Friday, September 27, 2013

{my moment}

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

I'm learning to slow down a bit more lately, walk away from the noise and the distractions and pay attention to what's happening in real life. I am learning to savor the moments, to notice the possibility for moments and grab hold of them. This was a moment I stole with my seven year old to read and snuggle together before bedtime. A few minutes later, the six year old grabbed his book and joined us as well. Needless to say, I didn't actually get much reading done because I was too busy watching and soaking in all the sweetness of my little bees. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in you comment to your moment. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Friday, September 20, 2013

{my moment}

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

Mornings before school are always hectic. This we know is a fact of life. On the morning of this picture, Aidan asked me, "Mom, can we run to Wal-Mart before school?" As I began to open my mouth in protest, he interjected, "Wait, you're gonna say yes. My friend, Angie, broke her arm on the monkey bars yesterday and I want to bring her flowers. I can buy them with my own money."

There is no denying a sweet seven year old who is thoughtful and generous enough to want to bring flowers to a little girl who has broken her arm. I looked and looked and selected just the exact bunch he wanted. I held back tears. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link in your comment to your moment. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

That moment you realize it's all about you...

I've been complaining a lot lately. I mean, there are lots of things that are legitimately wrong. My kids talk back. They rarely do exactly what I tell them to do, exactly how I instruct them to do it the moment I tell them to do it. They never clean up after themselves and neither does my husband for that matter. I don't get any respect. No one cares that I cook for them, make their favorite foods, clean up their messes and plan fun activities for them. I mean does anyone know how much I do for all of them? Not to mention, I'm trying to run a business here, people! I have clients and people depending on me and all you can say is, "Hey Mommy, Mommy!"

And I'm sick of the kids fighting. Nothing's fair. It's not fair that this one has to share a room with that one and everyone should get equal amounts of privacy and if they're not being nice to each other you can bet I'm going to let them have it. And it's really not fair that I have to hear about all of it. We need more rules and I'm going to make sure everyone follows every one to make sure everything's fair and I get the respect I deserve.

And I'll be as mean as I have to to ensure that happens because I'm the boss. I'm the mom afterall...right?

A lot has been wrong lately, and you could tell by taking one look at me and the horrified and looks on my kids faces when I lost it on them because everything was wrong and nothing was right.

Then came the moment, the moment I realized it was all about me. I lamented to my best friend, "I'm such a mean person. I've become a mean mom. I mean, I'm really mean. I feel like no one ever does what they're supposed to do. Everyone's always talking back and never doing what they're supposed to do and every morning there's a mess in the kitchen because no one cleaned it up the night before. It's like no one cares about me and yet I feel horrible because I'm yelling all the time and I lose it on the kids immediately because I'm so frustrated all the time!" I could hear the words coming out of my mouth and I felt so selfish, like I was making it all about me, and I felt even more remorseful.

First she asked, "Why do you need all that from them? Why does their room have to be perfect when the leave for school in the morning and why do they have to hop to the moment you give them instructions?"

I replied, "Because I don't want to be 'that mom' who doesn't have it all together and whose kids look disheveled and whose kids don't obey. When I was a single mom I was criticized so much and I refuse to be the mom with the bad kids."

She said, "But your kids aren't bad kids, Missy. You have amazing kids. You know what? It sounds to me like you're not taking care of yourself. You're not a mean person. You're actually a really easy-going person, but not when you're on the edge because you've stretched yourself too thin. When you're on the edge you're unhappy and you're going to let everyone know it."

Boom. It dawned on me. It really was all about me. Something I learned as a single mom when I launched my blogging career at One for me, two for you, was that I became a better mom when I stopped trying the BE the "perfect mom" and just decided to be myself. I also discovered there was a reason why flight attendants began telling people to put their oxygen masks on themselves before they put them on their children: you can't take care of your kids if you're dead. 

Somewhere along the way I became wounded by others' criticism of my parenting and lost sight of the fact that I get to parent the way I want to parent and no one knows my kids better than I do. Maybe it was being in the spotlight more because of my blogging; maybe I began to fear that people would recognize me in public and see that Honeybee Mama doesn't have control of her own kids. But also along the way I forgot how to say no and took on too many responsibilities and did too many things for other people, including my kids.

I read somewhere recently that the surefire way to make yourself miserable is by trying to make other people happy all the time. I will never be able to teach my kids enough or clean them up enough or cook enough foods from scratch or vacuum my house enough to convince others I'm the perfect mom. And I will never be able to do enough for my kids for them to be perma-happy. I will never be able to give enough to them that on Mother's Day they shower me with profuse thanks and make me feel like the Queen Mother I am because I make their bread from scratch and feed them each their favorite breakfast before they go to school and never forget the little love note in their lunchbox. Let's get real, that movie-ready Mother's Day will never happen anyway.

