My Noticer

My Noticer
There's always time to stop & smell the roses!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What does a stay at home mom do all day....

Wars have been started around the question; "What does a stay at home mom do all day"?
Of course it depends on the context and tone of person asking said question. And, WHO is asking the question can have a lot to do with the response you might get as well.

The short answer is; A LOT

But I have to wonder what the "right" answer is....Like, in the minds of the people asking what exactly are they looking for. I want to ask; "What do you think we do all day" OR  "What items on your checklist would I need to complete to cause you to view me as worthy and successful"

If that checklist includes the following then I'm golden:
-wearing pajamas or leggings all day
-making culinary delights such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
-watching Octonauts for the thousandth time
-coloring
-using imagination to create elaborate story lines for plastic dinosaurs
-engaging in a nerf gun war
-going to the bathroom with an audience
-getting a gym membership strictly for the one hour of child care
-cleaning the entire house to have it undone in five minutes
-snuggling on the couch
-taking a nap when my child does because that is genius
-catching up on Netflix when child is napping to keep sanity
-doing laundry for the umpteenth time
-ingesting copious amounts of coffee
-teaching ABC's and 123's

Get it...these are all the cliché things moms do. I know, I am so original! Of course the list goes on and on and I can list all the sweet mushy things too like: raising a human being, instilling patience and virtue, inspiring my child to discover his inner self... At the end of the day we stay at home moms do what ALL moms do. We take care of our children. And that looks different every day. Some days a lot gets accomplished and some days are lazier. One is not better than the other; just different.
The end result is the same. Our children feel safe and loved and are clothed and fed.
NOTE: some days he is in jammies all day, just sayin. And you should know that some days I am a gourmet in the kitchen and I pull off a healthy and delicious meal, and other days its goldfish and pizza. I have no shame about this.   

The point is; we provide and nurture in more ways that a silly list can capture. Moms shouldn't have to justify our days away to ourselves or others.

I am learning to embrace this truth. After working outside the home for the last two years I sometimes cringe when people ask what I do...Like I am afraid of what they will think. Its not fair for SAHM moms to vilify working moms while making themselves out to be martyrs, and likewise it's not fair for working moms to insinuate that SAHM are lazy or less important while they are out "doing it all". We all make choices based on necessity and what is best for our families, we need to own it and stop comparing. We need to stop being envious of what the other has and be grateful for our own individual situations. Sometimes I think it is our own self doubt and guilt, and sometimes even jealousy that causes us to be haters.  A brilliant woman named Amy Poehler recently wrote a book called Yes Please 
She wrote about women on women crime and it was right on. Here is a little excerpt and a lesson we can all take to heart!

1. Good for her, not for me

“That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again,” writes Poehler. This applies to anything from the debate on birth plan to breastfeeding and staying home versus going to work. “We torture ourselves and we torture each other [over the different choices we make], and all if it leads to a lot of women-on-women crime.” So next time you find yourself “struck over the head by someone else’s crap”, try taking a breath and remember: “Good for her, not for me”. 
Lets put a stop to Women on Women Crime!
Click here for other life lessons from Amy

How sad is it that mom's on either end of the spectrum feel they have to defend their choices. Comparisons are dangerous, they do nothing but divide and separate. They make us hyper aware of our differences instead of the ways we are the same. It's not healthy and there have been all kinds of posts and articles about competition among women and mothers especially. I don't think I have any other astonishing revelations that haven't been discussed to death, so, in the spirit of owning my occupation with no shame or justification needed the highlight of my day today was building and creating the most awesome lego ship/boat ever. The smile on my 3.5 year old's face was all the proof I need that I did a job well done today.

Tomorrow maybe the highlight of my day will be teaching quantum physics to my son!

Go on someone, say something! Please, someone tell me the window idea opening out of the floor was pure genius!


Okay, because I am so proud I even took pictures at different angles. Thats how excited I am that I built this! Also, when Landon's 5 year old friend came over to play I victoriously showed him what I made. I know...I am a sad, sad nerd. But no adult is going to grasp the excellence of this so I have to rely on children to match my level of excitement. It actually gets worse....I couldn't wait for my husband to get home b/c he is normally the lego master but I was afraid the kids would break it so when they were distracted I took it to keep it safe. I may actually glue this together and enter a lego building contest (just kidding).

Side shot

Yes, that is a gun on the front, there is even a space for the shooter to sit

Look at that prop! The artistry is too much!


Okay, sorry. I got a little carried away. Tell me the highlight of your day! Remember...no shame!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One of Those Days...

"She turned to the sunlight 
               And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbor:
               Winter is Dead." 
-A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young


Buds, its proof!













I don't actually know if Winter is dead since today it is 35 degrees. But hey, I'll take a sneak peak day anytime. I read somewhere that sometimes the difference between the first day of Spring and the first spring day can be months. I am ecstatic to say that according to my calendar Spring is two days away. I just hope I don't have to wait another month for the seasons to catch up to my calendar.

