I was stopped at a red light today, by the high school.  Ellie and on were on our way to our doctor's appointment.

I looked over and saw a little gaggle of teenage girls running and laughing, grabbing onto each other.  The sun was hitting their shiny hair, they were 

I became a mama when I was 20 years old.  Just a few years older than those carefree girls.  That's when Em came into my world.  Her mom just wasn't up to the task, even though she was still around then. 

I forget what that feeling is, freedom, even watching those girls.  It's been 9 years of mom time for me. 

I love being a mom.  It's beyond the beyond of awesomeness. God has given me so much more than I could ever ask for, and more. 

But, it's scary, and it's hard.  

It's hard going to pick up a two year old from her mom, and she's covered in filth and you're 20 years old and you have no idea what to do. 

It's scary when her mom wants her less and less, and you want her more and more, and you don't know what's this all means.

It's hard explaining to a 5 year old why she can't see mommy right now. 

It's hard to be a newlywed in your first apartment and trying to help and listen to a 5 year old baby scream and cry and throw up for hours day after day after day because she misses her mom.

It's hard when your little kid is having a hard time at school, because she is destroyed inside, and you don't know what to do.

It's scary not knowing where her birth mother is, and so you have to pick her up from the school office everyday for awhile, just to be safe.

It's scary when you try to get pregnant and you can't, for 3 years.

It's scary when you're finally pregnant and you start to bleed, and your doctor says there's nothing to do but wait, and see.  So you wait and see, and cry and pray, and beg and plead.

It's hard when you don't have a nice, smooth pregnancy you can brag to everyone about.

It's scary when you end up having to have a c-section. 

It's scary when you find out your pregnant when your baby is a few months old. 

It's hard to have babies 13 months apart.

It's scary when you're little one has a lot of ups and downs, left and rights.

It's hard watch your 10 year old baby turn into a pre-teen.

It's hard to watch your 2 year old go from a baby to a boy.

It's hard to watch your little baby girl get older everyday, knowing there are no more babies, no matter how much you wanted one more.

I just wanted to scream to those girls that all their problems, all those things they think make their lives so hard, to embrace them.  The boys, the crushes, the first kisses, the pimples right before a dance, the bad grades, the parents who just don't get it, the fighting with friends, the heartache of being a teenager is nothing compared to the heartache of being a mom. 

Every moment is their biggest moment, when they are young and running across the street. 

One of my biggest moments was sitting in her car seat, singing along to a song she didn't know the words to...because she doesn't know a whole lot of words to begin with. 

There is nothing more beautiful in this world to me than my children.  They have filled me with more appreciation, wonder, and awe than I have words for.  They are the hardest, the scariest, the most tiring, wondrous creatures. They breathe life into me, they anchor me to this world. 

Those little girls running, someday they will be mamas, their shiny hair will fade, their carefree smiles will turn into smiles of joy, and pain, and pride.  I used to be one of them, now i'm just some lady, staring from a minivan, wishing them all the happiness, (and the hard and scary parts) i've been blessed with, while my baby girl sings me a song.

Yummy Orange Cake

I had some oranges in the fridge, and I thought an orange cake sounded good.  I looked around online, but couldn't find anything I wanted to make.  Everything called for lots of orange juice, or cake mix, but no orange pieces.  I wanted to use some real oranges.  So I did an experiment and it came out awesome (according to my husband and 10 year old)!

It's gone.

The whole freaking cake is gone. 

I brought 4 pieces over to my parents house, and the rest is history, literally.  I put the last few pieces away last night, but it mysteriously disappeared (into my husband's lunch box, I presume). I might have to make another one in a few days! 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, grease your pan of choice.  I used a 9x13.

Get a bowl and combine:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Beat a stick of butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy, then add 3 eggs, one at a time.  I put in some vanilla, probably a teaspoon.

Get 1 cup of milk

Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the flour.

I zested two medium size oranges, then peeled them, cleaned most of the white fiber off, and then diced them pretty small.  Of course, two oranges didn't make it into the cake because I have kids running around, but a good part of the orange got in.  

