Friday, September 30, 2011

{my moment}

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

Well, it wouldn't be the first time I couldn't pick just one...
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment so we can share you moment!

Happy Weekend Lovies!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

haiku wednesday

up all night with a
coughing five year old. gonna
need coffee. and nap.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lame Pot Roast and Amazing Cookies

Part 1: Pot Roast

Before I tell you about my Chocolate Chunk Cookies, I have to tell you about my massive mom fail yesterday. Well, not a mom fail, necessarily, but a food fail for sure.

On the way to school, my five year old implored, "Mom, can you, um, make us something special while we're at school today? Like make us a special treat or dessert or something new for dinner?" I guess we've gotten into a little rut lately! Easy to do, and easy to fix. I'd already gathered ingredients to make cookies as well as pot roast, so I figured those are both true "badges" of mommy-hood and comfort!

A bit more of the back story: Marc has a distinct disdain for pot roast. He says whenever he's had it, it's basically cooked meat swimming in soggy vegetables with little flavor. In all the time we've been together, I've never made him MY pot roast, which is good. In fact, I can't remember ever making a terrible or even less than yummy pot roast. I'll show him.

Fast forward to picking up the kids from school, who were begging to go to the park. "No problem," I'm thinking. I'm on cruise control. Roast has been in the crocker and will be ready by five. Let's play! Well, when we got home, Marc arrived and was starving. He'd even called in the middle of the day to tell me how hungry he was and request SOMETHING be waiting for him (no, I do not cook as much as I'd like). Sadly, when I got a plate for him and dug into what should have been fork tender, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast, my serving spoon hit a rock. That rump roast (Did I get the wrong cut of meat? It's been so long now I can't remember which cut I've used in the past!) was so tough, it was hard to slice on the cutting board! To top it all off, the potatoes weren't even done (one of Marc's pet peeves)! Seriously?

I sliced up the meat, and put it back in the crock on low for an hour or so, hoping it would get tender, or at least that the potatoes would soften up! My man ended up cleaning up a couple containers of leftovers, and I made a bagel sandwich (which he drooled over, so I made him one too). The littles ate chicken nuggets and green beans (and were probably far happier with that than being force to eat pot roast). Maybe it'll be better on day two as leftovers? Surely there's something I can do with it; seems a shame to waste so much food!

Part 2: Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So here's where I make up for a terrible dinner, by making killer dessert. Little Miss nicknamed me the Cookie Maker last weekend, so I think it's fair to say I make a pretty good cookie! This is one I've been wanting to make for a while. You can never go wrong with a classic chocolate chip cookie, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. Here's how I made a killer Chocolate Chunk Cookie, with three different types of sugar and four different chocolates. Buckle up; it's going to be a wild ride!

Cream room temperature butter and shortening.

Add 1/2c each granulated white sugar, washed raw sugar,
and dark brown sugar.

Combine equal parts milk, dark, semi-sweet, and 70% Cacao chocolate.

That's a total of 2 cups chocolate chunks!

Combine flour, soda, and salt mixture, then fold in chocolate.

Bake and cool! Look at those perfect crispy edges and soft centers!

Little man attacks his cookie.

Aidie digs in...

...and says, "Oh, that's really good Mom!"

Marc licks his lips as he dunks his warm cookie in milk!

I think this is a pic of him eating his FOURTH cookie!

Marc said last night, "You need to stop making cookies." I think he means it in a good way. And I think I'm onto something with the combo of butter and shortening, as well as the mix of the different sugars. Those combined to make a really phenomenal texture in those cookies! And get out of here with the overload on chocolates! Yum!

Here's the recipe. Let me know what you think!