Yesterday was one of those days, it was THE perfect day. Those don't come around nearly enough so when they do I like to soak them in like so much sunshine. It was a carpe diem kind of day. Landy and I had a day filled with sweet adventures that I never wanted to end. I took lots of photos so that someday I can say; "see what we did Landy, see where we went, we were so happy and free." Because we were, and my heart was so full, and I imagine if our day could have had background music playing it would have been;

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me down
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day
It's gonna be a bright bright bright bright sun shiny day


If I were a diabetic I would have died from the sweetness of it all. Seriously...

The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the birds were singing. 

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: 
When it is Summer in the light and Winter in the shade."
-Charles Dickens 

Oh, and did I mention the Spring Fairies were flitting about. Okay, so I know there is no such thing as fairies BUT Landy doesn't know it and having fairies just made the day so much more magical. There were really just hundreds of milkweed seeds floating around but it was amazing!


https://www.flickr.com/photos/forestcat/6457208067/

See, just imagine you are in a big open field and this is all around you! You might get a little giddy too. Landy does tend to bring out my inner child so that could be it too, I just got caught up in the moment I guess. 

It was one of those days where you can't hardly stand to be inside. It's like the sun calls you by name and you know something great will happen if you listen. Sometimes you have to look for adventure and sometimes it has a way of finding of you. Honestly, one could argue that everyday is an adventure with a 3.5 year old! 

Soon the browns and grays of this Winter canvas will give way and the colors of Spring will have their way and paint a new and different picture. I'll sort of maybe miss Winter..... it really does make Spring and Summer all the sweeter. So, thanks for that Winter. Also, your landscape it beautiful too in its own special way! 

I want more perfect days so that is my quest. To find something special and wonderful about everyday. I want Landy to grow up seeking adventure and to develop an eye for the the beautiful things in life. They really aren't as rare as we sometimes think. If we change our perspective and focus I think life would be so much sweeter. 

Because really, every ordinary day has the potential to be; one of those days.

"Discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes."
-Marcel Proust

He says it simply and perfectly! I wanted to share my perspective of an ordinary day that became one of those days!


Who doesn't love a picture of a boy and his dog!
There is this really neat bamboo forest near our field and sometimes there are stray pieces of bamboo. They are more like small trees. Anyway, Landy LOVES to show me how strong he is! 


Boys will be boys!
He-Man
We decided to take pictures of everything beautiful we saw. Of course Landy pointed out lots of things that my eyes missed. I love his perspective!


The kid LOVES moss, it is actually quite pretty!
This was a Landy pick! I actually saved the photo as "diseased tree"!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm glad he opened my eyes and helped me see.
This is his "beautiful" rock that we added to his treasure chest.
I LOVE trees covered in ivy!
Proof that spring is coming, this bush is no longer "naked"! (Landyism)
Maybe I'm weird, I thought this was stunning!


I love finding pockets of colors hidden! These are fairy berries according to Landy!
These next photos are real and candid. It's like he was so in-synch with how I was feeling about our day. When he decided to "soak up the sun" I knew I had to capture these special moments!

Sun Ray Kisses are Magical!
C'mon, he is too perfect!


Love his squinty sun eyes!
Some see a seed, and some see a fairy....


We ran around laughing and capturing tons of these. Of course we then set them free wishing them well on their journey!

He was so gentle! 
Magic
Beautiful
The rest of our ordinary day was extraordinary! We finished off the night with a fire and s'mores! And of course lots of love and kisses!

They were as delicious as they look!
The loves of my life!
Mmm, I'll take these mouth kisses while I can still get them!

Perfect ending to my perfect day!

 I hope all my friends and family can make ordinary days extraordinary!

"In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary."
-Aaron Rose


Children see magic because they look for it. -Christopher Moore



Friday, March 13, 2015

Souptastic!




Here I go again with my soup obsession. I just love making soup because it's virtually impossible to mess up. Also, it is a fantastic way to get rid of random vegetables. I hate wasting food so any time I have vegetables that are on their last leg I know its soup time. This one is a favorite. This is my own spin on Chicken Noodle Soup. It's a grown up version of the old classic. This soup combines lemon and dill which are two of my favorite things! Maybe you can help me think of a name for it.

The ingredients are simple which is another thing I love. Simple food is always better, I think anytime we can pronounce the items on the ingredients list we are winning.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Broth 32oz. plus and additional 16oz 
  • Olive Oil
  • Random Vegetables I used;  1-2 C. Carrots, 1 C. Green Beans,  3 Stalks Celery,                      1/2 M. Red Onion (everything was just kind of rough chopped)
  • 1/3 C Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (save some for garnish if you want)
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon (approx. 1/4 C.) (use lemon slices for garnish if you want)
  • Orzo Pasta (holds up REALLY well in soups. I had approx. 1/2 C)
  • 3-4 Chicken Tenderloins ( 2-3 breasts depending on size and how meaty you want soup)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Dill to taste ( I LOVE dill & lemon together so I use a lot...)
  • Grated Parmesan-Romano Cheese (not in photo b/c it was a genius idea I had at the end)


The best thing about this soup is you can tailor it to your taste! 


