Monday, September 30, 2013

If Mama Ain't Happy

Can I make a confession? This past weekend was a tough one. I wasn't even going to blog about it. In fact, I've stared at this blank screen for quite some time now thinking of a billion (okay 10) other things I could be writing about right now besides this, but I have to write what's on my heart and this past weekend is it.

I hit a low point this weekend. Like driving around crying on the phone with my mom and hiding under the covers staring blankly out the window type of weekend. Depressed? Yes. Now, this isn't a normal thing for me so don't sound out the alarms, but I think we all hit these moments from time to time (Maybe?). The moment, when you just can't ignore the problems anymore. The moment when ignoring has become the problem.

Being a mom is tough. (Understatement of the century!) At times it seems like every one's happiness depends on you. Of course, we moms often forget that our own happiness needs to factor in there as well, but for the most part, I at least, tend to push that to the side and label it selfishness. 

Taking time for myself isn't true selfishness of course, but it feels that way because it always leaves someone picking up the slack. That someone usually ends up being my husband. You know, the guy that works hard to pay all of our bills then comes home and gladly helps with the kids and also rarely has free time to himself. This leads to that other popular mom feeling...guilt (brought solely on by myself). So instead of taking care of myself from time to time, I've pushed my wants and needs to the side and in the end have made myself miserable.

That above paragraph makes sound like I'm making myself out to be some sort of self sacrificing hero. But no, I can't even give myself that credit because after I've pushed all my needs to the side, I become cranky and place blame on everyone else. Fun times guys. Fun times. Playing victim leads to lots of self destructing thoughts and then bam...ugly crying in the car.

After I got through feeling sorry about myself this weekend, I realized that the only person able to get myself out of this mess was the same person that put me into this mess and that lady was me. I have dreams, I have goals, I have things that I want to do for me. While it might not be as easy to tackle those things now as it was pre-kids, it is all still possible. It just takes a little rearranging and putting myself on the priority list which is exactly what I'm going to do. As the saying goes...

For more of our day to day, hit the "Like" button...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Toddler Counting Activity

I meant to post this forever ago, but it got lost among all the other happenings around here. I don’t know about your kids, but my toddler can sniff out when I’m wanting to create a teaching moment. I’m obviously not sly enough about it with day to day things so I have to get all pinterest-y with things to pass off teaching moments and let’s just say I haven’t put in as much effort as I should. 

There was a point in time when my child refused to say the number four. I don’t know why. Toddlers are weird. He would count to three and then go backwards. He would count to ten but always skip right over the number four. I really started to think it was just to tick me off. It surely lit a fire under me to get on Pinterest and actually attempt to do something about it and that’s how I came up with Sassy Sally, a collaboration of several different pinterest ideas. 

Sassy Sally is a caterpillar made of felt ovals. (I chose egg shape so I could reuse them for Easter Eggs later on. Dual purposes are a must.) I drew on eyes and cut out a mouth to make it cutesy if you could call it that. She has a head and five other circular body parts of different colors (you could obviously do as many as you want, but five was enough for us). I cut out numbers 1-5 for number recognition then I cut out small dots (traced a quarter) to symbolize leaves for Sassy Sally to eat.

I’ve found that the trick to get any of these cutesy projects to work really depends on how you present it. Obviously the first trick is to have the toddler in a cooperative mood which is a crap shoot, but just don’t feel like a failure if you have to abort the project at any time. It happens. The second trick is to be patient. Also a crap shoot if you are a slight control freak like me. Prayer helps as well as a good pep talk. The next trick is to have a thought out plan...

I covered Ethan’s easel with felt using clothes pins. I always get everything set up during nap time. Toddlers have zero patience so don’t even tempt a melt down by not being ready. I let him put on the head and smiley face while I laid everything out. I put the circles and numbers on the floor and asked him to match the circles with the coordinating number. I’d tell him each number as he picked it up, as he got more familiar I’d ask him to pick certain numbers out of the pile. Then, I would ask him to put each body part on the board in sequential order.

After we accomplished that I’d tell him that Sassy Sally was hungry. I brought out the baggie of leaves and told him to count them out. How many did he need for the first body part and so forth. This part always got a little dicey as patience was wearing by this point. Sometimes I’d pick out the right number of leaves and just ask him to count them as he put them up if he was being extra grabby. 

He asked to play Sassy Sally several times well after he finally got the number four down pat. I love that it started with something simple that he already knew like color matching so he initially felt like he was succeeding before he got to the tricky part. I’m hoping the fall/winter will allow me more time to do pinterest-y learning projects such as this one. We shall see!

