Total Momsense

My life as a wife, mommy and more!

And I’m proud to be an American

Part of what I love most about being a journalist, especially in a small town, is capturing the moments that mean something to the organization or individual you are writing about.

I had the opportunity to attend a Veteran’s Day program on Monday at the local senior center. It included what you might expect it to – patriotic performances by elementary aged children and a colorguard from the local JROTC.

But what I didn’t anticipate, and enjoyed the most, was the expressions on the faces of the Veterans who were being honored.

As each Veteran walked through the arch of swords, he or she snapped to attention at the end, giving those in attendance a salute. Men and women who had trouble making it to the stage suddenly came alive as though they were the young men and women they were when they gave so selflessly of their time and lives to serve a country they love so. You could see it in their eyes – no longer were they battle worn from time and age, but proud servicemen and women who were honored more by what they had done before rather than the honor awarded to them today.

One Veteran was so moved that she trembled and wept as she saluted. I, too, teared up watching her beam with pride.

It was an honor to see them honored. And how thankful I am for their service – how thankful we all should be.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all who served!

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Family Foodie Fridays: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Since I’ve been working at home, saving money has become one of my life’s missions. I try to not let anything go to waste – especially food.

In the past when we’ve bought rotisserie chicken, we’ve eaten on it for a main meal and I’ve planned to use it on top of salads for lunches. Yeah …. I don’t like it so much cold and leftover. So, I set out on a mission to find recipes that would use up the chicken and eliminate the bird hitting the bag. (Another Family Foodie Friday will also be dedicated to leftover rotisserie chicken as well!)

Now that the weather is getting cooler (yay, fall!), I am working soups into my meal plans. Soups are great because my little minions enjoy it and there’s usually leftovers for me and the husband to have the next day (or days) for lunches or even leftover nights.

My friend Pinterest is a good place to find recipes, and I have an entire board dedicated to nothing but soups. When I went in search of a soup to make with leftover chicken, I also knew I wanted it to include carrots in order to use up the ones in the fridge.

Behold: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup.

The recipe doesn’t actually call for rotisserie chicken, but I figured why not try it any way. I don’t use celery in any recipes for two reasons – 1) My family won’t eat it. 2) Because my family won’t eat it, I buy it and then it goes to waste. (And I’m trying to eliminate that and cut costs!)

I also didn’t have fresh rosemary or parsley, so I used the dried I had on hand and it worked just fine. I think I may have gotten a bit heavy-handed with the onion, but as we all like it, it wasn’t an issue for us.

Here’s a link to the recipe on Pinterest:

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Drums, please …

My friend Jess loves when I write random things. (This stems from our newspaper days together when I had a weekly column. Now I just write random blog posts for her.) These usually fall under a category I like to call “I couldn’t think of anything else to write.” 😉

If you’ve followed this blog any at all, you may have noticed the overall musical theme, particularly with post titles. I love music. All kinds and types. Driving into work today I thought about that love for music, and how I seriously can relate a song to just about anything in my life, and how my life has truly had a soundtrack … even it it’s one I’ve kept mostly to myself!

So here goes for some random music moments from my life:

– I now relate the same song by two different artists to two “moments” in my life. “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane will always remind me of high school. The Rascal Flatts version I now associate to watching “Cars” for the first time with dear oldest son.

– “Jack and Diane” is, and always will be, my ultimate favorite song. The lyrics mean even more to me as a 36 year old woman than they did when I first discovered it as a kid. LOVE. THIS. SONG.

– I can remember exactly where I was and who I was with when I discovered New Kids on the Block. Sadly, my love for NKOTB lasted much longer than the friendship, but I still remember the feeling of that summer and just being a pre-teen on the brink of middle school.

– I am freakishly good at recognizing a song mere seconds into it. This is something that both baffles and makes my husband enormously proud of me. He loves playing “Name that Tune” with me. I almost always win.

– A former co-worker once described himself as a “retarded little jukebox.” I would agree that that’s me as well.