Just mix the zest and orange to the batter, then transfer it to your cake pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until done. 

When it was cooled I made an orange glaze. 

I cut an orange in half, and squeezed all the juice out.  Then I mixed it with one cup of confectioners sugar, then spread it on the cake. 

The cake came out incredibly moist, and it had a nice, but not overpowering orange flavor. 

Let me know if you try it out!

Free, and me...

On this beautiful Easter morn, while putting on my makeup, I leaned in close to my bathroom mirror and really took a look at my face.  Ughh..then I backed up a little bit.  Ha ha, just kidding...kind of...

It's weird to see a 29 year old face staring back at me.  Got to work a little harder to blend in the 'ol makeup around the eyes.  Starting to get little laugh crinkles.  That bright, unblemished 18 year old skin is gone.  Now it's 29 year old skin, with a dry patch here...and what the heck is that, there??

I finished my makeup, put on my adorable headband made by the lovely Chrissy over at Boerman Ramblings, got the kids out of the bathroom drawers, and went to make breakfast.  A big Easter feast of omelette's, potatoes, and toast.  My 29 year old hands making my family breakfast.  Breaking eggs, slicing potatoes...these hands of mine getting it done.

I tried to explain to my dear 10 year old over breakfast why mommy had to take medicine every morning and every night.  She asked what it was for.  I contemplated for a moment, do I tell her it's for anxiety or do I make something up?  So I tell her the truth, as simply as I can, so she can understand. Then we finish out breakfast. 

I feel old today, but not in a bad way.

Maybe it's not old, maybe it's comfortable. I am comfortable being 29, being a mom, being a wife. My role in this world.  Why I'm here and all that heavy stuff.

I capture my happiness around the Easter table with my husband, brother and his wife, sister and her husband, and my cousin.  I gather my comfort from our loud laughter and funny stories.  Spending the day with my beloved family...

After we get home, I have my hands in soapy water, doing up the dishes.  The babies are running around, exhausted and cranky.  Bobby vacuuming the toy room, Emily putting away the Easter gifts.  It's the sounds of my life.

I remember something my ex-best friend said to me a long time ago.  When I was younger I would always tell her that I was going to get married, have babies, the white picket fence, the whole shebang.  I would have it all.  She, who was older than me, would tell me that wasn't how life worked, that it probably wouldn't happen like that. 

She was wrong.  It did happen.  When she said it didn't work like that, she meant it didn't work like that for her.  Because I am me, and not her...and her choices were her own.

So here I sit, on my squishy couch, typing out all the reasons why i'm ok with being me.  All my little dumplings are cozy in their beds, visions of new play-doh and chocolate bunnies in their heads.  

I am 29.  I hate doing laundry.  I hate bugs so much that when Emily said she saw a slug outside earlier I had to go run and see, just so I could gross myself out.  Some days I really wish I had the kind of friend I could call on the phone and chat with.  I am nothing special outside of my home, but inside I have my doctorate in applying band-aids, am a fairly poor sewer upper of ripped toys, a therapist,  a chef, a fantastic story reader, play doh sculptor extraordinaire, champion fort builder, I am drawer of ferocious dinosaurs,  No health food advocate could ever make me feel disgrace for giving my kids a warm from the oven homemade cookie. Because I, and not them, and I can't help it if they make crappy cookies no one wants to eat.

I have a scar on my forehead, c-section scars, and scars from a breast reduction.  I wear the ones on my belly with the most pride.  Those brought my children to me.  No anti-c-sectionist website or comment will ever quell the pride I have from those scars, and anyone who tries, can liken themselves to a bully and go away.  Because I am me, and not them, because it was the birth of my children, not theirs.  

I am living with anxiety and depression.  I take medicine to help control it.  I take medicine so I can get out of bed and make my kids mickey mouse pancakes and dance with them in the living room.  I take medicine so I can walk around not feeling dread in the pit of my stomach every moment of every day.  No anti-medicine-person is ever going to make me feel contrition for wanting to feel like myself again.  Because I am me, and not them, and they aren't taking my medicine, I am.  Pretty simple, eh?

