What’s Wrong With Me!?

My dear husband got me The Art of French Cooking (the Julia Child cookbook) for Christmas. This was not a subtle hint, I’ve been wanting it since I saw Julie & Julia when it first came out (2009? 2010?).

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I was SO excited to open it and knew my first recipe had to be Boeuf Bourguignon. Conveniently, our 7th anniversary was yesterday so I decided to make the dish.

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I had no idea what I was getting myself into. An hour and a half over the stove, followed by 2.5 hours in the oven (while me and Baby Bear napped), ending with another hour and a half over the stove. I’m convinced Julia Child was a lunatic AND a culinary genius. What a time-consuming, inconvenient, expensive, delicious creation. To make this, you have to really love cooking…and not be 7 months pregnant. Being on my feet for that long wore me out!

And as I was scrubbing the pan this morning, I found myself daydreaming about which recipe to try next. Julia, you sneaky wino! How did that happen? How did I fantasize about quitting an hour into cooking, debate even finishing the second hour and a half, truly despise and curse Julia…yet, I’m still giddy at the thought of trying another recipe! Also, after tackling that beast, the “complicated” recipes from Pinterest seem like child’s play. Oh there are a million ingredients? Oh there are a million steps? Psssshhhhh! I defeated Boeuf Bourguignon! I can take on the world!

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Stuffed Shells!

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Just made this for dinner tonight (sorry I didn’t get more pics, I didn’t know I’d be sharing) and it rocked!!! It’s basically lasagna in jumbo pasta shells and the only thing we don’t normally keep in the house is ricotta and shredded mozzarella (but they’re both easy to come by). I’m very proud of this considering I did zero measuring and only got the idea to stuff shells from a recipe. Yes, I’ve never made any dish with these jumbo pasta shells before. Is that weird? I don’t care. Try this soon, you won’t be disappointed!

Brittany’s Stuffed Shells
all of these measurements are approximate except the beef and egg, so you won’t mess it up if it isn’t exact

1/2 box jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
10-15 oz total of ricotta and cottage cheeses
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1.5 jars pasta sauce
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350* F
1. Cook shells according to package instructions until al dente. Rinse in cold water long enough for shells to cool enough to touch.
2. Drizzle olive oil to cover an 8″x11″ baking dish.
3. Mix cheeses (leaving some mozzarella aside), beef, egg, seasoning and a little pasta sauce in a large bowl.
4. Fill shells with mixture and place in baking dish.
5. Cover with pasta sauce, sprinkling the remaining mozzarella over the top, and bake at 350*F for 1 hour.

You want to be sure to completely cover the shells with sauce. Have you ever baked pasta that wasn’t covered by liquid? Crusty, gross noodle is the result (made that mistake with lasagna rolls a few years ago).

You can also make the stuffing ahead so that all you have to do is cook the noodles and stuff them. Serve with garlic bread and it’s an easy meal for a week night! Replace the beef with chicken, if you want!

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…And One More Thing

This ecard pisses me off more than any other on the face of the planet.

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I naively, and ignorantly, would have thought the same thing had I not been a SAHM for the last 2 years. Let me tell you something, staying at home with a toddler, aka: tiny tornado, requires 10x more work to keep up with the house than everyone leaving for 8-9 hours a day. The house being occupied for around 4 or 5 hours per day is not the same as it being occupied all day, everyday. And let me remind working moms of something else, they get alone time AND adult interaction time everyday. My alone time is spent showering on the days Little Miss won’t leave my side without a complete meltdown that I don’t have the energy to deal with. Or it’s spent doing the cleaning that I can’t do while she is awake. Being a SAHM is just as much work as working outside the home, it’s just DIFFERENT work. You sometimes have to deal with people you don’t like while we never get a day off (I always laugh when people say TGIF…I don’t get to clock out). It’s give and take. Some days, I wish I worked outside the home while other days, I nearly have a panic attack just imagining if I had to leave my sweet, precious rainbow baby in the care of someone less capable… Just like some days, a working mom can’t wait to drop off little Johnny at daycare because he is being such a handful while other days, loathes her friends who became SAHM’s.

Seriously, the comparison shit needs to fucking stop. Apples and oranges here, people. WOTH cannot be compared to being a SAHM. They. Are. Different. Period.

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A Bone To Pick

I keep seeing all of these cutesy quotes on Pinterest (I’m so sorry I’m bringing it up again!) and they annoy the shit out of me. Since I don’t want to annoy everyone on FB with my rants opinions, I decided to bring it here. Lucky you. So here goes…

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Really? Assuming the good, especially of people, is asking for a kick in the teeth. Get real! Assuming the bad can prepare you, give you confidence, see the situation from every angle. Looking at something or someone from ALL sides would be more appropriate. This just seems a little too rainbows and puppies for my taste and irritates me every time I see it.

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I disagree. When you do all of those things, it’s because you have boundary issues, not because you’re “too nice”. For God’s sake, take some responsibility for your actions and stop letting people take advantage of you. People treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Which is why I haven’t spoken to my mother in almost 3 months, because I don’t ALLOW anyone to disrespect me the way she does. Boundaries, people. Stop playing the victim and grow a pair.

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This kind of goes along with the first one. Being prepared is the way I want to walk into a hurdle, not pretending like something bad won’t happen if I just don’t think about it. THINK about what might go wrong so that if you’re faced with that obstacle, you can overcome it. Use the “what could go right” thoughts to remind you of your goal when you meet the “might go wrong”s.

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Um, are we 12 and in jr high? Again, quite rolling over. If you don’t like that someone always and only calls you when they have a problem, stop answer the damn phone, genius. I think every person on the planet has had a “friend” like this. Whether they are still in your life is YOUR choice.

