Posts Tagged by Family
|November 19, 2014||Posted by Dakotapam under Books|
Welcome to week one of Read With us Wednesday. I’m teaming up with Essie at Essie’s Blessings, and busy moms around the country are teaming up to read manageable, busy mom chunks of a book once a week and stopping by to discuss.
We just started reading The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. It was free when we began this project, and, as of this writing, is a very affordable $2.99 Kindle edition. This week’s discussion is based on chapters 1-5.
Here is the publisher’s description:
When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.
Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?
In these first few chapters, we are introduced to Lila, her great-aunt Ada, and Lil’s newly deceased grandfather, Isaac. If you have not begin reading yet, the writing is very engaging and you should be able to catch right up.
What stood out for me was when Lila was in Ada’s home and in her grandfather’s house, I was flooded with memories of my grandparent’s home. So that is what we will discuss today!
What memories do you have of your grandparent’s home? In our current society, where families live spread across the country, and our mobile society in which people rarely live in the same house for fifty years anymore, will our children miss out on those same “Grandma’s House memories”? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Also, stop over to Essie’s Blessings and check out the conversation over there as well! We’ll be reading chapters 6-10 for next week!
|February 19, 2014||Posted by Dakotapam under Working Mom Wisdom|
We just got back from a much needed family vacation.
Pastor’s families have to get a little creative with vacation time. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter just don’t work for us. Summer gets super busy with sports, theatre, scout camps, and major fundraisers for my work (we still sneak away for one vacation in summer!)
Our family has found that Washington’s Birthday is a perfect chance to get away!
This year was my first time orchestrating a fairly major one-day online giving event for work. But as soon as the online clock wound down, I packed up the family and we headed out for a few days at a friend’s lake cabin in the woods.
|January 22, 2014||Posted by Dakotapam under Food, Reviews and Giveaways, Working Mom Wisdom|
I’ve been an eMeals.com subscriber for about a year now. I’m a pretty good cook, and I have stacks and stacks of cookbooks, but I was getting bogged down with meal planning. And by bogged down, I mean that I stopped doing it.
I went through a stage of just making our family favorites, but then we all got tired of spaghetti and chili. I went through a cookbook phase where everyday featured a new recipe. That worked about half the time.
Then, I hopped onto the career track. Everything changed. (more…)
|November 20, 2011||Posted by Dakotapam under Working Mom Wisdom|
I know how it is. You picture the Thanksgiving meal worthy of a spread in a magazine, but when Thanksgiving Thursday comes around, you are desperately thawing a frozen turkey and sending your husband out to the store for more butter. Meanwhile, your toddler is eating the fake fruit in your cornucopia centerpiece and the dog just ran away with a pickle. . .which means a mess to clean up now and later.
I know, because I’ve been there. After so many years of graduate school, and living closer to relatives, Thanksgiving was always a holiday spent at other people’s houses. That was great, except I longed to make our own traditions.I couldn’t wait. I just knew that my Thanksgiving dinner was going to be picture perfect, calm, and a foodie’s dream.
The first year that I cooked our very own Thanksgiving dinner went pretty well. The Rev. kept the boys occupied at the church or elsewhere and I cooked and simmered and served up several new, untested dishes. They were beautiful. And. . .nobody ate them. Since then I learned a Thanksgiving dinner truth:
Stick to Traditions
I learned the hard way. While I can experiment with food much of the year, Thanksgiving needs to be predictable. If I want to put something wild and different in the stuffing, I need to do it on some average Monday night when I roast a chicken. That turkey? Just sprinkle some salt and pepper on the top and slide it into the oven, thank you very much. Dakotateen has come to look forward to my super simple and family tradition cranberry relish. Were I to substitute in some cooked, or gelled or frozen concoction I would have a teenage mutiny on my hands. The good news is, mine is super easy, and Dakotateen prepares it! (Scroll down for the recipe!)
If you stick to your family’s traditional dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, planning should be easy. Simply list your menu on a piece of paper and then a list of ingredients needed. I no longer need a list! A frozen turkey needs a few days to thaw in the refrigerator. A fresh turkey cost a bit more, but tastes much better and can be picked up the day before Thanksgiving, freeing up fridge space. Me, I roast a large, bone in, turkey breast. It takes up less space in my oven, roasts faster, and we mostly prefer white meat turkey. I also splurge a spiral sliced ham. It warms up quickly and is great left over as well.