– I realize I’m now my mother not only because of the things I say to my son, but because I’d also rather clean house to music from my childhood rather than the hits of today. I’m OK with this and can completely understand why she did it as well.

– John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” very much reminds me of my small town.

– I can still remember all the words to my high school’s alma mater … and could probably still play it on flute.

OK, enough of my one-note musings for the day. Keep that radio dialed in, though, and keep reaching for the stars. (See what I did there? That’s a reference to when Kasey Kasem did the Top 40 …. well before Seacrest could even dream of doing it.)

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Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel ….

I feel a little less than perfect tonight. 

This week has been a comedy of errors. I missed that Bug (my dear son) was supposed to have a practice math test in his homework folder. His teacher confronted him, and when he said he didn’t have it, she said he should have. Thankfully, he aced the test, but I felt horrible that I didn’t even realize he was supposed to have done it as part of his homework. FML. 

Tonight we missed out on signing up for Cub Scouts because I wrote the information down on the wrong date on the calendar. This resulted in tears (from me) which turned into more tears (from Bug, who blessedly hugged me and told me it was OK). 

I don’t know how women with several children who work full time do it all. I have one child and desperately want another, but then I wonder how the hell I’ll manage it all. 

Why as mothers do we push ourselves to be perfect? As if the entire world will end if you miss one homework assignment or botch a Cub Scout meeting? Is it programmed into our DNA? 

I’ve emailed our Scout Council and pray I can get Bug signed up so we’ll both feel better. He’s soo excited about being a Scout, just like his Daddy – who he wants to grow up to be like. 

And the homework … where, there will be more again tomorrow, I’m sure. 


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Sometimes love just ain’t enough ….

Sometimes being a parent sucks.

The smiles, the hugs, the kisses and milestones make parenting so incredibly wonderful.

The fussing, the fighting, the discipline and punishments…. eh, not so much.

Tonight was a doozy in my house. DS has decided he should be in charge, and DH and I are actually to blame. As a current only, DS has the rule of the house. And we’ve not always been great at follow-through with discipline ….

After DS went to bed tonight, I decided to utilize some of the tools teachers use to have effective classroom management. Since DS loves to play video games and also understands the concept of the “stoplight” behavior system (red is bad, yellow is not great and green is good), I figured we’d try this:

We’ll see how it goes ….

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They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot….

Whew, July was a busy month. All my tomatoes decided to come in at once and I’ve had more basil than even I can stand.

So, Mary, Mary, how did your garden grow?

My dear family didn’t plant too much this year, but we have had enough to put away food for winter and give some away to friends and neighbors. It’s been a fun little venture for dear son, who’s quite good at harvesting and can even go out to the garden and grab things for me when I need them.

For the second summer I’ve said I wanted to compost … and dear husband finally got on board and bought me a compost bin. Now all those scraps we’ve accumulated don’t have to go to the trash but instead can go make some new dirt for next year’s garden.

I’m finding it very interesting what is recommended that you do or do not compost.

Toilet paper rolls? Yep, if you tear them up into small pieces.

Citrus fruits? Nope, not supposed to due to pesticides. (OK, we broke that rule and put lemon rinds in.)

Coffee grinds and filters? YES! I can’t stand the coffee grinds in the trash. They just look gross.

Eggs? Yes and no. The shells can go in, but you aren’t supposed to put eggs themselves. (Due to possible salmonella I suppose.)

With all these rules …. maybe Kermit was right. It’s not always easy being green.

But, I have seen a decent reduction in our household garbage already this week. And we already recycle glass, plastic and aluminum.

Next step: Adding worms. We’ll see how that goes …. Dear husband’s gonna have to do it, though, because I don’t think I can stand to touch them. 

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Momsense Nonsense, July 2012

There are some days when blog ideas come to me as easily as a northerly breeze.

There are other days ….. eh, not so much.

Today’s one of those days.