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Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that it’s completely sanitary to have mold growing in the corners and a grimy film on the bathtub that you wash your children in. It’s not a wasted life, especially when you have children. It’s about keeping your family healthy and safe. I didn’t have a “clean” environment growing up and many times, I was embarrassed to bring friends over. My children will learn to pick up after themselves, clean up after themselves and will not be embarrassed. The home is a sanctuary and I prefer mine clean and orderly. As of right now, my house is very clean. All three bathrooms were cleaned today, carpets vacuumed, floors swept and mopped, no dishes in the sink, all surfaces freshly dusted and I don’t feel that was wasted time one bit.

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I saved this one for last because I see it both ways. I’m sure this ecard was meant for the know-it-all in your office who butts into conversations with unsolicited advice. For me, I get so pissed when someone ASKS for advice, then gets defensive when you are honest. If you want me to stroke your ego or just agree with you, I’m totally fine with it. But don’t ask me what I’d do, then tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about because my situation isn’t the same (even though I’m not looking at the issue from MY perspective). I like hearing other angles of an issue in my life because people outside (emotionally) the situation usually have a more logical/rational approach.

Ok, ranting over. :)

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Is It March Yet?

HI!!!  I’m alive!  A little worse for the wear, but I’m alive!  And as an answer to my prayers, so is the baby in my belly!  We are 18 weeks 3 days now and I had my anatomy scan (GASP) on Monday…showing a perfectly HEALTHY little girl!!  Did I mention HEALTHY?  HEALTHY HEALTHY HEALTHY!!!  Oh and she had 3 little white lines between her legs…hehe.  I’m over the freaking moon!  (Gee, can you tell with the 500 exclamation points I’ve used already?)  I’m not going to dig deep for this one because I already did on Tyler’s site, but I just wanted to pop in and show some love to the bloggers I follow.  It seems like a couple of them have been on a small blogging hiatus, as well.  One, due to finding her peace and happy place again (why is it so hard to lose sight of that?) and the other because I think she was moving!  She always posts pictures of her food and I absolutely love looking at other peoples food…don’t judge me.  Speaking of food, I’ve been eating like a cow lately but gaining in a healthy way for pregnancy, so I won’t complain.  I think I’m up a total of 5 lbs since the beginning, which is probably good since I started below “normal” (for me).

Anyway, quick update from the last time I posted (which was back in like 1999…or 3 weeks ago…):

~  I haven’t started walking yet…lame, I know.  I’m totally in that “I have so much to do that I’m overwhelmed by it all so I’ll just sit here and do none of it” mode and I’m slowly working my way out of it.  Slowly.  Turns out, a lot of anxiety was alleviated by the anatomy scan, though.  Win/Win!
~  We are out of “miscarriage” territory…but have entered “stillborn” territory.  Lose/Lose, eh?
~  Feeling the baby move more regularly has been one of the best things for my heart (and mind).  I can’t wait for the husby to feel her kicking.
~  By the way, her name is Kimber Elise.  Kimber after my grandpa-in-law’s (hubs’ paternal grandpa) only daughter, Kimberly, who was stillborn at full term.  We know that pain of losing a baby and we don’t want her memory to fade.  Luckily, we also love the name Kimber.  It was kind of an unspoken agreement when Hubs asked about naming a girl that.  His grandpa means a lot to us and has been there for my husband through a lot.  We have a special, although sucky, bond with him now that we’ve lost a baby, too.  He was the only one in either of our families who really understood what we were going through.  Makes me tear up to think about.
~  Even though I’m determined to ENJOY this pregnancy, since it will hopefully be my last, I just can’t wait for March when she is here, safe and healthy.  I’m very excited for my KB to have a little sister.  Even though her big brother isn’t here on earth to protect her, I believe he has her back from above.
~  There’s a bucket of Halloween candy sitting in front of me and the skittles are whispering sweet nothings my way.  Bastards.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Relief

Appointment went great! We couldn’t get an exact heart rate because baby was so squirmy (that’s a good thing!) but we did get to hear it for a few seconds, which is reassuring. I was worried that my dr. wouldn’t let me do the anatomy scan (the one where we found out about Tyler’s condition) as soon as I am able to but she was awesome about it. She said that it didn’t matter to her (she isn’t the one doing the scan, it will be an ultrasound tech). So I will get the scan at 18 weeks 1 day which is only 3 weeks away! Luckily, since my dr. doesn’t even have to be there, I can get it done the day before hubby’s birthday. My brain is getting all jumbled…I’m so relieved and happy. This is so freaking stressful! I know it all comes down to control. I had so much control before getting pregnant. Before Tyler’s diagnosis. Control is such an illusion and damnit, I KNOW that but running and losing weight gave me that false sense of control all over again. I haven’t been exercising regularly and I known it’s a problem, I can feel it. I need to start walking regularly again. I need that exercise to fight off the negativity, the anxiety, doubt, anger, fear. I’ve been missing it.

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The Moment of Truth

Ok I just need to unload a little. Tomorrow is another prenatal appointment and, like usual, I’m starting to freak a little. I’m showing, I felt the baby move for the first time last week…shit’s getting real and that means that if something bad happens, it won’t be easy. Not that any baby loss is easy but miscarrying was a hell of a lot easier to move on from than losing Tyler was. I’m only 15 weeks but if I started to miscarry, oh well. Dr.’s won’t do anything to stop it until the baby is viable. Which isn’t for another 9 weeks. If there is no heartbeat tomorrow, I will eventually go into labor and give birth to a baby (it’s about the size of a lemon right now). I “passed tissue” last time. Ugh.

I hate being so nervous.

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