Mommy’s night out

Wonderful Husband travels a lot for work. A. Lot. He can be gone weeks at a time, and may only get a day or two back home before he has to go back out. Other times, he may go months without having to travel at all and will be home every night by 5:30pm. When he is home we try really hard to soak up as much family time as possible.

Last weekend he was away doing Army stuff, Little Darling and I stayed home and had a great time just hanging out. When WH came home on Sunday he was very excited to go wake LD up from her nap. Unfortunately, it must have been a long weekend for her, because when he woke her up she got scared and started crying. She cried and cried until he gave her over to me. Then he was upset because he felt she didn’t remember him because he had been gone. I was upset because he was upset. Little Darling was fine and babbling away again already.

The rest of the evening I kept trying to give them time alone together and she kept crying and he was getting flustered. He finally demanded I go out on the porch and he would take care of it. About 15 minutes later, he accepted defeat and gave her back to me. He said “sometimes we need time without mommy..”

The next evening, when he got home from work. He took the baby, handed me the car keys, and told me to get lost. He would single handedly care for Little Darling all evening, execute bath time, and get her into her crib for the night. I would enjoy some “time off”

I proceeded to wander around Lowes for over an hour, texting every 2 minutes asking if everything was ok. Little Darling proceeded to have an amazing evening with her daddy. I got pictures of them playing, videos of her riding the dog, and several selfies. I felt ridiculously lost without a baby in my cart. I was lonely, talking to myself, and getting weird stares from everyone in the store. I know a lot of women who beg for time away from their kids, or who dream of a day to themselves, I guess I am not to that point yet (give me a few more years/children and we will see). When I returned home after purchasing some new hanging baskets and downing an entire McFlurry in the truck, Little Darling was snuggled into her neon pink pjs, chugging down a bed time bottle, happily laying in Wonderful Husbands lap. She finished her bottle, got kisses from us both, and was fast asleep by 8pm.

He was happy, she was happy, I was happy.

Daddys do it differently. Sometimes VERY differently. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it right, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they can’t handle it.

Busy Stepford

I have been AWOL for about a week now. Two of our very good friends got married last weekend! It was a joyous occasion. The ceremony was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the food was delicious. I drank incredibly too much and ended up sitting in the truck at 2am chewing on a cigar pretending to be Columbo. I had a GREAT time.

Said friends are now in Jamaica for their amazing honeymoon (hopefully making Little Darlings to play with mine!) and Wonderful Husband and I have returned to the daily grind of life.

Except not really. We spent Thursday-Sunday in Wonderful Husbands home town for the wedding. Wonderful Husband was in the wedding party so we spent the majority of the weekend running around like crazy people picking up tuxes and dropping off the groom and trying to be helpful. The wedding was Saturday. Sunday was Fathers Day, and our anniversary!

We have hit the one year mark! Still blissfully happy, loving life, and enjoying every minute. I got WH a sappy card telling him how much I love him. He bought be a Vivo Fit 2.

This thing is AWESOME.

It is a little wrist band computer type thing. There are a million different brands, but I wanted a Vivo because both my MIL and SIL have one and love it. It is one of the only ones that has a screen on the band where you can see your stats, and it has a nice large screen that you can actually see well.

It does not come in green (sad times), but it does come in pink which is almost as good. It measures your steps, it tracks your sleep, it tells you how many calories you have burned and gives you a goal of how many steps you should take each day. It also tells time and date. It is so cool.

So far, I have not managed to make my 10,000 step goal at all. I also now realize why I am tired so often (I sleep like total poo). But it has been great to see how many calories I burn each day just by doing my normal stuff. It also links up to MyFitnessPal and will track your calories you take in and your work outs and stuff but I am not nearly that motivated yet. Give me time.

It was a huge shock to realize that mowing the yard, a task that I consider a fairly decent workout, doesn’t really burn any calories and only adds about 600 extra steps to my daily routine. Disappointing. I will have to start going to works at the park with LD to meet my quota.

I also gained 5lbs this weekend by drinking my weight in alcohol and eating everything in sight. I was going to attempt to go back on my clean eating diet this week, but tomorrow we are celebrating my best friends birthday and I bought a cake…

Maybe next week I can get back on my healthy eating habits.

Grocery Day

I try to go grocery shopping every Thursday. That is when Aldi starts their new sales and when the pet store gets a new shipment of crickets. Normally, that is the only time I leave the house during the week unless Wonderful Husband needs something.

This week, I am hosting a girls night for a few friends with wine, homemade pizza, and a birthday cake for one of my friends. I wrote a list of everything I would need for the evening along with my regular grocery list. I also wrote a list of places I had to go and what order we would go in (I refuse to back track!). After Little Darlings nap, we got ready and headed into town.

Our first stop is Aldi. We get almost everything at Aldi. They have seriously good prices and almost everything is just as good as other stores. I have the cold bags I keep in my trunk so I can pack all my groceries in there while we hit up our other stores.

