Thursday, October 31, 2013

i stink

I'm going to be brutally honest here. I am running around like a mad woman most days and I can sweat with the best of them. And my word. I can stink up the place. Honest and humble there for y'all. It's awful. I have tried everything. The normal name brands, gel and solid. And I was trying for a natural kind, and tried the natural brands and they certainly did not work. So I thought I'd give it a whirl to make my own. And let me tell you, it is ah-mazing. I didn't come up with the recipe myself. I found it HERE. It is so easy and it will last you a long time. You don't need a lot of it for it to work well! And it only requires three ingredients!! The Hubs even gives his approval!

Three ingredients. Super easy to make. Not very costly. I had the baking soda and coconut oil laying around the house and all I needed to buy was the arrowroot powder.

You just stir it all together. It kind of becomes a paste. And keep it in a tight jar to stay fresh.

You don't need much at all!

Try it! I am confident you will like it!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

the nanny milk project

One month ago today, we began a journey switching the boys to goat's milk, rather than cow's. Since then, we have gone back and forth to test reactions with different types of yogurt and milk. Today we realized that goat's milk is here to stay for a while. The boys love yogurt so much, but since they can't have the normal kind, my sweet mother-in-law has been sitting with me this evening, researching exactly what to do to make my own. We found a site that is a wealth of knowledge! It makes me want to make lots of things myself! In my spare time, of course!

So, the boys will be off yogurt for a few days until my order comes in and I get my first batch going! I am pretty excited because the type of yogurt I chose doesn't need a machine, heated milk, or anything fancy! I ordered a few glass jars to store the yogurt in, but other than that and the starter, this will be an easy peasy adjustment that I am excited to start!

It will be a basic viili style and I can flavor it myself with fruit, vanilla, maple syrup... anything! Fingers crossed that the boys like it just as much as I am excited about it! I love making things homemade with the highest nutrition level (especially for the boys), but it is the beginning of a whole different journey that I am just beginning. I still go out to eat, drink sweet tea, eat gold fish, and have my nightly glass of chocolate milk, but I am starting in little ways and doing my best as I go. It's an adjustment that I am not ready to jump right into. Plus it is hard on the wallet, unless you do the right research and adjust your budget to fit this and reevaluate your needs in food. 

I'll definitely pop back in to tell you how it goes once I make my first batch!

Oh, and nanny milk is what we now call the goat milk. FYI.

Here's our nanny milk, though we buy the powdered kind now to help ease the pain of the cost.

My family in Massachusetts gave us pure maple syrup from their trees and the boys have been devouring it in their yogurt lately. Their cow's milk yogurt that caused tummy explosions for the poor guys. But the syrup will continue in the new yogurt for sure.

Their favorite combo has been mashed bananas with maple syrup mixed into the yogurt. They seem to think it is a little bit of heaven!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

homemade bread

Homemade bread is one of my very favorite things. Fresh and warm out of the oven with some butter spread on it. Oh yum. I wanted something tasty and quick. Some bread takes a long time with all the rising that needs to happen. I can't knead bread right now with the issue with my wrist so I needed something that could be done in the mixer. And this was easy and done all in my Kitchen Aid! Once it was mixed and kneaded, I let it rise in a bowl and then shaped them into two baguettes and made diagonal slices through them. Then let them rise again and put a little egg wash over them and popped it into the oven for 30 minutes! So easy and so yummy! 

A few tips: I use these baguette pans to bake them on. This is how I shape my bread. And here is the recipe, though I changed the type of oil from vegetable to olive.

2 cups of warm water
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
5-5 1/2 cups of bread flour


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water, in a large bowl. Allow the yeast to proof (foam) for about 10 minutes.

Add salt, oil, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat that for about 2 minutes, until it comes together nicely.

Stir in the other two cups of flour to make a stiff dough. This is where you may need to add a little more flour or a little more water. You have to play around with it.

Knead it until smooth and elastic for about 10 minutes.

Place the finished dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough to cover the sides with the oil. Then cover it and let it rise until it has doubled in size.

Once it is doubled in size, punch it down and divide into two loaves (or however many you are making, depending on the size you want).

I did not grease the pan or sprinkle with cornmeal. I just used that baguette pan. But if you use a cookie sheet, then grease the pan.

Once the loaves are on the pan, cut diagonal slices on top of the loaf. You can use a knife or scissors, but don't push the shaped loaf down too hard.

Cover and let rise again until it has enlarged to the right size.

Before putting in the oven, brush an egg wash over the loaves to get a nice colored crunchy crust.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.


Friday, October 18, 2013

oh, reality.

