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Mothers' Hideaway: July 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Motivating Mondays: Braving the Outdoors

How do you become motivated to do things that are against your nature? For example, are you an indoor or outdoor person? Does it depend on whether or not you have the kids with you? This was a thought that occurred to me after a playgroup, so I brought up in discussion on our boards. A few replies:

We are outdoor people. It is much more difficult with kids but we still spend a fair amount of time outside. In FLA we have to be a little careful about what time of day we are outside with the kids - nothing midday.

I would like to say I am an outdoor person but it seems lately that I like the indoors. I like the A/C when it is hot. I do like it when the weather is nice. It is like I come out of hibernation So I guess I better say I am more an indoor person for now.

I like being outdoors if it's warm. I'm not the nature type of person though. I'd rather shop than sight see.

The last answer is my favorite, and one I could have written myself. I am all about the "outdoors"- when it involves a lounge chair and a glass with an umbrella in it, or a leisurely walk along the beach! I am not, nor have I ever been, a big fan of nature. I don't do critters, I don't do bugs, I don't do extreme temperatures (in either direction).

But, now I have two kids. So, at the request of my 3 year old son, I spent the evening with the family at a park, with a ton of old oak trees. It sits on a bay, clear water in the distance, a calming presence to the insanity of the playground. It was a picturesque location, perfect for family fun.

And then came the bugs. And the sticky heat. And the critters. All the things I cannot stand, bites covering me, heat irritating me. I finally have enough and need to leave- my 3 month old little girl just got bit by a bug while in her stroller. It was time to go. I could not even fathom why we came in the first place. Then, as we were going to the car, my son tugs on my hand. I look down at him, sparkling eyes and sweaty face. He says, "thank you mommy, I love the park!".

I hate extreme temperatures, sluggish heat, critters, and biting bugs. But I have two kids now. Long live the park. My kids are my motivation to do those things I just don't want to do.

How do you motivate yourself with the demands of your kids? Tell us at!!

Thanks to for hosting Motivating Monday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday- Lazy Potato Peeler!

Who doesn't love tricks that work for them in the kitchen? Thanks to Jojo for today's blog!

I'm a lazy cook. I try to take the easy way out a lot of times but I do love cooking. I love eating also so I try my hardest to make everything scrumptious.

One of my favorite foods in potatoes. Who doesn't love the mushy goodness of carbs?! BUT I hate peeling potatoes. Hate it with a passion. I especially hate the nobby parts and the nooks and crannies because you have scoop them out with the peeler end. By the time you're done peeling and scrubbing and soaking you realize you should have just bought a bag of Ore Ida fries.

So what I do is lightly rinse them. I get a big pot of water and put the potatoes in. Boil them until they are tender and then I cool them off and peel off the already falling off skin.

Now this works wonders for Mashed potatoes or potato salad but not so well for french fries or home fries or anything involving "fries." What I do for those is I get my husband to wash and scrub and soak.

What works for you? Tell us on!

Thank you to We Are THAT Family for having Works for Me Wednesday!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Motivating Monday: Demanding Toddlers!

Thanks to Elaine for today's blog!

I admit it. I'm lazy and somewhat of a procrastinator. When Ben goes down for a nap every day I'd much rather be sitting on my duff reading a book or snurfing some cool sites (like MH!), anything other than a) cleaning; b) prepping food; c) laundry; or d) cleaning (did I mention that already?). I have to push myself to get things done all-the-time.

Ben, my just turned two toddler, has recently decided that the kitchen sink is awesome. Since he was old enough to reach the tap from a chair we have let him play there with a slight trickle of water and it will occupy him for hours. It kills our water bill and environmentalists would blow a gasket if they knew how long we run the water but it keeps him happy and we don't do it often. Until the last few weeks. Now it has become a daily battle. When he hears one of us run the tap, even for a second or two, he'll come running in, point to the sink and say "WHA! WHA! WHA!". Quite often we'll let him play but when it happens every single the time the tap runs it starts to get a little old. Oh, and it's really hard to say no when he says "Peaze Mommy? Peaze Mommy? Peaze Mommy? Peaze Mommy?". Sigh...

My new motivation for getting things done while Ben is down for a nap is not having to deal with a screaming and flailing toddler. When he goes to sleep in the afternoon I walk past my laptop and ponder squeezing in a few minutes of surfing before I get to work and then think of the potential fit he'll pitch and I keep moving on into the kitchen. I clean up the morning dishes, chop whatever needs to be chopped for dinner, put together as much of dinner as I can and it's all done without the hassle of a tantruming toddler.

In short, nothing motivates me more than my snotty, demanding, the world revolves around me and I want it and I want it NOW toddler. I love him to pieces but all you parents know how it is...

How do you motivate yourself with the demands of your kids? Tell us at!!

Thanks to for hosting Motivating Monday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday! Pain, uh, relief!

Thanks to Farah for sharing her pain and what works for her!