Since I can’t keep a train of thought worth a darn, here’s an installment of what I like to call “momsense nonsense.”

  • How do super heroes and villains get their costumes? No one is supposed to know who they are, and yet they always have colorful, unique clothes that you know didn’t come off the rack. Unless they are seamstresses (like Toby Maguire in Spider-Man) or have a cool butler named Alfred (like Batman), then where are those clothes coming from?!?
  • It’s almost Big Brother time again. Apparently this summer’s twist is that former contestants will serve as mentors to this year’s participants. Please, please, please bring back Dr. Will and Mike Boogie. Bringggg-bringggg!!
  • I’ve been on an ice cream kick this summer. My current favorite is Mayfield’s Strawberry Cheesecake. It’s so good. Too good.
  • July 4, 2012 is just a memory now…. and the next truly major holiday is Halloween. Wondering what dear son will want to be this year. We’ve already been Star Wars characters and Batman in the past, but that’s still what he’s into this year. Thinking cap needs to go on. Heading over to Pinterest …..
  • Speaking of Pinterest, it’s as addictive as the Mayfield’s ice cream. I can’t tell you how many coversations in the past week that have begun with “I saw this pin on Pinterest….” Honestly, there’s some really cool stuff on Pinterest. I’m hoping to use some of the craft ideas I’ve seen in the near future.

OK, that’s all I’ve got for today. Hopefully a spark of creativity will come along and hit the fuse in brain and the next post will have more substance!

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And the shot heard round the world …..

Anyone else remember this?

If you’re a child of the 80s/early 90s, then chances are your answer is yes. It was usually shown at the end of Saturday morning cartoons, just before American Bandstand came on.

Tonight I googled Schoolhouse Rock to help me explain why we celebrate Independence Day to dear son.

I had forgotten that how much Schoolhouse Rock … well, rocks!

We listened to “I’m Just a Bill” and “The Preamble.” This put us on the path to watching “No More Kings” and “The Shot Heard Round the World.”

I don’t know who the writers of these songs are, but my kudos to them for being able to boil down important historical events into a way for a 6 year old to understand, but also for a 35 year old!

In case you don’t remember the impetus for Independence Day – and the real reason you should be celebrating tomorrow – refresh your memory:

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Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

Being a reporter for the majority of my adult life means I question things constantly – maybe even to the point of obsessiveness. The beauty of being a reporter, though, has meant that most of the time I have the tools at my disposal to find the answers to my questions – and then some.

But there’s one question that will never have an answer, and it’s one that leaves me more than a little sad inside.

What kind of mother might I have been if my own mother were still alive?

My mom died six months before I got pregnant with my son. Those double pink lines on the EPT were bittersweet – I was going to be a mommy, but I was going to do it without the woman who’d nurtured me.

The first few months after dear son came along were r-o-u-g-h. Not only did I have to operate on very little sleep (which makes me quite the bitch) but I had no point of reference from my own mother as to how I was supposed to comfort a newborn. My mother-in-law was wonderful, but it just wasn’t the same as my own mother.

Now that he’s older, rearing him is somewhat easier, but I still long …. no, ache …. for my mother to be here to see all the silly things he does, to tell me how much he’s like how I was at age 6.

All these feelings lead me – and my sister – to read the book “Parentless Parents” by Allison Gilbert. Gilbert nailed the feeling I often have – that I’m adrift in an ocean where I just can’t be reached. I relate to Gilbert because she, too, is a journalist and has shared this experience I am experiencing.

One of the things Gilbert points out is the loss of my mother isn’t just my own. Even though my son doesn’t realize it now, it is his loss as well. He’ll never know what her fried chicken tastes like or how she sounded when she sang along with The Beatles or Statler Brothers.

I’ll have to hope my stories of her are enough.

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Long time, no blog

I’m promising myself to blog more. I’ve been spending far too much time not writing …. anything of real substance or of any value to myself …. and I intend to change that.

Starting today.

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