Friday, April 20, 2012

I have discovered that if you don't have time to go for a walk or a drive in the country or something like that, a great way to just chill and think about things, even if it's for 5 minutes, is to soak in the tub.  I can get a little philosophical, you might say, about things at times.

Today, I was thinking about motherhood, college, and careers.

I am not now, nor have I ever been much of a career-oriented person, driven to get to the top of the company as fast as I can to make as much money as I can.  If that is your goal in life, fine, but it's not mine (afterall, I'm talking about me right now).  I have always just been perfectly satisfied with doing any job that I am able to do (and doing it well) and enjoy doing that job.

When I was in Kindergartern and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I probably gave the interviewer a few things (mommy, auther, veterinarian, teacher, etc.).  When I was asked the same question in middle school, I think I said day care provider and/or teacher.  My senior year of high school, I said Preschool teacher, and I set out to do so.  As the end of my education at a community college drew near, I toyed with various ideas (4-H, desktop publishing, photgrapher, etc.) because I decided I didn't want to be a teacher, and I decided to switch to Agricultural Education to persue a career with 4-H by working at an extension office; I still wasn't quite sure about that either though.

The summer between community college (my only year of college that I didn't have summer classes) and the university, I toyed with the idea of not continuing my college education.  I recall my oldest sister telling me that if I didn't continue with my education, I would have to find a job somewhere and move out of my parent's house because I would be a working adult and couldn't live with Mom and Dad forever.  She also told me not to stress about pursuing a career in whatever field I chose because lots of people get college degrees for things they never use (ex: I know a carpenter with a degree in Literature).  This wise  grasshopper (sister) also told me that pretty much all you get out of college is how to think because most of what you need to know for your career is taught on the job.  To this day, I still think about what my sister told me; when I get to thinking about how I think the money I spent on college was a huge waste, I remind myself that I learned how to think for myself (expenisve thing to learn, huh?).  I did have some college instructors that didn't like when I questioned/challenged what I had to say, but I could see others look at me with a smirk on their face because they were happy about it.  I have learned though that sometimes in life you just gotta tell people what they want to hear and move on, rather than stir up a big mess just because they don't want to hear the truth; in those kinds of situations though I just try very hard to keep my mouth shut, or I just end up telling them what they don't want to hear (the truth).

Going back to what I was saying... I really wasn't sure what I wanted to do for a career.  The reason?  All I've ever really wanted to do is be a mommy.  You can't tell people as a high school senior that.  When your little and say that, people think it's cute, but if you're an adult (or getting there), they just think you're crazy or something if you say that.

Why is that?

Women having a career really is a relatively new idea.  My grandma and her mom (and her mom's mom, etc.) didn't even really have the option of being a career woman, not if they were going be a mother anyways.  Now that women have the option, if you don't know what you want to do for the rest of your life you are considered a slacker by some, and if you say you just want to be a mom, it's considered realistic.  That's just nonsense because there is room for both!  Girls, it is okay if you just want to be a mommy.  It's okay if you want to "break the mold."  That's one great thing about this country today... women have the option to work (if they want) and to be a mom (if they want).

Take me for example... My first job is as a mom and wife, my second job is whatever career I have chosen.  Currently I work part-time as a secretary.  I love being a mommy and wife!  I also really like the job I have.  I enjoy the work that I do for a living, and best of all, I currently have been blessed with the flexibility to bring YY to work with me.  (I'm lucky because so many don't have that option)  Afterall, YY is the responsibility of M and me so we should be the ones raising him and making all the decisions about how he should be brought up, not daycare.  Lets face it, by sending my child to daycare I get that person in charge (or persons) the power to make decisions about how to raise my own child.

Some examples: You may prefer to read books with your child, over watching TV, but if your daycare finds it easier to let children watch TV, your child learns to watch TV rather than read.  You may resort to a swat on the butt when a child is behaving outragiously, but daycare might just try "talking" to the child (i.e. lots of warnings but no action) repeatedly when they are behaving in a way that they shouldn't over and over.  Personally, I think imagination is one of the best things a child can develop, and parents should do everything possible to encourage it.  That is why I'd much rather give YY a pan and spoon to play with (when he's bigger) over a bunch of toys, despite how "great" they are.  (Not to mention we don't have the space for a bunch of toys)  How many toys do you have in your house right now that your child doesn't play with because they prefer to play with the empty shoe box?  I've heard my sisters talk about this a lot reguarding their own child.

Anyways, there is plenty of room for education, career, and motherhood without it effecting the most important role, motherhood.  I am fortunate to have the best of both worlds... I get to be with my baby every day and make money at the same doing something that I enjoy.   

Lets face it, YY's good looks doesn't hurt any.  Everybody wants to hold him and squeeze him and talk to him, and the little old ladies (and men) that come into work every day can't get enough of him!

Ladies... In a nutshell, don't be ashamed if all you want to be "when you grow up" is a mommy.  :)  Afterall, I truly believe the best years of one's life is when they marry; most start a family (not all), but the best part of it, whether you have children or not, is sharing your life with someone that you love.