After Aldi, we go to Giant Eagle or WalMart depending on what we need. For some reason, our Giant Eagle doesn’t sell any type of cosmetics so if I need any type of make up we have to venture into WalMart. Otherwise, I try to stay far, far away from that side of town. WalMart is full of fat, ignorant, welfare jerks. Everybody is wearing pajamas and screaming at their 6 illegitimate children, standing outside the front door smoking a cigarette with their big fat pregnant belly hanging out of their crop top. But that is for another rant. Today, I got what I needed at WalMart, went to the pet store, and went to the bank.

We got home about 2 hours after we had left. That is when it dawned on me that we had been gone 4 days last week and our refrigerator was still full of the food I had bought last Thursday. I had to freeze so much stuff! I mean, it probably was a good thing because now our stock pile is a little bit bigger, and I can probably skip grocery day next week. But, our fridge is jam packed now, two gallons of milk, two cakes (anniversary and birthday), two fridge packs of coke. It is out of control. I had to freeze two 32oz containers of greek yogurt.

I think the lesson here is to make sure you check your fridge before going grocery shopping. And if you are shopping for an event, only buy the ingredients that you need for the event. Just because you are at the store doesn’t mean you need to do your regular grocery shopping.

Padawan Stepford

I am the first to admit that I am not perfect,  every once in a while every day I come across things I am not doing that I probably should be doing. Sometimes I choose to add these things to my daily routine, other times I decide to ignore these things.

Today was sheet washing day. I don’t wash sheets nearly as often as I probably should, I know some people who wash their sheets every day and some people who wash their sheets once a month. In general, I try to wash sheets once a week. This is adjusted on how dirty the sheets get. If we have a bonfire and fall drunkenly into bed, you better believe the next day those sheets are getting washed. But if we go away for the weekend then the sheets gain an extra day or so. Lets all be realistic, you can tell when sheets NEED washed.

While I was stripping the sheets off the bed I had a thought… “When was the last time that bed skirt was washed?”

The fact that I had to ask myself that question told me that it had been far too long since that bed skirt had seen the washer. So, I hoisted the mattress up and ripped the bed skirt off. The dirt, dust, and dog hair that came off that thing was embarrassing. I quickly ran down and threw it in the washer. It was like a brand new, super wrinkly bed skirt when it came out!

I ran the iron over it on low heat (while pondering why I don’t iron my sheets) and spread it back on the bed. While it doesn’t really look any different than it did before I washed it, I know it is cleaner and so I feel better.

That gets me to the point of the story though, surely I am not the only one who is meticulous about some things and totally oblivious to other things. I was at a friends house almost 7 years ago and when I went to get sugar for my coffee there was sugar caked all over the container and spoon. I was so grossed out I ended up drinking my coffee black. You will never catch my sugar bowl dirty simply because of that fact. And yes, if I come to your house and see your sugar container I will secretly judge you on how clean it is. But how many times has someone been to my house and seen my disgusting bed skirt, or some other thing that I don’t pay any attention to, and judged me on it? I had company one time and they didn’t want to sit on my dog-hair-covered couch. Boy, did that open my eyes, That furniture now gets vacuumed every time I vacuum the living room. Try as we might, something will always be dirty, dusty, or gross. Things will always get overlooked. But as my mother says “just because you can’t do it all, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything”.

Now, go wash your bed skirt.

If you give a mom a morning…

It all started this morning when I was making my morning cup of coffee. My usual routine is to get out of bed and put on my robe (a gift from my MIL and SIL last Christmas right after Little Darling was born and probably my favorite possession), shuffle downstairs to the kitchen, let the dog out, turn on the Keurig, make Little Darling a bottle, start my coffee, go pee. Once I let the dog back in, I gather up the coffee and bottle and shuffle back upstairs to get Little Darling up.

The only thing that changed this morning was I spilled the water. I was refilling the Keurig reservoir when the water sloshed over the side. This actually happens pretty often and I figure it is water and it will dry. I ignored it, as usual, and went about my morning routine.

After LD went down for her morning nap at 10am, I went to the kitchen to get myself some breakfast. That’s when I noticed the puddle of water. A big puddle of water laying on the counter next to the Keurig. Panic immediately set in as I became convinced the Keurig was broken and was leaking water everywhere. After ripping the lid off the reservoir and verifying that the water was not leaking, I ended up having to dismantle almost the entire Keurig.

Long story short, the water I had spilled had run down along the side of the reservoir and slowly slid along the seams in the plastic, dripped onto the K-cup drawer, and finally landed on the counter top. I must have spilled a lot more water than I had originally thought (I am not the most conscious person in the morning), because there was A LOT of water on the counter.

The good news was that the Keurig was not actually leaking, the bad news was that I realized how incredibly dirty the coffee pot is. There was weird lime scale build up on the bottom of the reservoir, coffee drips in the drip pan, dust on top, and crumbs underneath. Once I had cleaned the whole thing, I decided I might as well clean the drawer too. I unloaded each K-cup and scrubbed down the drawer and the counter top underneath (OH MY GOD the counter underneath *GAGGG*).