I took a step back and realized several things. First, I'm not perfect and neither are my kids. I don't hop to every time they say, "Hey Mommy," (which is like, a million times an hour), and they probably won't hop to the moment I tell them to brush their teeth. They probably also won't hop to if I tell them to brush their teeth and then bark five more instructions at them while they're on their way to the bathroom and then start yelling at them five minutes later for not obeying.

When I took that step back, I realized that not only isn't everything perfect, it's OKAY that it's not perfect. If I crawl up my kids' butts for every speck of dust that isn't in place when the leave for school in the morning, I'm only setting them up for intense fear of failure and perfectionism and the knowledge of my perma-disappointment in them for their perma-imperfection. Not exactly the message I want to send.

Lastly, I HAVE to take care of myself. If I'm getting the time to myself I need and not taking on too much, I'm actually a pretty happy person. And when I'm taking care of myself I realize my kids aren't actually jerks. I was the jerk.

I've got to give my husband some props here too. He does actually clean up after himself and he's incredibly supportive of me and my business. When I talked to him about the things on my heart, he said, "You know, I never tell you no on anything you want to do. You can do whatever you want and I'll support you...as long as you can handle it. But if you can't handle it, then something needs to change, because we can't keep doing things this way." My sweet husband, God bless him, has been taking all the heat lately because I'm the one's that's stressed. It turns out I'm not the only one who's been cleaning up other people's messes.

So, warning: I'm doing life and work differently these days. I'm not going to be as busy thinking that will earn me extra jewels in heaven or extra cards on Mother's Day. I'm going to see my kids for the treasures that they are and give them the grace I need to give myself as well. I'm going to get back to enjoying the wonderful life I have and all its imperfections instead of trying to make it perfect. From now on I'll remember it's all about me...you know, in the good way, not the selfish way.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

haiku wednesday

sorry I'm a bad
blogger lately. took some time
off, getting caught up!

{please share your own}

Friday, September 13, 2013

{my moment}

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

The calm before the storm. A moment on the back porch on an unusually cool September morning, enjoying my coffee before the sunrise and before the rising of noisy children. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Apple Pie Roll-Ups

Want a SUPER easy recipe that will make you feel like a SUPER mom? Of course you do!

So, the other day I saw this video on YouTube:


Then I said to myself, "Self, you should make those!" I almost always have crescent rolls in the fridge and apples and cinnamon, so it was a no brainer. I modified slightly and have a couple of other ideas too. Here we go!

Lay out your crescent roll dough.


Chop up your apples.


In the YouTube video, she only added cinnamon, but I went ahead and added some nutmeg and raw sugar (just a touch) too.


Roll 'em up and put them on a cookie sheet.



Then, pop 'em in a 350 degree oven! I made these early this morning, and my 6 year old (who slept in his clothes so he could have his morning chores done more quickly this morning), who was up early hoping I'd let him watch Netflix, monitored them closely.


Twelve measly minutes later, they were done and DELICIOUS!


So, here are my thoughts. First, Modern Mom touted these as "healthy" snacks, but I wouldn't really call croissants made with refined white flour and sugar and tons of preservatives healthy. They are YUMMY though. I'd have to do some investigatory reporting (for all you Zoolander fans) to figure out how to make the croissant dough healthier, but it at least can get some fruit in your kiddos' bellies.

Also, Carter said one thing was missing to make it really taste like apple pie: the apple pie goo. I bet if you added some honey or agave syrup it would be a little more moist and gooey. Maybe a dab of coconut oil too? You guys will have to try it and see what you come up with. Please share your experiments with me in your comments!

Other thoughts: my world is totally opening up thinking of all the OTHER things I could wrap up into a crescent roll. How about celery and peanut butter, ham and cheese, brocolli and cheese, peppers and sausage, spinach and artichoke...any other ideas?

Healthy No-bake Cookies!

So, last night I had a hankering for something a little sweet. Nothing new here, since MOST nights I have a hankering for something sweet!

I didn't want to go to the store because I didn't feel like getting out of the house and I knew I'd just end up spending more money I didn't want to spend and end up with something highly unhealthy. So, I starting running through a mental list of what I had in the house that I might be able to throw together. I immediately thought of no-bake cookies. You know, those ooey gooey chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal balls of delisiousness?

But I know those have loads of sugar and butter. Don't get me wrong, I pick real butter over margarine and fake butters any day, but just because it's real doesn't mean it's low in saturated fat!