The Process:

Lay the chicken between layers of saran wrap and give it a good beating! I find that if I use the flat mallet of my meat tenderizer the meat doesn't fall apart. Salt and pepper both sides.

In your soup pan coat the bottom with thin layer of olive oil.
Sweat your veggies (except green beans) until tender, approx. 10 minutes. You can add the green beans and garlic about 5 minutes in.

While that action is going on in a separate pan cook your chicken in olive oil until cooked through. Set aside to cool/rest. NOTE: Since I used tenderloins it was pretty quick, maybe 5 minutes on each side. 

Once veggies are tender add the 32 oz. of chicken broth and 2 C. water.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover for approx. 15 minutes
Add remaining 16 oz. chicken broth to pot and bring soup back to a boil.
Add the orzo pasta and boil  for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. 

While pasta is boiling shred or chop the resting chicken into bite sized pieces ( I just chopped mine)

Once orzo pasta is al dente add the chicken, lemon juice, dill, salt, pepper, and parsley to the pot.
Let it all simmer together for approx. 5 minutes. If soup looks to thick you can add more chicken stock if you have it (I always have some on hand) or water is fine too.

Finally, garnish with a lemon slice or two if you like it extra citrusy, parsley, and of course; cheese!

Bon Appétit





Thursday, March 5, 2015

Winter Wonderland

Today is perfect and beautiful. I look outside and it's the kind of white wintery world postcards and Christmas cards are made of. No.... its better than that, it's and Ansel Adams photograph....no joke! It's literally so beautiful outside that it catches your breath. I have to stop and remind myself to take this landscape in and appreciate its simple beauty. You see, I have a secret.

I. HATE.COLD. Which means, I. HATE.WINTER. Which means, I.HATE.DELAWARE.

Or so I thought. I have been a Florida girl for too long and my body can't handle this kind of cold. The kind of cold that gets in your bones. The kind of cold where no amount of layering makes you feel truly warm. However, I think Delaware will be the place where we raise Landon so its time to put on my big girl snow boots, mittens, long johns, ear muffs, etc and suck it up. Instead of complaining I am embracing Winter, I am sleeping with the enemy so to speak! This is my new Winter Mantra:

"In the midst of winter, I finally found there was, within me, an invincible summer" -Albert Camus-

Truer words were never spoken. Yes it is cold, yes its slushy and messy, yes it sucks to drive in, yes winter lasts longer than it should, but it sure is beautiful and there is some serious fun to be had in the snow.  I may have actually reverted back to childhood today. We made snowballs and snow angels, Austin tackled me in the snow while I screamed like a girl and it was sort of like being a teenager again. You know, when boys were mean to the girls they secretly liked. We took Landy sledding and my heart stopped when I saw him headed for branches and trees. I screamed; "close your eyes"! Then there was laughter and hugs when Landy was just fine. He made me proud and did close his eyes! 
I can't forget the best kind of laughing, that belly laughing that only comes around once in a while. I have our weiner dog Stewie to thank for this. Austin decided to use some of Landy's old baby socks with rubber bands on Stewie's feet to help keep them warm.... Yeah, not sure how that really helps when our idiot dog walks through the slushy puddles thus soaking the socks, BUT it was hilarious to watch him try and walk in them. It was sort of pitiful too but it made it that much funnier! 

Again, I have to talk about how beautiful it is because I can't get over it. What is it about a big open field covered in a blanket of snow not yet discovered by footprints that makes my heart happy? It's like finding buried treasure good. It's sort of this beautiful and intimate moment where you found something exclusive and no one else will see it quite the same way you did. Not because they don't have your artistic eye and sense of wonder but because you make as many snow angels as possible and run around leaving hundreds of footprints because you are greedy and that view was ALL YOURS so there! Imagine me laughing like Ursula when Ariel and Eric share the kiss too late. 

Actually, today was too beautiful not to share so here you go my Florida peeps, eat your hearts out! Feel free to send me photos of you at the beach with your beautiful tans and I will keep repeating my mantra until its true...or until Spring arrives and the Florida peeps are suffering from sweat staches and swamp ass in May! BAHAHAHAHA!


There is just something about snow covered branches

Cardinals are absolutely stunning juxtaposed with snow

Also, green pine trees are stunning when contrasted with snow

Magical...like seriously, there might be tiny winter elves living in this tree

A Landy angel!

This is scary beautiful, its like a winter tree monster

Winter garb

See...postcard worthy

See...Ansel Adamsish

Magical tunnel leading to open field, Sorry no pics of that, that view really was just for us!


"What good is the warmth of Summer, without the cold of Winter to give it sweetness" -John Steinbeck-