Clever mom moments

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I have been blessed with a beautiful, clever, delightful (most of the time) little boy.  Dinner time is not always one of those delightful times however.  He also happens to be a bit of a picky eater.  He did clue me in to a clever mom moment this past week though.

Since I’ve started my career as a stay-at-home mom I’ve been putting a lot of effort into cooking homemade foods for all of us for both health and financial reasons.  Something I never had time for before between working full time and momming the rest of the time (how lax I’ve got in the wifing department is a different blog post.  Man did I find a good one in The Hubster).  I started with something easy, turkey soup.  We had a late Christmas turkey dinner a few weeks ago for dad since he missed proper Christmas dinner being stuck in the hospital.  I kept the carcass and made soup with it.  Didn’t think The Boy would even touch it as it was chock full of veggies and such but instead he surprised me and loved the hell out of it.  French onion soup was also a big hit once we got him to taste it.  Perhaps someday I’ll actually get him to believe me when I am battling with him to “just try one bite and I promise you’ll like it!!!”  Ever since those soups, every time I ask him what he wants to eat he asks for “real soup” (not sure where he picked up the phrase but he means instead of packaged or canned soups).  I asked him what kinds of real soups he would like to eat and he declared that he must have spaghetti soup.  Oh boy.  How the hell do I make spaghetti soup for a picky eater?

Turns out all you need is animal noodles.  Picked some up at Bulk Barn for about $1 and added them to a can of tomato soup.  That was it.  I would never in a million years have thought he would ever…EVER have eaten tomato soup but as the picture shows, he chowed down on it like he hadn’t eaten in days.  I took pictures just to remind myself that he did actually eat it.  Now I guess I have to find a recipe for “real” tomato soup for when tomatoes are in season again in a few months and stock up on animal noodles.  Or alphabet noodles.  Whoa!  There I go being clever again.  ABC’s and good food all wrapped up in one.  Woo hoo!  I can totally do this full-time mom thing.

For those who might be curious, that is a small part of my yarn stash in the background.  I have a *cough* small problem when it comes to yarn and thread and crochet and such.  I have managed to curb it a bit what with having no money and all.  This pile is my current projects pile and consists of about ten half-finished projects and the yarn I’ve pulled out for them as well as the eight or so I intend to make.  I only actually remember half of them but I’m sure I can find a use for the yarn or else I can just go through it and take great pleasure in handling and sorting all the lovely yarns and of course have to pull out the rest of the stash just so I can make sure it all goes where it’s supposed to and get to play with all of those as well.

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Yet more oatmeal

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Banana bread oatmeal this time.  It’s exactly the same as Apple Pie Oatmeal except I’m replacing the apples with finely chopped bananas.  I will try it with mashed bananas in future experiments but my nanners are too fresh for good mashing and I don’t have time to freeze them (for those who didn’t know, if you need mashed bananas it’s great to freeze them first then thaw them.  The ice crystals formed when freezing slice up the connective stuff in the bananas and make them way more mashable).  The recipe is the same because really, the recipies for apple pie filling (at least the one I grew up with) and banana bread use the same tasty ingredients.  The apple pie oatmeal went over extremely well with the menfolk this morning so I thought I’d try to keep the streak going tomorrow. (Edit to add: I finished cooking it and tried it and my streak will remain intact.  It is heavenly)

After breakfast is done I’ll be putting a loaf of bread to bake in my bread machine.  I’ve found this recipe Best Bread Machine Recipe and it works wonderfully.  I’ve always had issues getting bread to rise in my machine.  Followed this recipe and this happens now…

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That’s my bread after rising so much it hit the cover of the machine.  This recipe is also delicious and is indeed easy.  Had it memorized after just a few times making it.  If I’ve figured it correctly, this loaf costs me about a quarter using bulk purchased flour and yeast.

 

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Threw together the most delicious breakfast last night for my menfolk to enjoy this morning.  Like the title says, it was apple pie oatmeal and it was delicious.  I’m sure it’s been done before but I will write out a recipe anyway for those who might want it. (the muffins in the background are also delicious and the recipe can be found at the following link Chocolate Chip Muffins)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 small apples (or one large.  I used MacIntosh apples)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Mix water, milk and oats in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium to low heat stirring often until oats are soft and liquid starts to thicken.
  2. Grate the apples with a cheese grater.
  3. If this is being made ahead take off the heat before oatmeal is fully thickened.  Will help it not dry out too much by breakfast time in the morning.  If it is to be eaten immediately, cook till oatmeal is desired doneness.  Stir in grated apples, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  4. If this was made ahead just microwave it for a minute or two and stir.
  5. Enjoy.