Missy's Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt (I use Kosher salt)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 stick shortening (in baking stick form)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c raw sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 c chocolate chunks (equal parts: milk chocolate bar chopped or morsels, dark chocolate morsels, 70% cacao chocolate bars chopped, and semi-sweet chunks)

Preheat Oven to 350

Make sure butter is room temperature. Cream butter and shortening, then add sugar, vanilla, and eggs. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt and soda, and slowly incorporate into wet mixture. With rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chunks. Refrigerate cookie dough for at least a half hour before baking. When oven is ready, drop by heaping teaspoon onto greased baking sheet (or parchment paper, silpat, etc). Bake for approximately 10 min per batch. I always set the timer for 8 minutes and then watch the cookies and pull them out when the center of the cookie still looks slightly wet. You want to let them continue to bake on the baking sheet, but out of the oven, for a minute or so before transferring to cooling rack. That's my trick for a perfectly chewy cookie!

Love and Honey,

Monday, September 26, 2011

Doulas for Pregnancy and Childbirth


When people ask what I do for a living, I often have to answer this question, "Do-what?" or "What's a DOO-lah?" While the term doula may be foreign to many, the role of a doula is not. Doula comes from an ancient Greek word which means "woman's servant," and now describes a trained and experienced professional who gives continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a woman during pregnancy and throughout the birthing process, or practical support in postpartum period.

doulas for pregnancy and childbirth, birth doula, tulsa doula, honeybee mama

Often a mother has people available to give moral support during labor, whether it is her own mother, husband, friend, or partner. Often, however, these people may not have the knowledge or experience to answer all of the mother's questions or have the skills necessary to assist her in various stages of birth. Sometimes, a mother's husband or friends are frightened of hospitals and childbirth themselves are find it difficult to be supportive in the way she desires. Then there are women, whether teen mothers or those in other difficult life circumstances, who have no one to accompany them during this precious life experience. Birth Doulas may be a mother's primary support and can also empower the father (or others accompanying the mother) in assisting her during labor and birth.

DONA International shares these key points about the role of Birth and Postpartum Doulas:
A Birth Doula
  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).
Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

A Postpartum Doula
  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
A postpartum doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials PCD(DONA).
For more information on doulas, take a look at the following links:
Interested in hiring a doula? Use the following links to search for a professional who shares your vision and philosophies for childbirth.
Why Am I a Doula?

Read more about my journey to becoming a Birth Doula.

I love being a doula because I love to see women connect with their bodies and their babies during pregnancy and birth. A lover of truth and information, I am excited when I am able to help educate and empower women on all of the options available to them as mothers. I believe that no woman should feel afraid of childbirth; it is literally something that's been happening since the beginning of time! I also believe each woman and family should be able to achieve the birth experience they desire. Whether it is a goal for you to have an unmedicated birth, or you desire all the medical interventions you can get your hands on, I am here to help you sort through your options and have a voice with your health care provider to ask questions and have the birth experience you want, as well as hold your hand throughout the process to ensure your wishes are realized.

At Honeybee Mama, I'm committed to showing mothers they don't have to be afraid of childbirth and they can have the birth experience they truly desire. If you're wondering how a doula might be able to help you in your birth, contact me or schedule your first conversation today!

More pregnancy info!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recipe for Family Night

I love it when beautiful events evolve organically, without planning and determination. I find they often do as long as your eyes are open enough to recognize when things are happening and are willing to jump on and ride that train when they do!

Usually when we have Family Night, we have a vision: a new recipe or old favorite for dinner, a special dessert I tackle as a special treat for the kiddos, and some kind of activity (board game, movie, etc) for us to all do together.

Weeknights are usually pretty streamlined: homework or playing outside, simple dinner or leftovers after everyone is finished with homework, bath and some TV or bedtime stories, then bedtime. Last Thursday, however, was different from all the rest. Marc was inspired at some point during the day to replace our chiminea (which has a crack in it that sucks air in at a rate that creates an inferno and needs to be hauled off) with a fire pit and install decorative stones to offset it from the patio. He arrived home after work with a truck full of supplies to find a host of littles eager to help him.