F*** F*** F***ity F***! Yes, that's what I said. Yes, you heard me right.

This past week I had a run in with a girl in a hurry and a heavy metal door. I was heading to my physical therapy appointment and was entering the building from the parking garage. Miss In-A-Hurry pushed the door open with all of her strength as she rushed into the garage and BAM. I was down for the count.

Ok, I didn't fall, but I should have. It would have hurt less. Instead, when she apologized profusely while I grit my teeth in pain, I nodded and said "Oh, it's okay!" with a pain ridden smile. Clearly, she saw the pain because she asked about three times "Are you okay???" To be honest, I wanted her to just leave so I could say the expletives that were bubbling and burning a hole in my throat.

As she scurried away I walked into the stairwell and shouted "F*** F*** F***ity F***!" I look down at my toe...and there it was. Wounded in action. It hadn't done anything wrong...didn't misstep, didn't give out. The poor thing was just was at the wrong place at the wrong time. My toe nail was the real casualty. It was off of my toe...attached by only the bottom right fourth. It was bleeding profusely and spiling on to my new Dr. Scholl's sandals (so comfy, by the way). I shout a few more words that rhyme with "Brother Trucker", "Rod Slam It", and "Spit spit spit!" Oh it felt so good to just let it out! ****! ****! ARGH!!!!!! It felt so good that I was able to catch my breath, and hobble to my physical therapy appointment.

Why does swearing work for me??? Why does it feel OOOOHHHH so ****ing good? Because studies show it can distract you and makes your tolerance for pain so much higher. Perhaps if I hadn't cussed I would have cried, collapsed in pain, and passed out on the floor waiting for some good (non rushing) Samaritan to save me from my bleeding toe. Perhaps, maybe, could be. Instead a bit of **** and **** saved us all the trouble.

At the end of the day I realize that not only is my nail gone, my toe starts to swell and's broken. Just in time for my Vegas trip! F***! Guess I won't be wearing those heels. Wait....I'll just throw a few "****s" in my conversations and it'll make everything feel allllll better.

To see pictures of the critically wounded toe check out my post on Mothers' Hideaway in our Cabana!

This blog has been posted on We are THAT Family's What Works For Me Wednesday

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday! Homeade Cleaner

Thanks to Elaine for today's blog!

A few weeks ago I had an epiphany. Ben wanted to play in the kitchen sink (which is a daily battle) but it needed to be cleaned. I didn't want to use a harsh cleaner and I remembered reading that baking soda was a fantastic cleaner of sinks so I pulled the box out of the freezer (I have a feeling that it's long past it's deodorizing abilities by now but with out limited cupboard space the freezer is where it stays) and gave it a whirl. I sprinkled some in the sink and went at it with the scrubbie.

After a few minutes of scrubbing I rinsed the sink out and stared down in amazement. It was spotless. Absolutely spotless. Nice and shiny too! No nasty smell, no worry of missing a spot while cleaning up and Ben getting it on his hands, nothing. It was a miracle! I proceeded to attack our bathroom with my new found cleaners and you guessed it! Spotless!

Later on I did some online searching for homemade and chemical free cleaners. There is an absolute treasure trove of info out there of safe, non-toxic cleaners you can make on your own. My personal favourites are plain old baking soda and distilled white vinegar. Apparently you can do darn near anything with baking soda from freshening the cat littler box to cleaning your teeth to shining silver. Who knew?

A few days later I was cleaning up after some particularly messy fried potatoes (a few taters decided to attempt an escape from the frying pan but only made it as far as the stove top before they were thwarted) so I grabbed the bottle of vinegar and water I'd mixed up (recipe found on Make Your Own Cleaners), sprayed the stove top and with one wipe of the paper towel the grease was gone. Gone. Completely gone with virtually no effort and the little effort that was required came from squeezing the spray bottle.

I'm trying to figure out who exactly convinced people that harsh cleaners are so much better than the basics everyone used to use (baking soda and vinegar). There's no extra work involved, everything comes just as clean as it does with chemical cleaners AND you don't have to open every window in the house to get rid of that 'cleaner' smell or wear rubber gloves so the chemicals don't eat holes in your hands.

My new found best friends: baking soda and white vinegar. I wonder if I can buy baking soda by the truck load...

Come visit us at and tell us what you think!
Visit us to share your Kitchen Tips here:

Thank you to Tammy's Recipes for having Kitchen Tips Tuesday!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things I Love Thursday! (sleep vs. kids)

I love sleep. I enjoy curling up in a cocoon of soft blankets, resting my head on a cool pillow, and drifting into a world where I just don't have to do anything for awhile. I love waking up feeling energized, ready to face the day with a spring in my step. I love when the bags under my eyes are nearly nonexistent thanks to finally obtaining the rest my body so desperately needs.