To see more of our everyday, hit the "Like" button...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Operation Get Fit Update

I know it’s been an eternity since operation get fit kicked off. Not really, just since the end of July, but it feels like quite a bit of time has passed and I finally have some results from the effort I have put in thus far. I am so ready to say goodbye to this postpartum body.


For Comparison....


Waist: (Above belly button) 26in (-5in)
                                              (At belly button because I feel this is my trouble spot) 33.5 in (-3.5in)
Hips: 38in (-1in)
Thighs: 22in (same)
Calves: 14.5in (-.5in)
Arms: 11in (-1in)
Weight: -8lbs (6-ish pounds to go!)

The biggest contributor to this change was simply calorie tracking. I’ve been using My Fitness Pal to keep up with everything and it’s been pretty eye-opening. I definitely needed more help with portion control than I thought. I was oblivious to the amount of calories in peanut butter or mayonnaise. As a condiment lover, I really needed a wake up call to all those caloric additions I was haphazardly adding. 

I thought calorie tracking was going to be insanely difficult, but honestly it wasn’t a big deal. I don’t do it quite as much now that I have a basic understanding of what is in my daily norm although if I want to change up my meals to something new, I do keep track to make sure I know where I’m at with things. 

Working out is still something I need to step up. For the past few months I’ve been doing hot yoga around twice a week, but unfortunately since it is an hour drive from me, I’m having to give it up. I’m in progress of finding a new routine so hopefully I’ll get that under control soon. I have definitely seen some firming up though and for that I’m thankful. 

The hardest part food wise for me is eating multiple meals. Normally, I skip breakfast, then I’m starving for lunch and then of course dinner is a fairly big meal as well. I don’t think I could ever be a six meal a day person, but I’m hoping to at least do four and make sure breakfast is one of my larger meals of the day.

Body wise, I’m able to see a lot of change except for in the one place that drives me the craziest which is the ab area. The abs are there, unfortunately they are just pushed out farther than they should be so for now that is my main focus. I am normally pretty thin through that area so all my old clothing looks completely ridiculous. 

That pretty much sums up where I’m at so far. I’ll be back with more updates when I have them. Any tips and tricks or common commiseration will be happily accepted.

Be sure to follow through Bloglovin'...

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Recap...(Picture Dump)

We just came home from our last beach trip of the year. I feel so amazingly lucky that we got to squeeze in two trips this year. Now that we are home, I think I can officially put summer to rest and fully embrace fall. I pulled out all of all fall clothing right before we left and now I’m surrounded by piles of summer things needing to be packed away. I didn’t get a chance to share most of our summer happenings this year so in a last ditch effort to bid summer adieu, here are some of our special moments...

We kicked off summer in May with our first beach trip. My parents own a condo in Orange Beach, Alabama hence our multiple beach trips this year. Last year our trip was super crazy with an 18 month old that required lots of chasing. This year Ethan was fully entertained by digging holes and pushing dump trucks up and down the beach. Jack mostly slept through this trip, but was a happy baby as usual. 

In June we took the kids to Asheville, NC to do some hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was absolutely beautiful and we hope to get back to do some more hikes this fall. Michael and I also returned to celebrate our 5 year anniversary sans kids at the Black Walnut Inn. If you haven’t taken the plunge into bed and breakfasts, I can now say I highly recommend it especially this particular one. Check out the Select Registry for a sure fire win. 

We stayed put in July and enjoyed the typical summer activities at home. The sprinkler, home improvements, backyard camping and lots of indoor things as this summer was very rain-filled around here. 

August took us back into North Carolina to Bryson City to visit the “quieter side of the Smokies”. Since we live within an hour of Gatlinburg we have been to the Smokies quite a few times. I do prefer the North Carolina side though as there is much less focus on attractions and more focus on the mountains. We hiked several trails including  Clingman’s Dome which has been on my list for quite awhile. 

While we were there we also visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation which was an unique experience. I was expecting more tepees and feathers, but apparently I didn’t know much about the more “local” tribes. It was nice to expand Ethan’s horizons (as well as my own). He was a tad unsure of taking a picture with these fellows below after they had demonstrated their war calls and fighting scenes. 

That brings us to September and our last official trip of the summer back to Orange Beach. Jackson loved the pool this go around although the beach was quite more difficult. I much prefer taking babies to the beach in the pre-crawling stage, but he enjoyed it regardless. Ethan did more dump truck pushing and hole digging. He was up with the sun and down with it as well. It was a very relaxing trip (well, as relaxing as a trip can be with an almost 3 year old and 9 month old). I could just about cry thinking about how different next year will be! My babies are getting bigger by the minute. 

