Quick and Easy Pool-Side Recipes

Jul 31, 2014 by

In my family, summer is synonymous with swimming.  We spend hours at the pool and beach (sidenote: now that my kids are old enough to swim independently, this is aahhhmazing. I finally feel like *I* have a summer again.)  And while sunshine, water, and tons of exercise makes great family memories…it also makes for starving children!  The last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen when the fun awaits, so I’ve come up with a few go-tos which work well just for the family, or for doubling to bring along to a pool party.

1. Tomato and Basil Orzo Salad

Instead of the parmesan cheese, I throw in cubes of fresh mozzarella.  If I’m looking to make it a meal, I’ll add chopped cold grilled chicken breast. Yumm!! Sometimes I also get fancy with the multi-color tomatoes. Easy, delicious – this recipe just screams “summer” to me!

Top 5 Ways to Drive a Working Mom Crazy

Jul 24, 2014 by

Perhaps that title should read “crazier” because “crazy” is already the defining characteristic of my life.  Wait, I know…top 5 ways to send a working mom OVER THE EDGE.

1. Notes home

Got a note home from camp about my son not having a napkin in his lunch today. Seriously. A napkin. For my 8-year-old son who is completely capable of walking himself to the bathroom for a paper towel should the need arise.  I couldn’t even wrap my brain around that level of insanity.  My kid had food, shoes, and had showered within the past week. You should be sending me home a gold f-ing star not a note about a napkin.

I can’t even.

2. Sick kids

Slowing Carving out a Space for Me

Jul 17, 2014 by

I love being a mom more than anything else in the world.  Being the center of my family, a steadfast need-filler, has finally closed the loop and answered the question, “Who am I?”  However, while parenting has brought me a great sense of purpose and identity, I feel like I’m occasionally teeter-tottering on the edge of being swallowed whole.  Being a mom can be so all-consuming that I’ve found it easy to get lost in it.  After 4 years of parenting my trio, I started to see pieces of myself slipping away.  While so much of my identity is now built on them, I didn’t want to lose all of who I was before they came on the scene.

Teaching Children About Poverty

Jul 10, 2014 by

A friend of mine recently published an article in the Washington Post (This is what happened ...) about her experience using food stamps via the WIC program.  Her decent into poverty was a swift one, and the image so vividly painted in the article is of her arriving to pick up WIC checks in a Mercedes.  Her story has elicited a highly-charged response full of both criticism and praise but, at the core, it is a call for non-judgment.  A reminder of how any one of us could have found ourselves in those shoes – and being poor does not come with an open invitation to criticize.  You don’t know until you take the time to get to know.

The heart of her message is this:

A Roller Coaster of Emotions

Jul 3, 2014 by

Have you ever thought about how many emotions you experience in any given day as a mom?  A true emotional roller coaster! It’s no wonder that my sanity is barely hanging on by a thread after 5 years of this daily game of feelings gymnastics. Take today for example…

This morning was supposed to be my “get up and go” day.  My spouse and I each have one of these a week. They are awesome! On these days I’m not responsible for getting any of the kids ready or shuttling to school/camp/wherever.  I wake up joyfully singing of freedom!

The emotions turn when I notice that my spouse underestimated the time needed to get the kids ready and the babysitter is picking them up early (ie: in 15 minutes) and they are not even dressed! Joy becomes annoyance and anger.  With much frustration, I give up the spare time I would have had for a stop at Starbucks and whip whiny kids into shape with a flurry of hair brushes, toothpaste, Crocs and scrambled eggs.

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