Tag Archives: Motherhood

Soccer Buddha


Cause this is thriller, thriller night. And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike!

Left foot, right foot. Knees up. Run Forrest Run! Wait… how did that go again (and did my Mother really just call me Forrest?).

Look at me go! Look at me go!

Oh how I love watching this girl . An experience that ranges from watching a baby giraffe take its first step to a secret ninja attack.  She was Sunday strolling along the field or doing a one girl blitzkrieg. And she is not phased in the least by the cheering fans or the bouncing coach on the sidelines. She did not chase the ball. No. She waited till the ball was ready. Till it, and she, had embraced and accepted their destinies. Then she would whack with all her might and go back to her zen meditation and meandering  How did I, the overachiever,  who really, really hates to lose at anything including rock, paper, scissors produce the soccer Buddha?

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Mental Health Day

Today I took a Mental Health Day. You may know a Mental Health Day by it’s adolescent names: skipping school, ditching, playing hookey. You take Mental Health Days when you’re over 30, have leave time (or someone who loves you enough to babysit should you have mini yous), feel like you’re brain is being squeezed in a vice and your shoulders have permanently scrunched up around your ears.

Mental Health Days must be taken Monday thru Friday. Saturday and Sunday are the weekend and are already recognized for their goof off potential. But weekdays, taking those days to play, that’s super rocking bad girl. In a good way.

On Mental Health Days there are key things you must do to unleash the  straight jacket from your brain:

1.  You must do something that makes you feel naughty.  Eat sugar. Take a nap. Burp the alphabet. Eat chocolate for breakfast.

2.  You must stand outside and sniff: the dirt, the air, laundry on the line.

3.  Ramp up your endorphins:  go for a run, do a cartwheel, climb a tree.

4.  Make yourself pretty just for you: wear a dress (could really add a boost to #1 and #3), shave your armpits,  sit at Starbucks and pretend you’re French.

5. Have a pen and paper ready for when that throbbing in your head finally breaks loose and all kinds of lovely, relaxed thoughts come pouring out.

I don’t think my shaved armpits will thrill you so instead I shall share my something naughty. I made iced coffee. Not skinny coffee. Not fat free. Not sugar free. Not semi-decaf. Real coffee. With ice.  I found the recipe at The Pioneer Woman. If you’ve never visited there before.  You should go… immediately. Her pictures are as yummy as her recipes. And she’s funny.

Here’s my cliff note version of iced coffee (you can click on the link above and The Pioneer Woman has a pretty printable one).

First, you’re going to make a supersonic coffee concentrate.

Start with a pound of coffee. The kind I used is made for espresso. Be warned, if you drink 2 glasses of this you will start to feel your cells replicate. Put it in a big big bowl. Pour water in it.

Put it in the fridge for at least 8 hours.  After 8 hours, or sooner if you’re just standing around staring at the fridge waiting for something magical to happen, take out your big bowl of coffee. Get you a strainer. Lay some cheesecloth in it. Pour your coffee concoction through the cheesecloth, into a pitcher, a vase, some sort of vessel meant to hold liquids.

The cheesecloth will catch all the coffee grounds. Blech, you don’t want to drink grounds. Chuck your coffee ground cheesecloth. Or throw it in your composter. It would make an interesting potpourri bag for your “lovelies” drawer if you’re into smelling like a barista.  I only had one small pitcher. This makes a bunch of coffee. In my fridge, I now have a little pitcher of coffee, a  pasta pot of coffee and  a yellow Pyrex bowl of coffee.

Once you have made the coffee concentrate, you are ready to partake of your beverage.

Take a glass (You’re smart. You don’t really need me to tell you that do you?). Throw in ice. Fill the glass halfway with your fabulous coffee. Toss in some milk ( I used skim), half and half… whatever floats your boat. I tossed in sugar for a touch of sweetness. And then, this is where I felt naughty (in an I don’t give a damn about my wobbly bits way)….. I threw in 3 teaspoons of fat free sweetened condensed milk. I don’t know who they think they’re fooling…. it’s still sweetened condensed milk.. 120 calories instead of  130.  Give it all a whirl, with a spoon, with your fingers….. just stir it up good. And suck that goodness down your gullet.  Be dainty if you want too but nobody’s looking so you can gulp, slurp or shoot it through your nose. This is your Mental Health Day after all.

If you’re like me and feel compelled to memorialize all of your culinary escapades – remodel your kitchen first and put in lots of big windows so you don’t have to run everything outside to snap pictures and then you’re neighbors look at you trying to figure out what drugs you’re taking cause your cooking, again, in the front yard.