We had a busy, but good summer with lots of quality family time. I'm looking forward to the coolness of fall and upcoming holidays. Last year I felt like I just made it through by the skin of my teeth considering there was a baby making it's appearance in December. I'm so glad to have a little more relaxed holiday season this year and I hope to soak up all the fun it has to offer with both my boys!

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Sweet Spot

I hate to admit this, but a couple of weeks ago my husband and I were confessing to each other how it might be nice to skip over the whole third year of child rearing. I'd like to say we were completely joking, but I think we were very...slightly...serious. At that point, it was shaping up to be quite exhausting. The procrastinating, the refusal to eat or sleep or do anything remotely cooperative really was wearing on us and in that moment...parenthood was definitely anything but rosy. 

As per usual, the very next week just as we thought we might lose our minds, the toddler gods decided to shine down and remind us what a lovely journey parenthood can be. There have been lots of hugs and kisses, cooperation, reasonableness and even cuddling! While there are still battles being fought daily, it has been a more pleasant experience for everyone involved. 

We are in what I'd like to call the "sweet spot".

With 2 years and 11 months of parenting under my belt, I've learned this journey is a roller coaster ride. There will be ups and downs, tears and laughter. I don't know how long this sweet spot will last, but I'm soaking it up at the moment. Taking it all in. I want to remember how incredibly special this crazy little toddler is in this very moment. 

While you probably couldn't have convinced me of this a few weeks ago, I do think the year of three can be great. We've entered the land of bedtime chats, coloring, cuddles and playing  make believe with wild enthusiasm. I can't always keep up with his energy levels, but there are moments when I find myself completely immersed in his little world. It's an amazing thing to let go and feel your inner child come out. 

(It's not every night you get to play hockey with plastic golf clubs and score the winning goal.)

It's so easy to try and wish time away to a place where these crazy little people are old enough that basic things like bedtime and dinner time aren't battles of olympic proportions. So,  I'm trying to remind myself....little people, little problems. I don't know what's to come, but I do know that scaring away imaginary monsters will be much easier than battling the bigger issues of whatever the teenage years might hold. 

I just want to soak these little moments up. He won't like holding my hand forever. However stressful and draining these days of three might be at times, I do know I will miss them and the sweetness that always seems to balance everything out.

Keep up with us on Bloglovin...

Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's to Eat Wednesday - Glazed Pork with Fresh Plums

If you followed way back in the 2008-2009 back in the might vaguely remember that I use to do something called What's to Eat Wednesday. (Notice I'm not linking here...I'm still no food photographer, but my picture quality was laughable back then. It probably still is, but I just don't know it yet...funny how that works right?) I love to cook when I have the time and I hate doing the same thing over and over again so I thought I might as well share some of the keepers. I'm not committing to every week post, but I might be bringing back What's to Eat Wednesday from time to time.

Last night my family and I took a trip down memory lane. We use to make pork tenderloins all the time, but for some reason stopped and I honestly can't remember why. Pork tenderloins are quick and easy and such a soul warming food that just makes you want to eat a bowl full of homemade mashed potatoes....that I didn't have time to make...or calories to spare. Ahem...

I found this recipe in my September Southern Living magazine and just knew it would be a winner. I'd love to say I'm all experimental and really shook this recipe up to call it my own, but I'm a follow the rules kind of cook and only changed a couple of things. 

Glazed Pork with Fresh Plums
Adapted from Southern Living

  • Ingredients
  • 2 (1 1/4lb) pork tenderloins
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • medium plums, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons white or regular balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons plum preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook in hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Add onion and plums. The original recipe said to bake for 15 minutes, but I always find it takes quite a bit longer to get done. I ended up baking for 30 minutes and it was anything but dry. I always do a little slice test if I can't find a meat thermometer. 
  2. 2. Transfer pork to a serving platter, reserving drippings plums and onions in skillet. Cover pork loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand 10 minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, stir vinegar and preserves into drippings, plums and onions; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in thyme. Pour over pork and plum mixture.

I ended up cooking the plums and onions longer than suggested as well and I thought it worked brilliantly  If you are one of those weirdos that dislikes hot fruit (seriously, you are missing out!)...I'd suggest cooking longer as I did because really the plums just melt into the sauce. Delicious! So there you go, a quick easy and somewhat impressive looking weeknight meal.

Are you following? Click the "Like" button.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons License

My Thoughts - Uninterrupted by Laura Sager is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.