Late Night Thoughts

Am I the only mom who stays awake at night and thinks of all the things. I swear it never shuts off . I lay awake thinking of all the things I wish I got done and didn’t. All the things I know need to get done but I have no clue how to do or where to start. Then I think when’s the last time I actually looked at my husband?

See it’s not intentional but life with 4 kids is busy. Especially when they are little and you are their whole world. My husband works a lot and I am grateful for all he does for his family but at times it is like two ships passing by. I feel bad sometimes but then again I kinda don’t. We dreamt of this . We dreamt of having a house full of kids and toys all over and laundry with tiny socks pilling up.

It’s crazy but it’s what we always wanted. I could use more sleep though. It’s 2:27 am right now. Why am I up? I am up because my brain decided I wasn’t done yet. My sons second birthday party is on Saturday. Yes. You heard me right…his “second birthday party “ . I throw more than one cause ,why not. I really should be shutting my eyes but I can’t help it. I have a never ending list that never gets done. All I really want to do . Well what I wish I could do . I wish I could spend a whole day with my boys cuddled and not worry about a thing.

I don’t know where this post is going but what I do know is. I am doing my best. I love with all I have and hope they feel it .

Diagnoses

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the day my son was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and then with Congenital Heart Defect. My whole world changed that day. When a woman gets pregnant they run all these test to make sure there is nothing concerning with the baby. They also check to see if there are any chromosome defects, or if there is an extra chromosome. Like most women I got this test done. I was told again like most women that there was nothing concerning in my test. Well, turns out they were a little off.

Just like all moms to be, I was looking forward to meeting my little man. I was dreaming of what he would look like. How was he going to interact with his two older brothers. I dreamed of what his life would be like. Getting the news changed that for me. All of a sudden I feared his every day. I was nervous for his future. I was scared for what his life would be like. I feel terrible that this was my first thought. Now, I know the truth. I know what a gift he truly is and not something to fear or be nervous over.

He has bought more love and joy to our lives that I could have ever imagined. This is not for everyone but something needs to be said about a child with Downs Syndrome or CHD. They are the bravest, strongest most loving children in the world. In the beginning it is scary because there are so many unknowns. It’s okay to be scared but once you get a handle on what doctor’s to see and what treatment routes you’re going to take, the rest is smooth sailing. That is YOUR baby. There is no one more perfect than your baby. He needs a little more attention and a little extra loving but how can that be a negative thing. He has taught my older boys patience and understanding. They have learned to be accepting of all kinds of people no matter their abilities. They have learned to be kind to those who may be different from them.

As a mother you want the best for your child. You don’t want to see them hurt or struggle. It kills me to see him struggle at times but when he gets it, it is a time to celebrate. When he held his head up for the first time, when he finally developed tears , when he finally learned to suck from his bottle, I felt a burst of joy like no other. The little things become huge and celebratory. My family celebrates everyday. We enjoy every moment together because of him. He’s taught us to love a littler harder, to rejoice in the moment, and to live as if tomorrow were not promised. He was our gift not burden.

I love you, love you

I was going about my day with my boys. It was just like any other day. Wake up make a bottle , change diapers, make breakfast, make sure the kids brush their teeth, start school work, your typical everyday stay at home mom stuff. Yet, for some reason I couldn’t help but feel a rush of emotions. Today is not a special day.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened. In fact it was pretty much business as usual. Then it hit me. It hit me when my son said “ I love you, love you”.

It was just a few years ago I started saying that to my boys and husband. I said that when you love someone so much , saying it just once isn’t enough. I started saying it because just a few years ago my twin brother passed. I was pregnant and shortly after gave birth to a child with a lot of health issues. I was scared and grieving. I remember the first time I said “ I love you,love you” was to my baby boy.

I was afraid he wasn’t going to leave the hospital so saying it once just wasn’t enough. My baby was going to know how much I loved him.

Going through everything we have in the past few years has tested my family and my marriage. Through it all, one thing stayed the same. Our love for our children and each other.

It got me thinking. Through all the darkness our love for our boys and one another has always pulled us through. So while today was not a special day . In some ways it was. People are afraid of going to the market or seeing love ones. People are afraid of the uncertainty that we are living. But my little boys who know not much of what is going on are as happy as can be.

I realized in that moment how grateful I am that they are healthy. How fortunate we are to still have an income. I was happy. My brother’s passing was and still is very difficult for me but for the first time in a very long time. I was happy.

So mama’s in a time of uncertainty and darkness look for your light. My boys and my husband are mine. For some it might be a hidden talent. Or a great book. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you find it. See, our littles know more than we think. Don’t let the world’s darkness put out their light.

Today started like any other day. Except come tomorrow I’ll huge a little longer. Enjoy the laughter and let the little things go. All because of my not so ordinary day.

In the Moment

Hair’s a mess, toys all over, dried spit up on my shirt and half dressed kids. Is this just my house or is everyone dealing with this? I feel like I am constantly failing. I see the pictures of the mom’s who are killing it at home with their kids. How do they find the time to clean the house, makeup on , do crafts and make a picture perfect dinner ! How, just how?