One of my weird guilty pleasures is checking Suri's Burn Book on tumblr. One celeb mom that always makes me chuckle (possibly in a sarcastic way), is Gisele Bundchen. This is what her laid back day looks like... Perfect posture, view overlooking the city, and calm baby by her side. 

And here she is with her little boy picking apples or doing something with them. Looks like it should be a magazine picture, not just an instagram shot.

And Meranda Kerr and her son... Really? Is this your every day? 

Here's my reality. Hair not done, no makeup, crying babies that don't want to sit down or have their picture taken. Yep. Pretty much just like Gisele and Miranda. ha. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

what's your excuse?

I saw this picture online yesterday and then heard about it on the news this morning. Apparently there are mixed reviews about this. Her original post online doesn't sound so bad, but I thought I'd give you my take on it. First of all, her "job" is a physical trainer. That picture with her three young sons is a bit deceiving to me. She doesn't spend all day long cooking, cleaning, and caring for those three little boys. She's not a stay-at-home mom. And when she goes to work, she's working out. When I go to work, during those hours she is at a gym, I am scrubbing floors, doing laundry, cooking for the boys, paying bills, etc. I think we should all make time to take care of ourselves during the day, even us stay-at-home moms. By doing a 30 minute DVD during nap time or going for a quick run, you can't expect to necessarily look like this as a stay-at-home mom. She devotes a lot of time exercising in her day to get this result. Sure, if I had someone watch my little men for a full day and spent that time exercising, then posed for a picture with them in front of me while wearing a skimpy outfit, I could give the impression that I take care of them and work out enough to look like this. I think her tips on the link above are helpful, but I don't like how this picture deceives you. I think it's really hard for us Mommas that are home, giving our all to our families, and only wishing we had enough time do even do something for 5 minutes for ourselves, to see this. At least, for me it is. My Momma body will never look like this picture above again. I won't have time to devote to myself until all my kiddos are out and about on their own. And in the mean time, I can try my best to eat healthy and get exercise in as well as it fits in our unpredictable schedule. I can't even set my alarm to wake up before the boys, like she suggests, because they aren't fully consistent in their wake up time. And I need my sleep. If I had to set my alarm with enough time to wake up, exercise and shower before they do, I'd be up at 4. And y'all, that is not going to happen. My time for exercising will happen during nap time... when they are successful, which lately, is not occurring. For all you Mommas who are able to get out and exercise and still take care of your family, that is amazing. And for all you Mommas that are like me, do your best and do take care of yourself. But don't make yourself crazy thinking you have to look like this mom in the picture. We are all at different stages in our lives and some of your excuses, really might be valid. I know some of mine are.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

sometimes this job requires a heck of a lot of patience

I'm going to be honest here, sometimes being a mom is really hard and requires a heck of a lot of patience. Far more patience than I have. Far more. Let's face it. It may be so glorious, but it is hard. It starts out hard, even before they arrive. Morning all day sickness. See what I mean? That hit me real early on. How about sleepless nights? Forget about sleeping in! ha. That's a total joke. The time you use to replenish your energy is now gone. Gone. Moms can't be selfish. It is not in the cards. It is not in the mom book of vocabulary. Though sometimes I some how let it slip in (okay, I just typed sleep in there. I really must be tired.) I'm sadly guilty of it. When I don't sleep well at night and then the boys have me up sometimes hour before sunrise, and we go, go, go, all day long, it is hard. It is hard not to wish for sleep. It is hard not to want a break. There is no slip up room. You can't just say, "Hey, handg on a sec while I finish my hot mug of coffee." (that you end up drinking cold 3 hours later... if you are lucky.) Or, how about that warm meal you just dished yourself, after preparing it even while you are simply exhausted and want to do nothing more than open a bag of chips because you are too tired to even heat a can of soup... Yeah, those turn into cold dishes too. You can't say give me 45 minutes while I go for a jog/run. Your time is not your own anymore. Everyone around you is allowed to focus on themselves, but not you. A Mom's job is never ever done. And sometimes, along with being overly tired, I let this get to me, and that is where the selfish desires come in. And, sometimes it makes me cranky. I have learned in the past not to pray for too much extra patience because God will happily send reasons to be patient my way. Between napping at different times, waking up at different times, insisting to drive their little carts through spaces not intended for traffic, chasing Jimmy, intersecting with each other and their cars/trucks so neither boy can move and just listening to them stand there and scream. The list goes on. 