So, I am celebrating this beautiful day, and am celebrating feeling at home in my skin, at home with my choices, and at my home...they are my home...

I'm 29, and i'm happy...because I am me. 

Blog Rerun- A little musing for a rainy day.

I've been thinking today, musing perhaps. The people who see the ugly in everything. In everyday life. To them, everything, every person, every action corrupt, aligned against them.

As I have played with my children, fed them lunch, laid them down for their naps, read my book, I have pondered these individuals.

Are they self absorbed? Do they believe every action is an action against them? That every thought, movement, was directed specifically to make them uncomfortable?

Are they unhappy? Is their distaste for this world rooted somewhere in being miserable?

Maybe they are slightly dim, unaware that most people are unaware of them.

*Everyone has a level of self possession:
Why did it rain when I wanted sun?
Why can't I sleep in?
Why do I have to pay this bill?

*Some people take it to another level:
Why are you not like me?
Why do you believe what you believe?
Why do you do these things I do not approve of?

*Then there are those who see no good:
You are asinine to believe what you do, it is wrong.
You are not doing it the way you need to, you will never be right.
This cannot be, I did not say this was OK.
You did this to me specifically, and everything is wrong. I am right.

I have no answer for why they believe what they do, I just wish them Peace, and maybe a little humility.

If the world existed
But in my invention,
Wouldn't it pay me
More attention?

-Robert Brault

*Tell me, what are your thought's on this subject?

Get your hands off your booty, kid!

I was going to write a blog about teaching my children the importance of tolerance but I put it on the back burner.  Then I was going to write a blog about what kind of parent I am, but I lost interest.

All I can think about is driving home from my parents tonight dancing like foolios and singing at the top of our lungs. 

All I can think about is sitting at the kitchen table eating ice cream with my family after our raucous car ride.

All I can think about is singing a ridiculous version of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe complete with over-exaggerated hand movements to Noah because he kept belly laughing. 

All I can think about is Emily telling me I was a dandelion over homemade soup at dinner, when she meant to say daisy.  Mommy's a weed. 


All I can think about is the conversation with Noah explaining why we don't scratch our buttcracks, even if they itch.

All I can think about is all the silly, wonderful moments that made up my day. I hope you all had wonderfully funny days, too!

An important message:

Do you talk to your kids about the importance of not digging at their booties?  It's a conversation every family needs to have.  If you aren't talking to your kids about crack scratching, who is?  Maybe it's those dirty crack scratching supporters in back alleys. Talk to your kids about keeping their hands off their asses today, before it's too late.

Thank you, that is all.

A Thankful Heart...and a Sore Back!

When I was preggo with Mr. Noah we lived in a two bedroom townhouse.  It wasn't big enough for our new addition, only a small two bedroom. So, Bob and I started looking for a bigger place to rent. We had only been looking for a few weeks when Bob came home from and told me they had drastically cut his hours at work.  (My husband retreads semi tires.) Drastic meant they cut three shifts down to one, and most of the guys got laid off. Drastic meant he might not even get 40 hours a week. Drastic meant we couldn't pay our bills.  

Get a job, lazy ass, you may say.  Ahh, I was pregnant. No big deal, right?  Wrong. I am not a good pregnant lady.  I am a bleeding, high blood pressure, bedrest, off bedrest, partial bedrest, Sicky McSicker pregnant lady. No workie for me. 

We went from looking for a new place, to moving in with my parents in two weeks. 
Eventually Bob's work picked back up, enough that we could have moved back out.  But, I got pregnant with Ellie when Noah was a whole three months old, and Emily was finally FINALLY making friends at school, and came home with a smile on her face. I couldn't move her. There aren't many places big enough to rent around this particular school that aren't expensive. Believe me, we looked. 