Today my toddler waited for me to be changing the babies diaper to then color all over my walls and tables. Did I mention this was with a marker! He then proceeded to draw all over his body. While this was happening my baby not only exploded front to back out of his diaper but did a scene right out of the exorcist. At this point I felt like things just couldn’t get worse. Man, was I wrong. Someone and I say someone as in I am not sure who pooped in my dinning room. It may have been my 3 year old who is potty training or my 4 year old who has dropped a doodle on the way to the bathroom. The crazy thing is that when I checked all their bottoms, there was no sign of anything left behind.

Now, I think well was that poop or was that chocolate? The fact that this is something that I have to think about and deal with , is just crazy. I never thought in a million years that I would question if something is poop or chocolate. This is now my life with four little ones. My older two decided, I wasn’t dealing with enough. So they took it upon themselves to take every blanket and stuff animal that they own and spread it around the living room. I thought this is it. I can’t deal with one more thing.

Is this what being home for the next 30 days is going to be like? As I clean up the mess, wipe down the walls and start to put the baby down for a nap. I look over and my boys were working on school work together. I hadn’t even thought about school work at this point. They decided that they were going to work together. In that moment all the craziness of the morning didn’t matter. All those picture perfect moments I see online didn’t matter. In that moment I saw that my boys working together. I saw the love between my boys and that’s all that really matters.

Mamas’s never doubt what you do for your babies. It doesn’t have to be perfect always. What we do for them matters. There will be a day when the messes will be gone, the laughter will turn to silence. They are only little for a little while. So for now I will just clean the messes as they come and enjoy my moments with them.

Meatloaf

Dinner time can also become a time of negotiations over what your toddler or child will eat. I decided no more negotiating. I will do what all good mommies do. I lie and hide the veggies. Here is a simple recipe to hide some veggies in your meatloaf.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs ( I use Italian bread crumbs)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup and 1 Tbs of beef broth
  • 1/4 cup of worcestershire
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 Tbs dry onion
  • 1/2 Tbs dry garlic
  • 1/2 Tbs sea salt
  • 1 Tbs of paprika
  • 1 Tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce ( brown sugar is the one I use)
  • 1Tbs of honey
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire
  • 3 Tbs of ketchup

First things first, you want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

While your oven is preheating dice your onion, red pepper and your garlic.

Next place your olive oil in the pan and heat at medium.

Once your oil is heated. Add your veggies.

Stir fry until your onions are translucent and your peppers are softened. You want to make sure you really cook down your vegetables.

Once the vegetables have softened place them in a food processor or blender. Blend completely. This is important because you want to hide those veggies when you combine with the meat.

Set the mixture aside. In a small bowl mix bread crumbs, beef broth, And egg

Once combined mix in the Worcestershire.

Grab a big bowl and take your bread crumb mixture and add it to your meat.

Next add the vegetables mixture. The color may be bright. Don’t worry it will mix in with your meat well.

After everything is combined. Add your spices.

Place in your baking dish and set aside. Now it’s time to make your sauce for the top. In a small bowl combine the BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, honey and ketchup.

Add your sauce on top of your meatloaf. Place in the oven for 45 minutes .

Take your meatloaf out and rest for 5 minutes before serving. This recipe can feed a family of 6. Makes for great sandwich left over as well. Take a slice warm it, place on toast with mayo and arugula. Enjoy!

Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

Like most kids, my kids are picky eaters. I have learned that if I give something a fun name then they will most likely try it. Thus was born the Chunky Monkey Banana Bread. This is a simple and quick prep kind of bread. I know it is so hard for me to get things prepped quick and in time to move on to the next activity. Most of the time I am working on more than one thing at a time and this recipe is great to do with kids. It is moist and great for a quick breakfast meal with a side of yogurt or fruit.

What will you need: Cooking Spray, Loaf Pan

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups of Flour
  • 1 tspBaking soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup of Buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs

First things first. You are going to want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

While your oven is preheating, spray your baking dish. Make sure it is completely coated.

In a medium size bowl combine all your dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. You want to sift the dry ingredients. This will make for a smoother batter.


Once combined you can set aside your dry ingredients. Now for the fun part my kids love! You want to peel and smash your ripe bananas. My kids love to really mash them into paste like mixture.

Set that aside and mix the sugar and butter together until fluffy.

On low speed you want to add one egg at a time.

Don’t forget to mix in the sides. We want this to be well blended.

Once well combined you can add the vanilla , banana and buttermilk. If you can’t find butter milk here is a simple way to make it. Combine 1/2 cup of milk and 2tsp of vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 5 mins.

After all the wet ingredients are all combined, add the dry mixture. I suggest dividing the dry ingredients into 3 . This will evenly mix the wet and dry.

Once everything is combined I add the chocolate chips. At this point you can also add some chopped walnuts. I leave them out because my kids aren’t big fans of walnuts.

After everything is combined together place mixture in your baking dish. This mixture makes 2 loaves. Bake for 1hour and 19mins. Keep an eye after the 60min mark. Every oven is different and may change baking time.

After the your loaf or loaves are baked . Let sit for 5 mins. Then turn onto a cooling rack. Let cool for an hour.

After an Hour it is ready to cut and enjoy!