I have heard and read so many blogs and facebook posts that are so cheery towards motherhood, that they make it seem like it is such a piece of cake, an easy job, and always so very pleasant. And while I applaud them for having the grace and patience to feel that way, or heck, even fake it so the world doesn't see inside, I thought I'd spill my heart and let you know that if you do feel the way I do on some days, it is okay. You know why? Because being a mom is the hardest job there is. And then you add being a wife to it, and your husband is a whole different entity in and of itself to make sure you care for and love on! And if you are a stay-at-home mom and housewife, it is even harder, because you really never get a break. It is okay to feel this way, as long as you do your best to not take it out on those you love, which I am known to be guilty of. I have my rule of not letting them see my crankiness when I get to their door in the morning, even though all I want to do is sleep. And I try to always speak pleasantly to them, but just ask the hubs, everyone gets a dose of me sometimes. And I am working hard at it. I wish I was always seeing the glass half full, seeing the sunny side, very patient and kind at all times, but the honest truth is being a mom gets the best of me sometimes. I truly give it my all, to being a wife and mom, but sometimes it's not good enough and I have to see my faults, where I've messed up and work at it even harder from there. 

Now, before I finish up, being a housewife and stay-at-home mom is also the greatest joy and gift I could have been given. So many people close to me either have to or feel they have to go to work and I am blessed that we have made it work (though giving up a lot at times) that I can be home all the time with these bundles of joy, energy, and love. This is a truly glorious job that is being a wife and mom is. My two bundles of beautiful, but endless energy make every tiring second worth it! Truly. But I still wouldn't mind a break or two at times (hint, hint, little men!) or even a nap! 

So for those of you sweet Mommas out there that have all the patience and grace I could only dream of, thank you for being an example and please share your tips! And those of you, equally as sweet Mommas, who do feel worn out sometimes and feel like you have cloudy days in the sky of your life, keep going on, because you are truly a wonderful Momma! Even in your tiring days, you keep going and that is very admirable! 

Here are two posts you can check out too! You might get some Momma inspiration like I did! Thanks Steph for these tidbits you shared! 

hello, new york!

Growing up on Long Island, I always had a special pocket in my heart for the great city of New York. I am not the best person to get around the city alone, so I end up like a tourist most visits. When Gus and I were up in the northeast for our Summer visit, we spent part of the time in New York visiting my family and my best friend. We met up with my godmother and one of my cousins and walked around the Battery Park area. I had driven through the area, but never spent time walking around. I have to tell you, it's beautiful. It is the perfect mix for my liking! Greenery and tress and concrete. Perfection. There were families walking through the little parks, young boys playing football on a field in the middle of the city. I loved it. We had such an enjoyable day together. My cousin knows a heck of a lot more about the things to do in the city than I do. So does the hubs and my aunt. They have all the cute little spots. One of my cousins was lucky enough to call this area home for a few years up until recently. How fun is that? So, once we arrived, we met up and headed to meet up at the Shake Shack for lunch and then walk the city. After my aunt and cousin headed out to make a visit to my grandfather in the hospital, Gus, the little men and I headed to see the progress at the site of the World Trade Center area and then walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. There were a few other sites I wanted to take the boys to, but it was getting to late and a bit dark. Next time. The boys loved people watching, looking at all the tall buildings, and lights. I can't wait for future trips to the city with the boys as they grow up.

Look at this lady's office. Pretty nice desk space if you ask me!

This boat was beautiful and so sleek. The pictures don't do it justice.

This is one special and incredibly handsome kid! He's just naturally this cool. If I had a candid photo taken of me, I'd probably be slumped over with my hair in my face... or something embarrassing.

The hubs and I love visits to NYC!

Family photo!

I truly love spending such precious time with family when we go back to the northeast. It is becoming more and more special as the boys grow bonds with the family I grew up in. I love watching their little relationships form!

The handsome hubs was soaking up every bit of the city skyline before we headed back down south, to a more countrified atmosphere. He is a real city boy and I am lucky he loves me enough to make the south his home!

Taking the boys to such a historic site was a really different experience for me. The rest of the city is fun to look at, but here they are, in this area that has so much sadness, so many memories, so many stories, and so much history, none of which they are aware of. They will never know this place like I did, only with two massive holes in the ground now as a memorial to so many lost lives.

This is such a beautiful memorial and it is almost just too much to take in at once. Part of me wanted to smile at it's beauty, yet there was such sadness as I pushed the boys along the walls with thousands of names listed. Each person whose name is on the memorial left behind memories and loved ones, with a life so horrifically taken from them. I prayed for them as I walked by, wishing I could touch each name and pray for each soul and each family individually. I would still be there, but I know God heard the prayers. September 11th was such a devastating day in our country, in our world, both personally and as a whole. Most of us will probably never forget exactly where we were and what we were doing when this happened.

They put a white rose on the person's name when it was their birthday. Happy Birthday, Edward Saiya.

My aunt and cousin brought the boys birthday balloons and we lost one over the Brooklyn Bridge.