Go make you some now. I’ll wait. Then we can sit here on the front porch and slurp our caffeine  together.

What’s your perfect Mental Health Day look like?

xo

FB

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A Few Things

1 1/2 more days of school then I officially have a 7th grader. I’m having panic attacks. While I’m panicking at the thought…

1. Girl Wonder bought a dress. I have pictures to prove it.

2. Our local farmers market opened. We went. Did we come home loaded with a rainbow of fresh veggies? A basket of seasonal succulents? Well sort of… We bypassed all the veggie vendors and made a bee line for the pie ladies. We can smell pie a mile away. Our pies came from Pi Pies Bakery. They were personal pies. Really, you can’t get more personal than a pie….. all to you own self.  Strawberry Rhubarb pie for the Girl Wonder.

Goat Cheese and Strawberry pie for. Double whammy! Cheese and pie!

3.  I made cake. Hooray for cake. Coconut-Lime Berry Cake courtesy of the lovely Martha Stewart.

If I was a good hostess I’d offer you some. But I’m not. We ate it all. And then licked our fingers. And the pan.

4. We have a new favourite breakfast. Schmear some goat cheese on a slice of bread (Ours was homemade sprouted wheat bread from the farmers market). Then schmear on some nutella. Do not dab, spread or otherwise apply the toppings in another manner. This is cheese and chocolate. It requires schmearing.

5.  Chicken salad. Start with your chicken and your mayo and then go crazy. Have a party. I invited a couple of blueberries to mine. They behaved nicely. I followed this recipe for Chicken Salad with Feta, Corn and Blueberries from Confessions of A Pioneer Woman

6. Girl Wonder is learning to play guitar. Cause she’s days away from being a 7th grader and wants to be a rock and roll star or maybe a marine biologist photographer or maybe a beach bum. Either way, guitar playing will only enhance which ever career track she chooses.

What’s shakin’ in your world?

xo

Franny

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Roller Skates & Rock n Roll

Wild and crazy girls were we this weekend.  A roller skate party for the Girl Wonder today.

Ten 12 year old girls on wheels. Hmm…. perhaps this is where the term hell on wheels comes from.  They skated, they sucked down pizza and guzzled sugar. My job was done.  A co-worker’s daughter made the Girl Wonder the most awesome cupcake cake. Behold…

Would you like to try a wheel. You can. Cause  if you sneak up on the skate quietly, the wheel starts to look like this.

This was way better than a cake. You know at Halloween you buy bag and bags of bite sized fun. That’s what this cake was all about.. bite sized fun.

And just like those fun sized Mr. Goodbars, you really can’t eat just one. This cake won’t let you.  You might have to have two. And maybe wait for the Girl Wonder to go to bed so you can have a bonus one for being such a stellar mother.

As if roller skating were not enough fun for one day. We jetted  downtown to join our friends Mr. and Mrs. Awesome  to see Web Wilder and enjoy a little rock n roll action.  Girl Wonder was delighted to consume bar appetizers. Although, sitting next to her on the couch now, I think we’ll pick something other than Nachos Supreme next time.  Ms. Awesome presented the Girl with her very own Junk Ball and Bat.  Junk Ball is apparently Whiffle Ball for the hard core crowd. Girl Wonder has developed a love for Whiffle ball (also thanks to the Awesomes) and was super excited to have graduated to the big league. The Junk Ball bat has an excellent heft. A Junk Ball aficionado might envision using such a bat to hit a home run worthy of the Junk Ball Hall of Fame. I, as a mother, think it will be most useful to encourage rapid unloading of the dishwasher.

The band fired up and soon there were wailing guitars and the thumping of drums filling the room. Girl Wonder kicked back and exuded cool and hip vibes whilst I danced around in my chair and caused her much embarrassment.  Despite her need to roll her eyes at my inability to listen to music and sit still, the Girl Wonder had a fantabulous night (who are we kidding, she’s celebrated her birthday 3 times in the last 8 days. She’s having a fantablous week). She was memorized by the herd of guitars on stage and has informed me that she wants to play the acoustic guitar because it won’t be as loud as an electric guitar. Hurray.

From sun up to sun down, it’s been a good day.

xo

Franny B

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A Love Letter to Girl Wonder

12 years ago my world was flipped inside out. Nothing’s been the same since I met you.