Easter in Review

This was YY's very first Easter.  I remembered to use the video camera, but somehow I forgot to use the camera.  :)

On the days leading up to Easter, I read a book to the little man, called "The First Easter."  I liked it.  It was simple, easy to read (other than a few names I couldn't pronounce), and had pictures to go along with it, so as YY gets bigger he should be able to follow it easier.

The Easter bunny came.  YY got a basket with a couple onesies (Sesame Street and Curious George), bubbles (perfect for this summer), lotion, and some yummies for when he gets bigger.

We started the morning by checking out what that good 'ol rabbit brought for YY; you could see how thrilled he was in his face.  His look was, "You nuts woke me up for this?!"  As soon as we finished that, we hopped in the vehicle, and headed to church (started at 6:30 AM). 

After eating a hardy breakfast at church, we spent the rest of the beautiful day with family.  While the kids weren't paying attention, I hid the eggs outside.  By the time I got done hiding them, the monkeys were eagerly waiting at the door with their grocery sacks.  My sibli ng kept the kids corraled at the door while I got a new diaper and doggy coat on the lil man.  Long story short, everyone our way had an enjoyable day.  We celebrated the resurrection and love of our Lord and the beautiful day bestowed upon us.

I decided to upload some Easter goodies.  I helped my mom make her deviled eggs (best in the world).  We tried to make some of them take on a crackled egg shell effect, but since it didn't work we just made them all solid colors (peel, mix food coloring into cold water, let the eggs sit in the colored water until they are the tint that you want.

Peanut butter cookie, Oreo, Brownie

Moutain Dew cake with Mountain Dew buttercream frosting (next time I'm using my own recipe rather than the one I found on Pinterest, frosting was okay but cake was dense)

Is it a pizza or is it a casserole?

 The answer is... it's both!

Again, thanks to Pinterest I found another yummy recipe to try (Pizza Casserole).  It's so easy to make.

Simply cook your egg noodles (or the noodles of your choice), and layer the noodles with pizza sauce (always 1st layer), cheese, meat, and all your other goodies.

I'm a picky eater, as mentioned before, so rather than making one big one I made two smaller ones.

A's pizza casserole: noodles, sauce, LOTS of cheese (the most important food group, that's right I consider cheese a food group all on it's own because it's so yummy), and 1/4 pound (or so) of cooked sausage that I had in the freezer, leftover from some other time.

M's pizza casserole (the yucky one): noodles, sauce, pepperoni, cheese, bell peppers, cheyenne peppers, and mushrooms (I forgot the onions).

I think I baked them at 350 or so for 30-34 minutes or so (you'll figure it out).  M loved it so much that he ate all of his leftover casserole and mine.  He claims that he "accidentally" ate my leftovers because he thought it was his.  Yeah, right.  He lies!  :)

Before cheese

Before putting in the oven

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Outdoor Adventures

I don't know about the weather where you're at, but here, in the midwest, it has been oddly BEA-UT-I-FUL for March and early April!  When I went to bed last night, it was 79 degree ferenheit in our house.  Today, it was around 67 degrees outside.  We have been fishing in the farm ponds, mowed the yard twice, gone on walks, taken the dog for rides in the back of the pick up, and laid out where I am going to put a flower bed. 

A couple weeks ago we caught nearly 20 fish, only two were blue gills, and the rest were largemouth bass.  I caught 5 (blue gills and bass), and M caught the rest.  I'm doing great if I catch one fish, so it made my day when I caught 5 of them!  When I fish with other people and just so happen to catch a fish, I usual ly wind up catching the biggest fish.  Well, this time I caugh the biggest one, a 19 inchers; we don't have a scale to weigh it.

M was going to keep a few fish and put the rest in another pond to stalk it, but unfortunately, by the time we got there though they were all dead.  Therefore, the ones that we didn't release immediately after catching them were cleaned and froze for a fish fry at a later date.  (Yuck, I hate eating fish)

I love going fishing!  Farm ponds are the best place to go because they are much more peaceful.  The blue sky (or stars), the shining sun, the chirping frogs, but best of all the peace and quiet.  If you need time and/or a place to think, that is the best place to go and best place to do.  I find it easier to go out in the middle of nowhere, away from all the people to talk to God, especially when something is bothering me.  I guess you could say that it helps clear my head.

My 19 incher!

Cinnamon Rolls + Waffles

= Cinnamon Bun Waffles!

I used this Cinnamon Bun Pancake recipe to make for M and I the other morning.  I must say that they were mighty tasty!  I of course had to tweek a little.
Use the following dry ingredients and mix:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

To the dry ingredients add the following and mix:
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Next, you can cook!  Among the pile of dirty dishes in my kitchen that morning was my skillet.  Well, I just didn't have the time to do dishes.  I decided at the last minute to make these and M would be up soon, so I went with waffles; it was a nice little change anyways.

For the syrup mix the following with a wisk:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons milk

I thought the taste was rather bland, so I added some vanilla; I don't know how much because I always just dump in the vanilla (I LOVE vanilla).  With the syrup, you will of course want it runny so that you can just pour it over the top of your waffles/pancakes.  If it's too runny, add more sugar, and if it's not runny enough, add more milk.
This made four waffles.  Note from husband: one waffle is plenty for one person to eat.