While I got dinner ready and helped Carter with his homework, the crew got to work in the backyard.

Like I said, nothing exciting by any means for dinner. Boxed red beans and rice, dressed up with smoked sausage, leftover roasted chicken, and sauteed veggies.

And you can't go wrong with toasty garlic bread to accompany it!

Red beans and rice were a bit of a stretch for the littles, but they picked through and found bites they approved of, and were brave enough to eat unfamiliar ones. The bigs were perfectly happy and gobbled everything down. Marc admitted later he ate way too much. I have to say I feel quite proud as a Mama when everyone eats the food I make for them happily, and even pays me compliments!

Then back to work. The bigs headed out to the trampoline, and Aidan was intent on helping, "I want to help Mr. Marc!" He went right to the only spot cleared for a little booty on the porch and plopped right down where he could observe and offer his opinions (which, if you know Aidan, are plentiful) on the process. He's a great helper *grin*.

Stone spot for the fire pit done, and the kids kept jumping.

Corrinne yelled, "Missy, come jump with us!" I don't pass up invitations like that, even though a horribly disastrous kitchen awaited me, and a blog post I'd been trying to get up for a couple of days. Camera down. Shoes off. Jump.

Then Aidan remembered the fort he's been wanting to make. Bless his heart, he's waited patiently for the bigs to be here because he didn't want them to miss out on the project!

He spots the empty box from the new fire pit and knows exactly what to do with it. "A little hand here!" So I helped him in with the box and he announces to the rest of the kiddos the plans for the evening.

I don't think they quite got his vision. He tries to explain to them how we need to open the bottoms of the boxes and attach them together to build a tunnel. Unfortunately, they'd already set up residence in them and turned on the Disney Channel. Poor kid.

Meanwhile, Marc was thoroughly enjoying the work of his hands! Yay!

I pulled out ingredients to whip up some chocolate chunk cookies, since I found out Corrinne had dubbed me the "Cookie Maker," but the kiddos spotted the remaining brownies before I could get things going (remember I was juggling clean up, uploading pictures and typing for a blog post, and frantically trying to not miss precious picture moments happening all around me)! Little Miss remembered we had some blue frosting in the cabinet, and Aidan requested sprinkles. 

Before we knew it, these clever little chefs had come up with their own imaginative treat that had nothing to do with me!

And once we got the munchkins to bed, Marc and I bundled up, poured some wine, and sat under the stars to enjoy the fire. 

It's the moments that can so quickly pass us by that we must notice and cherish!

Recipes for this Family Night

Missy's Red Beans and Rice
(the half homemade version - I do have a from scratch version I make when I have time)

2 Boxes Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice, cooked according to directions
1.5 packages skinless Eckridge Smoked Sausage, chopped
1c leftover roasted chicken (lemon rotisserie from Wal-Mart), chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2T oil (olive or vegetable)
2T minced garlic

Get red beans and rice going in a stock pot, while you saute onions, celery and carrots in oil in a pan over med/high heat. Once you've sweat the onions and the other veggies are slightly soft, add sausage, chicken and garlic and brown lightly. Add to the pot with the red beans and rice, and put the lid back on for the remainder of the cooking time indicated on box. Serve with buttered garlic bread, and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

Corrinne and Aidan's "Magic" Brownies

Left over brownies (we had a pan of Betty Crocker's Ultimate Fudge Brownies from last week)
Betty Crocker Decorating Cupcake Icing (in sky blue)
Sprinkles of your choice!

Love and Honey,

Friday, September 23, 2011

{my moment}

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment
so we can share it with you!

Happy Weekend Lovies!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

haiku wednesday

it's the little things
that make us superheroes
to our little boys

love and honey,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Conversations in the Car Vol. 11

On the way to school last week, after dropping off the bigs...