When I say I've sacrificed to be a stay at home mom, I mean it.  We have lived with my parents for three years for Emily.  To see that light in her eyes again, that her birth mother destroyed (for awhile).  For Noah and Ellie, so their mama could be home. Being married and living with your parents isn't the most fun thing in the world.  There were awesome moments I wouldn't trade for anything, but there have been some...not awesome...moments too, as anyone who's lived with their parents as a young married couple could attest to. 

Cue the thankful heart and sore back!  

This weekend, my Mom and Dad, (along with my Aunt and my Grandma), moved to a new house. Just a mile down the road!  They are letting us buy this house from them. They sacrificed everything so Bob and I have a home to raise our family.  I was weighed down with a lot of guilt for awhile, but over time it's grown from guilt to seeing it as it's meant to be, a blessing.  So there is my overflowing thankful heart.  I can't even tell them thank you to their faces, as I would burst into tears and turn into a blubbering idiot. 

So, then comes the sore back.  After we spent the day moving and getting everyone settled into their new home, Bob and I came home and lost our minds for a little bit.  Nothing says overexcited like scrubbing the carpet in my parents old living room/soon to be toyroom at 9:30 at night.  Then waking up and going into a get the toyroom done frenzy. Which we did get done, because we are awesome.  We also used stuff we owned, and didn't spend a penny fixing up the room!

Pardon the pajamas, we were bums today!

Noah "schweeping"

A little break in the middle for some doodling

All done, the kids wouldn't smile for me, they were too busy!

Caught Noah about to sit on his sister and get in trouble.

He was ignoring me.

Miss Ellie had to have a whole slice of  pizza for dinner,
not that cut up shit mama put in front of her.

 Bob and I are proud of the new room.  My kids may not have fancy flat screen tv's and new furniture, and Mommy may have had to put a rug in the middle of a carpeted room to cover a certain Nyquil stain, but we have a pretty awesome toy room if I do say so myself!  Now I have to dig up a lamp and an endtable from the depths of the house, because there is no light in the room!  We stuck a lamp on top of the play kitchen tonight. Not going to work for long!  

So, I am about to go to bed...tired, a little sore, a list of things to do running through my head.  But, I am happy, I am thankful, and I love family and my parents.

Here's to new beginnings!

Cheesy Meatloaf Awesomeness

Soooo, I took some hamburger out for dinner yesterday, then couldn't decide whether to make a meatloaf or burgers or whatever.  I found a recipe for cheeseburger meatloaf.  Lightbulb!! 

Now, because I hardly ever follow directions...shocked i'm sure...I read them over and then decided I would create my own version.  Thus, Cheesy Meatloaf Awesomeness was born. 

Here's how to do it:

Get a big 'ol bowl. 

Dump into it:
*garlic pepper
*dried green and red bell peppers (if you have them)
*diced up onion

How much?  However much you feel like.

Squish your beef into it.  I find this part disgusting, I hate raw meat.  I do it anyway because..well..who the hell else is going to do it?

In the recipe I read, they got all fancy with wax paper and rolling up the meatloaf with the cheese inside.  I don't have time for all that jazz.

Slap half the meat into your meatloaf baking device of choice.  Make a little well down the middle. 

Time for cheese!  I used some shredded cheddar and a few slices of white american. 

Once it's sufficiently cheesed, give it a meat hat with the other half.  Crimp it all together so the cheese can't escape. 

I squirted some BBQ sauce on the top.  You could use ketchup, or whatever you feel like. 

Cover it with foil.  (I took the foil off towards the end so the meat went from that icky color to nice and brown.)

I cooked it at 375 degrees for like an hour or so. 

About halfway through I made my husband come in and dump some of the grease out of the pan.  It was his contribution to preparing dinner.

To be honest I didn't pay attention how long it took.  I've developed that mom-o-meter that can somehow get all the food done at the same time, know what i'm talking about?  It's like a superpower. 

I didn't take any pictures, so you'll have to use some imagination.  But, it was really good.  Really, really good. 

*I received TWO versatile blogger awards, what an great surprise to wake up to!  Thank you soooo much ladies, now I know what i'll be posting tomorrow!