Have a Plan of Attack
I do most of my food prep on Thanksgiving day. I have a small (really) kitchen. To do too much work ahead would take up space that I don’t have. So that means cooking day needs to be organized. Now, anyone who knows me in person just giggled a little. I’m not organized. BUT, I can fake it when I need to.
My plan of attack goes something like this:
- Clear the counters (because I’m not organized).
- Get the turkey breast in the oven.
- Begin chopping onions and celery for stuffing.
- Have a glass of wine
- Cut up cheese and sausage for the grazing children who will come into the kitchen whining for food. (Your best offense is a good defense)
- Set our coloring pages and craft supplies for the same children. They can make the centerpiece. Martha won’t approve, but she’s probably not invited.
- Start preparing the stuffing. Put it in the oven.
- When the turkey is 45 minutes from done, pop the ham in the oven.
- Begin peeling potatoes.
- Put the potatoes on to boil.
- Call the teen in to make the cranberry relish and cut up pickles.
- Prepare the green bean casserole.
- take stuffing out of oven, check on meat and put beans in the oven.
- Mash the potatoes.
- Take meat out of the oven and set on the counter to rest.
- put bread in the oven (We use canned crescent rolls and I have the kids shape them)
- Make the gravy.
- Have the kids set the table.
- Slice the turkey
- take beans and bread out of the oven
- Set serving utensils in the serving bowls.
- Gather the family.
- Give thanks.
- Dig in.
- 1 bag fresh whole cranberries
- I navel orange, peel on, washed and quartered
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
|November 15, 2010||Posted by Dakotapam under Working Mom Wisdom|
Yesterday the twins turned 10 months old. They sleep mostly through the night, they finally nap at the same time, they eat more solids and depend less on breastfeeding to meet all of their needs. In other words, they are getting to be a lot easier. I’m going to be a lot busier soon, as both girls appear to be on the verge of walking, but at the same time, I’m pretty used to keeping mobile babies entertained. This isn’t my first rodeo, you know!
A friend gave birth to her set of beautiful twin girls last Tuesday. When I went to visit her at the hospital and I saw those two tiny perfect little peanuts I gasped. They were both 6 pounds 5 ounces, a bit smaller than my Ellie was, and a bit larger than my Emmy. And yet. . . I could hardly remember my girls being quite so tiny, and quite so helpless.
So this post goes out to my friend, as she navigates these first tenuous weeks of adjusting to not one baby, but two!
- Be gentle on yourself. A multiple pregnancy takes a lot out of you as a mom, especially near the end. Multiple deliveries are no picnic either, whether you deliver naturally, via c-section, or a combination of the two. It is likely that you lost a lot of blood, are anemic, and also very, very tired. So rest as much as you can, accept help when offered, and take things slowly.
- Remember that babies are more important than schedules. As much as you really want to get those babies into a routine, part of that routine has to come from the babies as well. Spend the first few weeks paying attention to their hunger cues and establishing a healthy nursing relationship. It may be harder to breastfeed two, but it is not impossible, and it very well be your most time saving decision in the long run (even though it does NOT seem like it now!)
- In these first few weeks, don’t try to keep the babies on the same schedule. If they fall into it naturally, fine (many MZ twins will naturally keep very similar schedules, DZ twins probably will not). However stressing about keeping two individuals on the same routine may end up being more work for mom in these early weeks. Personally, I relished time alone with each of the girls. I also think that they appreciate some one on one time with mom.
- Get to know the signs of postpartum depression. Tell your family members about the signs. Tell them to tell you if you are exhibiting them. Seek help if you need it! The hormone shift after a multiple birth is extreme to say the least. Find a way to relax, be alone, and hash out your feelings. Blogging in my early days really helped. I know people thought I was crazy for writing instead of napping in those first months, but for me the writing was even more therapeutic than sleep!
- Drink a ton of water. You need it. Your babies need it.
- Take a bajillion photos. Write everything down. You THINK you will remember all of these crazy days. Trust me. You won’t. (oh and in those pictures, keep the babies in the same order all of the time! I still mostly have Ellie on the left and Emmy on the right!)
So, it is time for you to chime in! What is your best piece of advice for a brand new mother of multiples? (MoM). Are you expecting twins, or more? Do you want more of my tips, or experiences? Ask away! I love to hear from you all!