Alec: I want to go on a  mission tonight.
Me: A mission? What kind of mission?
Alec: A rescue mission!
Me: Who are you going to rescue?
Aidan: *Rolling his eyes, very annoyed and WAY smarter than his younger brother* No one.
Alec: Like, we are going along and we find someone who is stuck, and we rescue them.
Me: How will you know they are stuck and they need to be rescued?
Aidan: He won't.
Alec: We will run and run and run and run, and then we will find them and we will rescue them.
Me: How will you know where to look?
Alec: Um...
Aidan: He won't! Alec, you don't even know where any dangerous places are. *pause* I do.
Alec: No you don't, Bubba!
Aidan: Yes I do. (still in the tone of I am WAY smarter than anyone in the car) A sticky mud pit, a candy factory, a peanut butter factory, and the worst of all, a HAUNTED HOUSE!
Alec: Ooh, yeah. Those are scary.
Aidan: I wouldn't be scared.
Me: You wouldn't?
Aidan: No, because I'm five...
Alec: And I am four!
Aidan: ...and now that I'm five, I'm not scared of haunted houses any more...

At this point the conversation of a rescue mission trails off and we discuss Halloween of last year and the haunted house we saw, what everyone wants to dress up as, and questions of what was packed for lunch. Alec somehow seemed satisfied at the options of dangerous places to search for people "stuck" who needed rescuing.

I do hope we can schedule this rescue mission soon.

Love and Honey,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mom Blog Highlights

*This is the blog post I had intended to write this morning, when my apparent need to express myself overtook my fingers while typing!

We love Mom Blogs don't we? Seems like everyone has one these days, whether trying to make a business out of it, promote a home business, or just keep friends and family up to date on what's going on with the kiddos. Of course, those of us in the trenches idolize SouleMama, Pioneer Woman, and Savory Sweet Life, bloggers of true Mom Blog infamy.

Well, I'm a blog stalker like the rest of you, as you can see from my list of Blogs I Love (and that's not even close to complete), so I thought I'd share with you a few of my favorites from the last week or so. I'd like to make a habit of learning from other women and sharing stories that have touched me personally with you, my readers. These are Mom Blogs I think are really worth reading regularly. Some are women I know well, others, I've never met, but all are women whose life perspectives and experiences are rich and who share simply and eloquently. I hope you'll visit their websites, comment, and share your stories with them as well!

In no particular order:


In her recent post, she shares about how we often compare ourselves to other moms, rather than celebrating who we are and where we are in life. She offers a challenge to us to celebrate ourselves, our children and our fellow mamas. Very special. You should read the rest of her blog too. She is a great woman, wonderful writer, and amazing wife (so I hear through the grapevine. Her hubs will be officiating at our wedding!).

Ms. Single Mama

This isn't the first time, or the last you will hear me talk about Ms. Single Mama. Her ebook saved my broken and confused little heart when I began venturing out into the dating world as a new single mom. I identified with her story in so many ways and it was encouraging just to read someone talk about the same emotions I was going through. In one of her recent posts, she talks about what your man brings to the table and how to identify whether or not it's good enough to keep him around. Love it!

Life With the Dokes

Megan is a friend  I went to church with when I lived in Norman. She is a sweet woman, with a charming family, joy for life, and love for Jesus. In her recent post, she shares about the peace, excitement, lulls and longing she experiences when Dad is out of town. I felt like I was reading one of my swim lessons (though written by someone much more eloquent of a writer than I!), and identify a lot with her perspective of managing with a house full of littles while on your own as a mama.

Ebenezer Rising

I love this blog for what it represents (read the verse on the front page), as well as for the writer. I'm a little partial because she is my very best friend in the world, Matron of Honor in my wedding and possibly one of the coolest people ever. In this post and this post, she shares her journey with anxiety and panic attacks. She is so upfront and honest about a difficult topic, one that many don't understand or may feel ashamed about if they struggle with similar issues. Psychological issues are a mystery to many conservative Christians and sadly a source of guilt. She exposes lies and reveals truth through her vulnerable writing.