12 years I’ve watched you grow to fit your spirit. I’ve wiped, wrapped, tucked, dressed, cuddled, kissed, tickled and loved you from head to toe. From red sparkly shoes and an endless parade of tutus to jeans and dirty boots, you walked beside me. I’ve look down to see you with outstretched arms, waiting to be lifted up and held snug. Today, I look in your eyes when I wrap my arms around you. Has it really been that long? Has time really moved that fast or did I sometimes forget that each hug and bedtime story, each lullaby was just a moment slipping past with nothing but my memory to anchor it fast.

Something about 12 seems so big, with a road stretching miles from home. A slight fraying of the apron strings.  I snuck in your room this morning at 3:20 a.m., the same moment 12 years ago you picked as fitting for your entrance. Tucked beneath the covers I still see your chubby baby cheeks, those sweet, sweet dimples, the steady rhythm of your breathing. Soft, slow, gentle up and down. The whispered tick tock I used to have to lay my hand against you to feel each night before I went to bed. Just to reassure myself you’d found your way safely to sweet dreams.  In the hand that is resting palm up beside your head, the toes peeking out from beneath the covers and the little puppy snores, I still see my baby girl. I see grace and goodness. I see wit and charm. I see stubbornness and smarts. I see the little girl who chanted for alligator stories at bedtime. The girl who just  few weeks ago stood beside me in yoga class totally distracted by her dirty feet and trying really hard not to break out into giggles.

Yours is the face I see when I say “love”. Yours is the heart beat I feel when I feel lost. Yours is the breath I feel on my neck when I falter. I must walk tall and strong. Set my footsteps deep for I pave the way for both of us.  There it is again. That little tremble in the air. 12. You’re footsteps starting to come beside me. Not behind me. I imagine looking over my shoulder and there you are. Stomping out your own trail in the dirt. Not too far away. Close enough to take my hand if you need it.

I am so proud of you. Your generous spirit. Your big, big heart. Your sharp sense of humour. Your dexterity with sarcasm and eye rolling. You amaze me. You make music to fill our little house. Sweet notes from your violin or your voice singing along with your favourite song (Thank the lawd you don’t have Beiber fever). The way those long, long legs become a mermaid swish when you dive into water. The way you receive a river pebble as the best gift ever. The way you understand that an hour fishing with Pap-Pap or a long walk on the beach with Nana is an hour forever written in your history. The way you laugh loud and deep when making rude noises with Uncle Steve. The way you know a good reading tree when you see one.

I love you. Deep, strong and true. I love you when you’re not watching. I love you with arms wide open.  Arms willing to hold, to soothe, to pick you up and let you go just a little. I love you quietly and loudly with words that haven’t been invented yet.

So bring it on 12. Chin up and knockers out girl! Another adventure awaits.

xoxo

Yo Mama

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A Simple Supper

A one week away from being 12 years old  Girl Wonder is exercising her hormones and trying my patience. The hormones zip through the air like the evil flying monkeys on Wizard of Oz. Holy Crap, if you plan on coming through my front door tonight I suggest you come in crawling.  The  red shirt for the dance tomorrow is not the right red. The clean jeans aren’t the favourite jeans. The white shirt has sleeves that are all wrong.  All of a sudden not a single pair of shoes gives her the right vibe. And conversations take place which make Tylenol’s CEO sleep really well at night cause he knows they will never go out of business:

“Oh Mom… did I tell ya Mom that I have a science test tomorrow?”

” What! Have you studied? I don’t think I’ve seen studying”

“Well….. not tonight”

“Did you study last night cause I’m not remembering any studying”

“Ummm…. no not last night”

“What about on Monday.  I’m thinking back and I don’t remember any studying on Monday”

“Noooooo….. I didn’t study on Monday”

“So you haven’t studied at all then?”

“Well you don’t have to say it like that”

Crap on a Ham Sandwich…. how am I supposed to say it? She hasn’t freakin’ studied.  Apparently the way I said it pulled a metaphysical stopper that unleashed a torrent of girl tears and snot. I feel the Mother of the Year award slipping away. Probably to some nice lady down the street who has been home to cook dinner every night, and is whipping up cookies and fire so her brood feels well fed and cozy while she gives them each cute little embroidered pillows accurately depicting the phases of the moon to make studying for their science test a snap.

While this mother is just frazzled. Work to home to work.  A networking meeting for a new business. Who invented the term networking anyway? They should be shot. It just makes me want to curl in a ball and suck my thumb. Or a bottle. A bottle filled with vino. Smile. Shake. Hand off the business card.  Sorta like drug dealers on a street corner. Put me in a room full of folks and tell me to talk.. I’m good with it. Call it “networking” and please just give me a lobotomy now.