So I started scouring the internet and came up with this recipe. I did modify it a bit based on the ingredients I had on hand, but PLEASE know from the beginning I did not come up with this recipe from scratch. Two Peas and Their Pod must get all the credit. I'm just showing you how I made it and that if I can make it, you can too! And that it's DELICIOUS.

So here are my ingredients. However, replace the Stevia In the Raw with some unsweetened coconut. I had grabbed my Stevia in the raw at first when I realized I didn't have any agave in the cabinets, but then I decided to use honey instead.


First, honey and cocoa in the pan over low heat.


Next, add in almond butter and unrefined coconut oil (I didn't have quite enough coconut oil so I did add about a tablespoon of butter).


After those are combined, add in your milk (recipe calls for almond milk but I used cow's milk because that's what I had!).


Then your oats!


Lastly add your coconut! Somewhere in there I added the vanilla but didn't get a picture of that.


Use a teaspoon to place them on some wax paper. I made balls of each and pressed them down lightly with the back of my spoon. 


Then you can let them set, or eat them like I do, warm on a spoon with a glass of milk!


That's how Carter likes them too!


Oh my goodness, so yummy! And healthy! These would be a hearty little breakfast cookie if you ask me!

This is Two Peas and Their Pod's recipe, with my modifications included:

1/2 cup agave nectar (I used honey)
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used cow's milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil (I used mostly coconut oil, less 1TBS, which I made up with butter)
1/4 cup almond butter (You can use peanut or any other nut butter if you like)
2 cups gluten-free oats (I used regular oats)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, mix together agave and cocoa powder. Heat over medium heat until combined. Stir in almond milk and coconut oil and bring to a boil. Continue stirring and boil for one minute.
2. Remove pan from heat and stir in almond butter, oats, coconut, vanilla extract, and salt.
3. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop cookies onto wax paper. Let the cookies set up for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Store the cookies in an air-tight container in refrigerator for up to one week.

Try them and let me know what you think!

{my moment}

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

One morning last week, my seven year old begins to ask if we can go to Wal-Mart. As I began to say no (it was afterall crazy-morning-trying-to-get-ready-for-school-time), he said, "Wait, you're gonna say yes." He proceeded to tell me one of the little girls in his second grade class had broken her arm on the monkey bars the day before and he wanted to buy her flowers. [Insert dramatic pause here]. Yeah, that's not something I could say no too. My sweet, kind boy, who may also be the one who gives me the most trouble of my four kids, is often compelled to do incredibly kind and thoughtful things for others. Yeah, I said yes. Thank goodness their school doesn't start until 8:55 each morning, so we had plenty of time!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment. 

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Family Yoga at Guthrie Green

Have you tried yoga? Ever tried family yoga? Check out my latest video for Tulsa Feed where the kids and I try something new with family yoga at Guthrie Green!



Be sure to "like" this video and subscribe to Tulsa Feed on YouTube so you don't miss an episode of Honeybee Mama!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Man, parents are opinionated, huh...

There's been a lot going on in mom and dad blogs lately. Lots of letters to our kids.

Here's this one, Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you, which reads in part,
"...If you ever even consider doing something like that, I promise you that I will run up and twerk so you will see how ridiculous twerking looks. I will duct tape your mouth shut so your tongue doesn’t hang out like an overheated hound dog. I will smack any male whom you decide to smash against his pelvis – after I first knock you on your butt for forgetting how a lady acts in public..."
Then there's this one, Dear son, don't let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you, which reads,
"...I’m no feminist. Miley Cyrus is an adult and should be held responsible for her actions. But where are the men in all of this? Have we so completely given up on chivalry that we don’t even see what’s troubling about a GROWN ASS MARRIED DUDE singing a song about sexual domination while dry humping a young woman on national TV? Men in this culture need to stand up and be leaders. I don’t want to talk about the Miley Cyruses of the world. Enough is said about them. I want to talk about the legions of cowardly, amoral adult men who graduate college and still carry on like frat boys well into their 60′s. The girls that behave like Miley Cyrus do so because they want to attract men. And it works..."
It doesn't stop there. How about this mom who's upset with all the teenage girls posting half-dressed selfies which are sexually tempting her teenage boys? Check out this excerpt from FYI (if you're a teenage girl),
"...We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer!  Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that. I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra. I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know...And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts...I know that sounds harsh and old-school, but that’s just the way it is under this roof for a while. We hope to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls..."
It continues. Here's a rebuttal to that one called FYI (if you're a mom of teenage boys),
"...I get it – you’ve seen all those shameless hussies putting their pictures up on Facebook how our culture exploits women’s bodies, right? I can’t help thinking that maybe I’ve failed by trying to raise a son who respects women regardless of how they’re dressed.  Clearly, I should have been protecting his eyes.  I should remedy that.
So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize.  If you are the parent of a teenage son, you should definitely make sure he never, ever sees a half-dressed girl.  Half-dressed boys are okay, though, because naturally, none of your sons are gay or bisexual.  Posting half-naked pictures of your own sons flexing on the beach is also totally fine, since no one ever equates strength and virility.  We all know that unless we see a penis, it’s not sexual anyway.  Besides, it’s not at all exploitative to parade their bodies on the Internet for your own gain; everyone knows that’s much better than making one’s own choices about what to post..."
Well, here's what I have to say. Can we please stop shaming our children and shaming each other as parents? If you're a parent you know PARENTING IS HARD. Dealing with daily homework and activities and making sure our kids eat well rounded meals while hoping to sneak in personal hygiene for ourselves (I haven't washed my hair since Monday, I think, and I'm wearing the same shirt I wore yesterday, which I also slept in) is hard enough without even beginning to tackle the countless moral issues, bully problems, blended family issues and the devastation our children feel as the result of our terribly selfish divorces (please note the sarcasm in the last example). 

