer cake turned into a 5 layer cake thanks to me not picking up all the ingredients at the store. 5 will have to do!

Just look at that turntable! One hand to ice and the other to spin. It's poetry in motion!

If only you could have heard me... I was praising that turntable the entire time!

The finished product. Time to dig in!

The cross section... Not to pat myself on the back, but this cake was delicious!

 

Role Reversal

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:43 am

*Note that this post was written over a week ago, but due to some unfortunate wireless issues at home, I’m just able to post it now.

When Mason was born, Jeremy was a bit camera crazy.  I think we have about 500 pictures just from Mason’s first few days.  But being a first time parent, it is not so abnormal.  When Cooper was born, there were less pictures, but not by much.  The second child syndrome didn’t set in for a few months since we were in heaven just watching moments unfold between brother and sister and enjoying the novelty of baby boys.  Jeremy often had the camera in hand, but after awhile, the camera became a “hassle” to always carry and have on hand.  It was often forgotten.  Hey!  We were busy keeping two young children fed, clean and entertained to think about taking pictures.

But for the past year or so, I’ve been the designated photographer of our family.  I’m sure it started with the creation of my blog.  I knew I would want to post pictures, so I took it upon myself to take the camera with me wherever I went.  That being said, there are few pictures of me over the last year unless I forced Jeremy to take my picture.  I was the one behind the camera…  I didn’t mind so much.  I was recording history.

This past Saturday, that all changed.  Jeremy took back his role of family photographer with a vengeance.  All in thanks to his new best friend, his Canon Rebel EOS XSi.

The DSLR purchase has been weighing on our minds for awhile.  Being an avid blog reader, I have seen all the beautiful pictures that come from bloggers with DSLR’s.  Whether they are food blogs or parenting blogs, the pictures often leave me wondering if I could ever take such great pictures.  Now I can!  (Or Jeremy can, and then I can blog about them!)  It’s a whole new world, and I’m loving it.

Enjoying a day on the farm for Peaster!

More importantly, I’m super excited that Jeremy fell in love with being the photographer as much as he did.  It’s only been a few days, but I can already see his passion for it, his willingness to test different settings and modes and his desire to view the world through a camera lens.

Pippi liked the new camera too.

He is obviously still learning all the ins and outs of photography, but it is very cool to see him enjoy the medium.  And I am enjoying the pictures he is getting of the family.  Definitely keepers.  Here are a few more from our Easter weekend.

Cooper was in love with the orange tractor.

Mason has a career ahead of her in tractor modeling.

Searching high and low for Easter eggs.

With the new camera, we can finally capture Cooper in his element.

Mason loves the camera, and the camera loves her.

Enough pictures for now, but there's lots more where these came from!

 

I Love My Family! April 1, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:23 pm

I am so thankful that my sister and her husband live only 2 short hours away.  Yes, I would love to live closer, and yes, I realize that they will most likely move farther away in a couple of years, but I’ll appreciate what I have for now.  I love my sister and love hanging out.  And now she is expecting her first child, and I couldn’t be more excited!  I get to be an aunt!  My kids get to have a real true cousin (they have several second cousins or cousins once removed or whatever you want to call them!)  I can’t wait to meet and hold Baby Lightning.  I can’t wait to watch Mason and Cooper interact with him and see them grow up together.  What a blessing!

We enjoyed a trip down to Charlottesville to see Jen and Scott last weekend… one of the few remaining weekends pre-Baby Lightning.  (Baby Lightning is a shortened version of Mason and Cooper’s ideas for baby names – Lightning Elmo Troy Pease – an homage to all their favorite characters!)  There was much fun to be had!  Meema joined us, and we had a wonderful family weekend.

After a Bodo's breakfast and a detour to replace a flat tire on our car, we enjoyed a UVA/JHU lacrosse game. Mason loved it... Cooper enjoyed watching baseball players warm-up instead.

Baby bumps - thankfully only one of them is real!

Mason loves the swings at Jen and Scott's house. She could stay out there for hours (and has!) On this recent trip, she started doing swing tricks. She can actually change from one swing to the other while swinging! Quite impressive!

After all the fun on Saturday, of course we had to end the day making pizza with Scott.  No trip to Charlottesville is complete until we make pizza with Scott.  (Although, we might need to take the pressure off this tradition when Baby Lightning comes.  Thankfully a new pizza joint is opening up down the street.  We’ll have to give Scott a night off next time and try it out!)  I don’t have any pictures of the pizza making because honestly, we already have dozens of pizza making pictures.  Like I said, it’s tradition!  Just imagine Mason carefully listening to Scott and expertly kneading the dough, spreading the sauce with her fingers and spreading out the cheese.  And then imagine Cooper pounding the dough, spreading the sauce all over the crust and onto the tray and the counter, and then dumping cheese in one place on the pizza.  Did you imagine that?  Then you know what it was like.  Although you probably can’t taste the delicious pizza, and for that, I feel sorry for you.  It was awesome as usual.  Thanks Scott!  (Actually thanks to Jen for a delicious dough!)

We sadly had to say goodbye on Sunday morning.  But it isn’t goodbye for long.  We get to see them again this weekend for Easter, and then again next weekend for Jen’s first baby shower.  The springtime fun is beginning.  And come June, we will have much to celebrate as we welcome my first nephew into this world.  I love my growing family!

Belly bumpin' - it's all the rage these days.