A brain that refuses to sleep past 3 a.m.. A To Do list that is feeling like a Too Much list.  A creative muscle with a cramp.  This Mamma has her own homework that needs to get done.  An overachieving me wanting nothing more than under some nice warm covers.

We have a bit too much of “too much” going on around here. Despite which,  Girl Wonder still expected to be fed.  A tired mother means a simple supper. Something that pleases and soothes. Reverses the flow of tears and snot. Reminds the Maternal One to breathe. Breathe deep. Breathe Deeper.

A quick whip up tomato soup joined with it’s mate grilled cheese. We slurped. We dunked. She accidentally forgot about the unleashed hormones and let a giggle loose.  We patted our bellies. Let out a burp.  Order has been temporarily restored. At least until I remind her that she still needs to pack up clothes for tomorrow’s dance.

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Full Bellies And Muddy Boots

A day of good food, good play and lots of picture-taking.  A whopping 40 degrees outside today. The sunshine begging us to come outside and frolic.  We bustled between kitchen and trails. Happy feet and wagging tails.  This morning we whipped up some Quinoa muffins from here.  I was hungry and was in the mood for some Apron time.

fresh from the oven

I went all Moms Gone Wild and threw in some Craisins that have been in the cabinet since 1862.

Fat, full and happy we bundled up and went off to the park to let Mamma, Girl Wonder and dog stretch their legs and feel the sun on their faces. Lord, you’da thunk we’d been living in a cave for last 3 weeks from the pasty white skin and our frantic pointing:  “the sun! the sun!”. Muddy trails and muddy boots. Sure signs of successful frolicking.

Rocky said a good time was had by all

Girl Wonder got a little miffed that she couldn’t creek stomp. Being her mother’s daughter she felt my response of “No” was a gauntlet thrown down for debate.

GW: “Think of how fun it would be. I haven’t played outside in ages. Playing outside is good for kids”

Me: “It’s freaking cold out. No”

GW:  “What if I just went in up to my ankles. That would be a good compromise.”

Me: “It’s still to cold out. No”

GW: “Sheessh. You sound like such a mother”

Me: “You think I sound like a mother? How this for Motherliness, you keep complaining and you get to clean the bathroom when we get home.”

GW:  Eye Roll. Huff. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

Me:  Smile. Chalking one up on the internal Mamma score board.

Eventually fingers and toes got numb and I got sleepy.  The rest of the day was spent tying on one …. an apron that is.  A throw together soup for supper with some Italian sausage stashed in the freezer. There was garlic bread too but bread + garlic = gone in this house.

Behold... soup. (can you tell I spent the day glued to my camera?)

And to ensure that we go to bed all snug and warm. A peach cobbler with some of my canned peaches.  Want to have a moment of pure bliss in the middle of winter? Open up some canned peaches from the summer and inhale deeply.  You’ll have sensory overload of fresh-cut grass, morning dew and that deep sweet blue sky smell of a fresh picked peach (just don’t open your eyes to look at the snow that’s still sitting on the kitchen steps like I did or you’ll end up craving Prozac and finding ways to work Seasonal Affective Disorder into all your sentences)

Wanna bite?

If you’re like me and feel the need for an extra layer of warmth around the hips to see you through till spring, I offer up my cobbler recipe which came from someone somewhere long ago. You do not eat this and worry about calories. If you want something which is full of healthiness or skinniness go eat some granola.

Hip Lovin’ Cobbler

  • Preheat your oven to 350
  • In a medium-sized bowl mix  up 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • In a small bowl mix up 3/4 cup of milk (the whole kind) and 1 stick of butter (melted). Sometimes I get frisky and toss in a dash of vanilla
  • Add the flour mixture to the milk a little at a time.
  • Now grease up a 9 x 12 pan or whatever you have on hand
  • Pour your batter into the pan
  • Pour your fruit (drained of any liquid) on top of the batter.   Whatever fruit floats your boat. I’ve done this with cherries, with apples and with blueberries (toss your blueberries in a 1/2 cup of sugar first.
  • Now load that baby into the oven for 35 – 45 minutes till its all golden and bubbly.

When it’s all warm and smellin’ good, put on some elastic waisted pants, scoop your cobbler into a bowl and top it with some ice cream.  You can ditch the ice cream if you like but cobbler without ice cream is just plain wrong.

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