How about we all take a step back and stop being so opinionated about how others are raising their children, or even what overprivileged celebrities are doing in the media and just focus on raising healthy kids? There are certainly parts of each of the above blog post I've cited that I TOTALLY agree with, don't get me wrong. I've even posted my fair share of my opinion of Miss Miley's recent display on my facebook page. But Miley is a grown ass girl and can make her own decisions, and so is Robin Thicke, and I happen to like both of their current hit singles actually. And as far as raising self-aware and self-respecting young men and women, it's going to take a lot more than blocking certain friends on their facebook pages or internet to teach them to respect the opposite sex and themselves. I'm curious as to why any children this young need social media profiles in the first place, but that is YOUR choice as a parent, not mine and I said I thought we should keep our opinions out of this.

I think the real answer is in emphasizing to our children their own worth and beauty. I know for myself I am able to see everything more clearly in the light of God's love and grace and acceptance of me for who I am. When I know how precious I am to him, I can see how precious others are to him as well and it helps me treat them better.

How about we focus on who are children are and teaching them about THEIR worth to us and to God? I think this will clean up a lot of these other problems, including our own shaming of other parents and others' poor choices, don't you?

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

Incredible Hulk Pasta

I've got a great recipe to share with you guys today. It hits all the sweet spots because not only is it yummy, it's healthy and easy and your kids will actually eat it. And when I say easy, I mean it's like shut-your-face easy.

Recently we made a trip to the Cherry Street Farmers' Market to shoot for my new Honeybee Mama Show on Tulsa Feed and to stock up on some yummy fresh produce. We had TONS of fresh basil and spinich and leftover chicken so I thought the best thing to do was to make a spinach pesto sauce and toss it with the chicken and some pasta and voila!

So, here we go with the step-by-step instructions. The full recipe is at the bottom of the post.

Start with your fresh basil and give it a rough chop.


Then rough chop your fresh spinach.


Throw the nuts in a pan on medium high heat with a dab of olive oil to toast.


Throw your olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, lemon oil, lemon zest, salt, spinach, basil and walnuts ALL into the food processor...


...and pulse 'til it looks like this!


Chop up your chicken. I had leftovers from a rotisserie chicken the night before, but you can grill up some chicken breasts, thighs, or even grab some canned chicken if you keep it on hand! I had about 1-2 cups but you can use as much as you like or even leave it out!


Toss it all together with one pound of pasta (I used rotini; you can use whatever you have) until it's well incorporated and serve hot or cold!


The day I made this pasta, I actually didn't stay around to see the kids eat it because I had to run to a meeting but when I came home there were NO leftovers! That means it was a hit. Here's the trick: don't tell your kids what's in it. Just tell them it's Incredible Hulk Pasta and that's why it's green because of all its "flavors" that will make you strong!

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


Incredible Hulk Pasta:

1lb of your choice pasta (I used a whole grain rotini)
1-2 cups cooked chicken (I used some leftover rotisserie chicken)
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used the stuff in the green can but fresh is best!)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
5 drops CPTG lemon essential oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Place all ingredients other than pasta and chicken into a food processor and pulse until creamy.
3. Toss pasta, chicken and the spinach basil pesto sauce (i.e. Incredible Hulk sauce) until well coated and serve hot or cold!

What recipes do you use to sneak in more healthy foods into your kids' diets? 
 

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