This recipe made enough for one man sized portion, one boy sized and there was just enough left so mum could have some too.

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After we enjoyed our apple pie oatmeal, The Boy and I got to enjoy walking in this wonderland to daycare.

Wow! Life is…huge!

So, yeah.  Last time I posted I was bribing myself to quit smoking buy promising myself a new and very swanky crochet hook.  I bought the hook anyway, and absolutely adore it, but did manage to quit smoking as well.  This weekend it will have been five months (minus a setback or two but always right back on the wagon).

What else has happened since then?  Well, my dad got very sick.  I won’t go into details because that’s his story to tell but needless to say it was very touch and go for a while.  We almost lost him.  I dreaded having to tell The Boy that his Papa was gone.  As far as said Boy goes he is one smart cookie and, from overhearing assorted family update calls and such, figured out that something was going on and that it was very, very bad.  For now, we have dad back.  We have our Papa and we are doing everything we can to make sure we keep him.

Another major life event, I up and quit my job.  Things have been pretty shitty there since I got pregnant.  My co-worker and, at that time, friend freaked out at the thought of being left there while I took maternity leave and let herself be poached by the competition.  I’ve had a target on my back ever since through association.  I came back from my maternity leave to find I wasn’t going back to my original position and that the sweet, enthusiastic young guy they’d hired before I’d left had turned into a butt-kissing, deluded, uncaring money grubbing waste of air.  They tried to pay me $4/hour less than I’d left from and they pretty much abandoned me to scrape and scuttle my way through doing an impossible job with no access to resources or help.  Long story short, new guy had buttkissed his way into trying to oust all of the old employees (I wasn’t the first to walk out) and through missed time due to dad’s illness, doing too good a job at my job and having to spend too much time to maintain it to be able to build it fast enough and lies from butt-kisser that he was sooper magical and can do everything faster and better while still magically being able to do everybody else’s job, last Wednesday happened.  They came to me and told me they were going to drop my pay $2/hour while also demanding twice the work.  That was it.  I was done.  I asked and then begged them to lay me off so I could get retrained in a trade and they refused so I talked to The Hubster and got his support.  I walked in and got to say the dream words of anyone who’s worked a shitty job…”I quit.”  I packed up my stuff and left.  I freaked out for the rest of the day.

How was I going to keep my house and feed my son?  What was I going to do?  A week later I am still not sure but what I do know is that Thursday morning, and every morning since, I have not had a headache when I woke up.  I haven’t vomited around getting ready to go to that place.  I have spent time with my husband and son.  Got to talk to my sister for an hour on the phone a couple times.  So, still not sure what the future holds besides I am happier worrying about money than I was prostituting myself in a job I couldn’t stand.  I’m sincerely hoping that a couple of my former co-workers get the opportunity to experience this feeling too.  It’s loverly.

For the moment, I have homemade bread in my breadbox and am making turkey soup from scratch.  I’m listening to an awesome podcast The Jeff Show With Jason Bryant and I’m working on a gift for my sister’s incoming bump.  I am happy right now and that’s awesome.

F**k Cancer

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On Monday, July 20th, 2015, we noticed our dog Ace had swollen lymph nodes under his jaw.  Got an appointment at the vet on Wednesday the 22nd.  We’d read up on it on the internet which is horrible to do but we’re not the usual kind of people who take whatever the net says as fact and freak out about it.  We treat it sort of like reading the short synopsis on the back of a book.  Gives one an idea of what to expect.  So, could be an infection, allergies (which he’s been prone to pretty much all his life and was what we were hoping for) or cancer.  That last was why we got him in right away.

The Dr. wasn’t very hopeful.  Turns out all of his lymph nodes were swollen.  There was much poking and prodding and samples taken with needles to the point the poor little dude was all tender and swollen.  Vet said it was almost certainly cancer but they’d need biopsy results to be sure.  That night we talked