Please visit these blogs, comment, and share! Also, if you have a mom blog you love, share it in your comment; I'd love to add it to my list of obsessions!

Love and honey,

Mondays are still Mondays.

Happy Monday Lovies!

I was thinking to myself this morning as I watched my to-do list pile up past my eyeballs that a lot of people probably don't realize that Mondays are still Mondays for stay-at-home-moms. Then I realized in reviewing the different pages of my website that I need to update the about honeybeemama tab. It still says I work as an Administrative Assistant during the day at a bank. Woops.

I'll get to it, promise.

Since about a month ago, I've been a, well, stay-at-home-mom. I'm really a work-at-home-mom since I am a birth doula and blogger, but primarily I'm a SAHM. I have four children to keep track of, attending two different school districts. That's four teachers, four take home folders, four ranges of homework responsibilities, one pre-teen, one pre pre-teen (who might as well BE a teenage girl), one very high maintenance and mouthy kindergartener, and one pre-kindergartener who knows full well he's the baby (and takes full advantage of it). Each day I only actually have two hours and 15 minutes (and that's a stretch) of time completely to myself in which to get all that "working at home" done. And don't even get me started on trying to time school drop off and pick up times just right so as to get everyone to school or picked up on time! So, yeah, I'm MOSTLY a stay-at-home-mom.

And that's really hard for me to say, to admit, to OWN. If i'm honest, I have to say I feel squeemish about saying it to people when they ask what I "do." I say, "Oh, well I work from home..." and then ramble on in a stream of consciousness manner for a few minutes trying to legitimize what I do, or make people believe that I actually bring a significant income in to our home. You see, I was a SAHM before my separation from my first marriage (and believe me, it still feels REALLY weird to use terms like "first marriage") which resulted in divorce. Then I working a full time job, and that term really doesn't do that title justice, because that's not what it is. It's a 40 hour/week job, just one part of your "job" or life really, especially when you're a SINGLE parent and have a lot of other work to do outside of that job. Once I became the sole provider for my family (never really have been a consistent recipient of that elusive "child support" thing), I began to create a different view of SAHMs. I'm very sorry to say this, but because of the intense pride you have as a single mama, it's really easy to think little of moms who "have it all" and "get" to stay home while their man provides for all their needs. It's just a biproduct of bearing the full responsibility for raising children and maintaining a home and job.  I never looked down on moms who were able to stay home with their children, but I did develop a bit of an attitude that they had it easier than I did. But honestly, in my mind, anyone who had financial, physical, or emotional help from someone co-parenting with them had it easier than I did. You just truly have no idea until you've had to do it.

But with that pride I began to take hold of a deep joy in my identity and a thankfulness for my life. I can say that I genuinely came to embrace single parenthood; I found myself in a deeper way during that time than in any other stage in my life. For that I'm grateful, and for that reason, it's difficult to transition into the role of SAHM, though I'm slowly finding ways to embrace it again. Really, this is the life I always wanted to live. C'mon, my friends in high school nicknamed me "Soccermom." And this time around, it's a much better place to be than when I stayed at home previously. I'm engaged to a man who LOVES my love of motherhood and LOVES me being home, and who appreciates and needs me as the partner in his life. He cherishes me first and foremost, and would love and support me in any profession I chose, inside or outside the home.

With all that said, here's a shout out to ALL the moms. Working mamas, WAHMs, SAHMs, and all the mamas in between. We all have big jobs to do, and we all have Mondays' to-do lists awaiting us after a weekend of rest. How about some girl power to kick off this week?!

We really can do it. Each of us, whatever our marital or career situation is, can pull up our boot straps, get to work, and shine.

And now, after this blog post has somehow become something wholely other than what I sat down to write (I was going to write a post highlighting some of my favorite posts from other Mom Blogs that I've read this week), I shall end it with love and honey...and get on with my to-dos!


