My kid has a lot of toys. So. Many. Toys.
She also has the attention span of, well, a 12-month-old, so she plays with them all about 40x a day. Hopping from one area to the next. Flexing all of her play muscles.
1) Remove stackable donuts from the base and throw them around.
2) Show those beads where to go on the bead maze atop the activity cube.
3) Hand mama a book to read.
4) Knock down the amazing towers and rocket-ships mama builds with my blocks.
5) Un-stack all of the stackable cups cuz it is so easy!
6) Hand mama a book to read.
7) Go on a walk-about with alligator chompy-walker.
8) Remove and throw animals in the safari puzzle.
7) Hand mama a book to read.
8) Snatch the book back and read it upside down while mama tidies up.
9) Start all over again.
Today felt like fall, so I abandoned my child in the wild (turned TV on and provided her with a snack) while I prepped our first fall stew.
I got the recipe from a slow cooker cookbook I found at a half-price bookstore. And in a rare turn of events, I followed the recipe (aside from adding barley, wine, and seasoning near the end of the cook time because the stew had no flavor whatsoever).
How to make flavorless beef stew in your slow cooker:
Step One: Put child in highchair and provide him/her/it with apples and graham crackers. Doling out two ultra-treats in one snack may help you handle your guilt while simultaneously handling bloody meat chunks. Turn on TV and change channel from ESPN to child-appropriate programming.
Step Two: Layer bottom of slow cooker with potatoes and carrots. Gorgeous!
Step Three: Flour bloody stew meat (that butcher already cut and trimmed) and brown it.
Step Four: Add browned meat to slow cooker. Free child from high chair after she is sufficiently snacked and TV’ed out.
Step Five: Chop up onion and celery and mix up with meat, being careful not to disturb the carrots and potatoes below. “Tuck in” parsley and bay leaf…and sing them a lullaby.
Step Six: Pour about 2 cups of “seasoned” beef broth over the sexy meat and veggie medley. Set the slow cooker on High for 5 hours (because you decided to change the order of this week’s meal-plan at 10:00 AM this morning, leaving no time for a proper 9-hour slow-cook at the Low temp setting).
Step Seven: Leave frozen peas out to thaw and place the package of instant barley (that you accidentally bought at Trader Joe’s that one time) next to slow cooker so you remember to add them in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Step Eight: Serve with with whatever you’d like… bread, rice, buttered egg noodles, and/or a bottle of red wine. Dig in!
Have you started cooking any fall treats?
I just quit my job. The job I would mention when people asked me if I did anything outside of the home. I was only working for 20-minutes to 1-hour/day, from the comfort of my home, but I enjoyed being able to tell people that I was more than “just a mom.” But, as we all know, there is a difference between enjoying the idea of a job and enjoying the day-to-day reality of a job.
For every good week I had at my super-part-time-job, I was left with a disorganized mess of a home and felt disconnected from Jay. For every good week I had keeping up with the house and Jay, I barely got an hour/week in at my yeah-I’m-not-just-a-mom-beard-job. My time sheet was all peaks and deserts.
I expected that I would find my balance between work and mom-stuff, but that didn’t happen. When I first began, my daughter wasn’t yet taking naps in her crib. So I worked from my phone while Jay took naps on top of me or cuddled beside me. That was heaven — the cuddling part!
A month and a half ago Jay started napping in her crib and I thought that everything would be different! I’d work during naps and clean while she played by herself (or enjoyed some screen time–awful but true!). But it was around that time that she became a very social and interactive player. It wasn’t enough that I was in the same room or the TV was talking to her, she wanted to share toys with me, have babble conversations, and pick out books for me to read to her — I had been waiting for this! This is what I’m good at! But instead, I found myself spending her playtime cleaning up and prepping meals instead of interacting. Neither of us liked this deal.
My understanding employer did not mind my erratic attention to my work-duties, but I found it annoying and unfulfilling both as a mom and a worker-bee. So I had to fire myself. My employer was very understanding about that too.
So it is done. My beard-job is gone. Nothing like getting an enjoyable work-from-home-job with a great hourly rate, ridiculously flexible schedule, and understanding employer to make you realize that you want to be “just a mom” right now.
Post publishing addendum: So yeah, not at all about THAT kind of beard job! Haha! Sorry!
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that a simple request for a gift suggestion brought you to tears? Yeah, me neither. Because that is a ridiculous response to a normal query and I would be prepared for a question like that a week before my daughter turns 1 years-old.
But! Had I ever had a day wherein I learned that someone compiled a gorgeous list of 40 must-have books for writers, realized I only had one of them, and spiraled into a whatever the opposite of a pep-talk is (a real writer would know), I would need something to snap me out of it.
Stressed out because there are way too many toy options out there? Panicking because lists make you feel like an insignificant wannabe? You don’t need a benzodiazepine. Just don’t panic:
Shout out to my pal, Ray, for introducing me to Dad’s Army.