That being said, I have two children. I have an amazing 3 1/2 year old little boy who jumps on my bed in the morning, eyes bright and full of excitement, asking "what are we going to do today?" He also has periodic night terrors. As a parent, it is so hard to watch your child have one of these, and it is even harder at two o'clock in the morning. Ahh.. sleep. Not for either of us on a night like that.

I also have a 5 month old little girl who thinks sleep is highly overrated. When 3 am rolls around, you can bet my beautiful baby girl is ready to party. So, I instead sit on the couch, baby to my breast, wondering how I can enjoy these moments. Because, even as the hours tick by an I lose more and more sleep, I simply can't stop gazing down at this amazing little baby, thinking over and over again just how blessed I really am to have her. Even if we don't sleep.

Last night, my son had a night terror and my daughter didn't sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time. I was nursing my baby while comforting my three year old, all of us awake though desperate not to be. Finally, m son calmed down and fell asleep curled up against me while my daughter's eyes finally drifted shut while laying on my chest. There I was, in my three year old's bed with my back against the wall, awake at 4 am. And, I was in heaven.

So, yes, I love sleep. One day, I will again embrace that good old friend of mine. But for now, I love these moments even more.

What do you love about your kids? Share with us at The Kiddie Pool at!

Thanks to for having Things I Love Thursday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday!

I cried the other day because my son wouldn't eat his dinner. He threw his milk on the floor because milk is so gross! I sat on the floor next to the spilled milk upset because....there was milk on the floor.

I sobbed in defeat as my 18 month stared at the insanity in front of him. Who was this woman with disheveled hair and tears streaming down her face? Who is this woman that cries over spilled milk?? The look of anger, confusion, and humor crossed his face in an instant and he began to laugh. Which led to me cry harder.

Then....the simplest of words made me stop....."Mom?"

Now, I'm sure he meant it as a "What the heck is wrong with you, woman???" But I took it as a "Mom, are you okay? Why are you crying so much? It's just milk, Mom." So, I paused and thought about what was making me cry.

It'd been a month since she last visited. It'd been 30 days in fact. I had been cramping a bit, moody a bit, hungry a bit, tired a bit, achey a bit. Yes, she was coming and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The next day she was there and it was time to alleviate my PMS symptoms. What works for me?? Heating pads, ibuprofen, and chocolate. Oh, and cuddling an 18-month old that just won't eat his dinner.

Come share what works for you for your pms Here!

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Thank you to We Are THAT Family for having Works for Me Wednesday!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kitchen Tips Tuesday! All Purpose House Cleaner

Thanks to Mama Sandy for today's blog!

Have you ever had one of those items around the house that you just can't live without? When I was growing up my mom always had a "cleaning caddy" that she kept all her cleaning supplies in and drug it from room to room. She had the squeegy, window cleaner, furniture polish, old t-shirts for dust rags, toilet bowl cleaner, tile cleaner, old toothbrushes for cleaning grout, etc. It was a total hassle. I used to have the same type of caddy myself because, well, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

I ended up getting a steamer because I needed an easier way to clean the grill than to drag out Kevin's pressure washer. I mean, really the pressure washer isn't exactly the easiest tool to just get out and use on a whim. Sure, it will scrape the paint of the international space station from your back yard but it's not exactly convenient to just grab and go.

After using the steamer to clean the grill I was inspired. I kept on going after I used it because it was already plugged in and ready to go so why not? I cleaned the refridgerator handles that even bleach wasn't getting clean and it was great! Anyone that's seen me cook will attest to the fact that it's like watching a spaghetti and meatballs bomb go off in the kitchen. I have actually had to wash splattered spaghetti sauce off of the microwave range hood after cooking spaghetti...repeatedly.

Now when I clean I get out my steamer, fill it up and I use it for just about everything. What I find as a huge bonus is the fact that it disinfects too. I clean the kitchen sink, the stovetop, the inside of the oven, the floors, the toilets, bathroom mirrors. Everything really.

Just fill up the tank on the steamer:

Plug it in and wait for the yellow light:

Place your attachments on and start cleaning:

Seriously, I absolutely love this thing. You know how difficult it is to clean those small spaces between the faucet and the backsplash? Even with a toothbrush? This thing will just shoot the icky stuff out and all you have to do is wipe up a little bit of water and the ick afterwards. Also, I have asthma and setting the oven to self clean is out of the question and absolutely forget about chemical oven cleaners. I don't need those things anymore because the steamer takes care of it all. The attachments are all on board. There are two small brushes, a squeegy, a small angled nozzle to direct a strong spray, and a mop attachment with handle extension.

Another bonus? It will steam wrinkles out of clothes and upholstery. I have a rather elaborate living room curtain setup and it takes forever to iron the sheers, scarves and curtains. With the steamer I don't have to worry about that I just wash them in the washer and hang them on the rod to steam the wrinkles out.

Ok, I will stop there but I think you get the hint. This thing is awesome!

Come visit us at and tell us what you think!
Visit us to share your Kitchen Tips here:

Thank you to Tammy's Recipes for having Kitchen Tips Tuesday!!