Friday, September 16, 2011

{my moment}

{my moment}

A moment (a few this time) captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment so we can share yours!

Sorry kids, I just couldn't pick one this week. I have tears in my eyes actually, thinking about the special and breathtaking moments captured in each of these pictures. You don't know the all the stories, but I do. And I am so thankful for my life. It's a life I fight for, and it's a life that is worth it. None of it comes easy, and not all of it is peaceful and happy, but it's good. It's very good.

Thanks for letting me share this sweet, sweet life with you, dear friends!

Happy Weekend Lovies!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Swim Lessons - The Three Ps

Swim Lessons are lessons I've learned from being a single mom that are encouragement to other single parents, and as it turns out, married parents too! The biggest lesson is, as Dory from Finding Nemo says, "Just keep swimming!" The rest are nuggets of truth I've learned along the way that made the difference between drowning and survival.

The next lesson to help you just keep swimming through single motherhood has to do both with saving your booty and survival!

  1. Preparation - think about everything that can go wrong and prepare for it, doing everything you can ahead of time.
  2. Procrastination - forget about the things that don't have an immediate impact on your success as a mother and in your career; they will only trip you up and exhaust you.
  3. Prioritization - do the things that mater most first. Period.

Even though you're pooped after a full day of work, and the second day of work packed into cooking and feeding children, disciplining, bathing, and getting them to bed (and all the fights involved in all of those), take advantage of the fact that you're still going! If you sit down once those kiddos are in bed, you'll crash and be sorry in the morning when there are 101 things you have to complete just to get out the door.

If you can just accomplish a few more things before you pass out for the night, you'll be less stressed in the morning and there is a higher probability of you being on time to work :).

Pack lunches. For the kids AND for you. Remember how you
need to be smart with your finances? Yep. Make an extra PB&J
when you're packing for the littles so you don't spend $10 for one
at lunch tomorrow!

Stock up on quick and healthy breakfasts (again for you and
the kids). If you need to go ahead and fill sippy cups with milk
and juice and put them in the fridge to grab in the morning,
do it now!

Find a coffee maker with a Delay Brew button on it. And
thank Jesus for inventing them!

Pack backpacks. As SOON as your kiddos can come even
remotely close to doing this for themselves, let them. For
older kids, this has to become one of their nightly routines.
Diaper bags for infants. Prepare bottles, pack diapers, etc.

Clothes are picked out the night before in my house and have
been for a LONG time. I tell my littles nightly after bath, "go put
on your pjs and pick out your clothes for tomorrow!" I'm
over them looking cute and put together. As long as they're
clothed, we're good.

Also think about things you need to do tomorrow outside of work. Any errands you need to run at lunch or after work before you pick up the kids from daycare? Set it by your purse! And find your keys NOW so you're not looking for them in the morning. Do you know what YOU'RE wearing? If you don't want to think about it, make sure you at least have enough clean clothes to choose from, and soak a few options in Downy Wrinkle Releaser just in case.


Not like I have to tell you that you're going to be too tired to
make the bed, but seriously, it doesn't matter.

I can't tell you how many unmade beds and naked pillows (without the pillowcases) I've slept on because I just can't bear one more task. And you know what? The world didn't end. I've stacked up a lot of wrinkled clean clothes that waited days for me to fold them because it doesn't matter as much as the other things that have to. Which leads me to the third P.


Just put first things first. If at any moment during any of the above tasks, you have a scared little that needs hugs and kisses, you drop everything. Of course that also goes for wet beds, puking, and potty training that didn't make it in the pot. And sometimes you're the priority. There are certainly nights where you throw everything above out the window and go to bed early, or stay up late and have YOU time watching TV or catching up with a friend on the phone. Just always ask yourself, "What is most important RIGHT NOW? What MUST be done, and what can wait?"

And always, just keep swimming!


Find me at Tulsa Family Doulas

Join me at the 2015 SMTULSA Conference!

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