Once that part of the counter was clean, I figured I might as well take everything else off the counter and clean it. This led to the blender getting cleaned, the walls getting wiped, and me noticing the microwave…

There is a fun little story I like to tell about the time my mom came to visit a few years ago and was warming food up in my microwave. With a disgusted look, she summarized that my microwave was awful and dirty and she was grossed out. After that incident, I keep the inside of my microwave spotless most of the time. It honestly is not that hard to wipe it down after you warm something up. It is actually easier to do it after you heat something than it is at any other time because all the crumbs and nastiness is warm and soft and easier to scrub off. If you let it sit, it has time to get hard and crusty, then there is major elbow grease needed to lift it off.

While I give a lot of attention to the inside of my microwave, the outside of the microwave doesn’t get noticed very often. I wipe it down every once in a while, but other than that I don’t mess with it. Today, during my cleaning frenzy, I noticed the fingerprints and general dirt on the front of it. When a quick wipe didn’t take care of them I decided to get serious.

I pulled out the vinegar/borax cleaner I make and sprayed a paper towel. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Not working. It finally came down to me getting a scrubby sponge out and wetting it down with boiling hot water, spraying the microwave with the cleaner, and scrubbing until my arm felt like it may fall off. I did, however, manage to get all the dirt and grime off the microwave. That thing is sparkling.

Now I just have to remember to do that on a regular basis…

Homemade Fabric Softener

To go along with my homemade laundry detergent I posted a while back, today I am posting my homemade fabric softener recipe. It is super simple and comes together really quickly. I had a recipe I got from some blog somewhere, but over the past couple years it has gotten lost and I have played with it a little bit to make the recipe I like the best.

The basic recipe is a 2:1:1 ratio of water, conditioner, and vinegar.

I normally buy the super cheap conditioner at whatever store I am at that week. Sometimes I get coupons for V05 and can pick it up for almost free, other times I will buy the Suave when it is on sale. It honestly doesn’t matter, I have found no difference between conditioner brands.

I always use the big jugs of white vinegar that you can get at WalMart for a dollar or whatever.

If you are partial to a particular scent then you may want to use that. I enjoy the water/ocean/outdoor scents. But the raspberry is also quite nice.

I keep my old Downy bottle and store my softener in it. When I make the softener I do follow a few steps:

  • Heat up the water
  • Add the conditioner and whisk it together
  • Add the vinegar and whisk it together

That’s it!

The first few times you make it, you may want to be careful and do it in a bowl or sauce pan. For the most part, I just run about 6 cups of hot water (we keep our water heater really high), dump it in the Downy bottle, squeeze in 3 cups of conditioner, and 3 cups of vinegar. Then I shake the shit out of the bottle.

Regardless of how I make it, I always shake the bottle real quick before adding it to the washing machine to make sure anything that has floated to the bottom gets stirred back in.

Hope you like it!

Shrimp Scampi

In accordance with Meatless Monday, this week I made shrimp scampi. I have made it before, but have never really been thrilled with the outcome. It is always too bland for me. Also, I am not a huge shrimp person but Wonderful husband is a big seafood lover.

I searched around and settled on this recipe from Damn Delicious. It seemed easy enough and for once, I had most of the ingredients on hand. I did change a few things to suite our taste preferences but it was by far the best scampi I have ever made. It will definitely be making another appearance in the future!

Recipe:

  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup white wine*
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

*Chicken stock can be subbed for white wine if desired

  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat and stir in pasta, lemon zest and parsley.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

I had a package of shrimp in my freezer from when Aldi had a sale, so I pulled that out to thaw. We had a container of left over linguine from Fatty Friday in the fridge so I pulled that out too. Once the shrimp had thawed out I ripped off their little tails and plopped them in a big skillet. I threw in some coconut oil to substitute the butter, a few minced cloves of garlic, and some Tastefully Simply Onion Onion. While that was all sauteing together I sifted through my spice cabinet and found a random jar of mixed spices with red pepper flakes in it. We are not big spice people so I didn’t want to make it too hot.

After the shrimp was all warmed up and sizzle-y with the spices I added in the chicken stock and lemon. Now, I only keep fresh lemons on hand and didn’t feel like digging out a measuring cup so I guesstimated that two lemon would give up about 1/4 cup of juice. Because I don’t trust myself, I did one lemon at a time. I juiced one lemon into the skillet and zested the squished little body. Wonderful Husband stepped in the voice concern about the amount of lemon being added. We taste tested and the dish was so overpoweringly lemon-y we did not dare add the second lemon. This is probably a matter of personal preference.

When it was boiling and looking yummy, I stirred in the pasta. I turned the heat down low and let it all mix together for a while before letting WH try it. He deemed it too lemony and not creamy enough (realized later he was thinking of alfredo not scampi), so I added about 2 oz of cream cheese and let it melt together for about 5 minutes. We plated it and sat down for dinner.

Little Darling sat in her high chair staring woefully at us while we snarfed down our dinner. It was amazing! So deliciously creamy and lemony and garlicky. It was just plain awesome. A lovely light summery dish that filled us up without making us feel bloated and gross. I don’t even like shrimp and I cleaned my plate.

It came together quickly and easily, and except for the cream cheese, it isn’t too unhealthy. Definitely a keeper!