I am so excited to have the opportunity to feature so many amazing “Real Moms” on this site. Today I am featuring Rina. Rina and I both have children around similar ages, and while we were on maternity leaves with our second children, we exercised a couple of days a week together. We see each other a lot less now, as we both are often caught up during the week with work, but she is someone who I truly respect and admire, and am thrilled to share her with you all today
Mom Q & A
Occupation? Human Resources Manager at Stew Leonard’s, 21 years and Health Coach for Take Shape for Life, 1 year.
How many children do you have? What are their ages? Giancarlo almost 4 yrs old and Angelo almost 2 yrs old
How many days a week/typical hours do you work? 5 days a week- 40 hours
Do your children attend school/day care? If so, what type? Giancarlo attends Preschool and Angelo goes to an at home day care.
Describe your typical weekday…My alarm goes off at 5am and immediately our 2 dogs go nuts because they are hungry! J I put on some coffee and have quiet time with my husband, Pete, for 45 minutes as we watch news and chat before he leaves for work. At 545 I get myself ready. At 630 I get the kids up, teeth brushed, clothes changed, breakfast made and bags packed. At 710 let the dogs out, make sure everything is off, locked, dogs back in and we are out the door. I drop off Giancarlo at preschool, get him settled in, then drop off Angelo at Day Care. Yes, all in high heels most days! AHH! Then I have a 50 minute commute to work- my 2nd family.
At work, I strive to make Stew’s a great place to work by providing a fun, friendly, safe, respectful work environment for 300 Team Members. At 4 I head back home. During my ride I spend time on the phone finishing up my work day, talking to friends, or coaching a client with their weight loss. I arrive at 5 to everyone greeting me at the door- tails wagging and arms opened for hugs and kisses! I look forward to this every day! Then it’s time to cook dinner- Pete and I share this task and eat as a family every night. We play, take a walk in the neighborhood on nice days, get lunch made for the next day, bath, books and bed by 8-8:30. I usually knock out at 9pm!
What is your biggest daily struggle? How do you cope with it? My biggest struggle is getting everyone out the door on time in the morning. Things don’t go perfectly every day! Something always happens that puts strain on the schedule- spilled milk, cranky babies, dogs stealing breakfast, early riser, dogs won’t come in, I just remembered that have to clean because the cleaning lady is coming! AH! I try my hardest every night to get everything organized- that way I have extra time in the morning when things go wrong. I am tired reading this, but know how true it is! And I laughed out loud here, because I clean before the cleaning lady comes as well
What is your secret for finding a healthy balance between all of your responsibilities as a mother? I really enjoy my quiet time in the morning and try get away with friends every once in a while.
What is your least favorite household “chore” and why? I just don’t like putting away laundry! I like washing and folding, but for some reason I don’t like putting it away! Weird. Not weird at all..I currently have 2 baskets full of folded laundry waiting!
What is your favorite mommy moment? It just melts my heart when I see Giancarlo and Angelo playing nice and giving hugs to each other. I’m so proud of them and hope that they stay best buds forever.
What is the one thing about your children that worries you and keeps you up at night? I always worry about my kid’s safety and health. I don’t want them to ever be hurt physically or emotionally. I’m so scared of them being bullied or harmed and I’m not there to protect them.
What is your biggest indulgence/thing that you do for yourself? I go to get my hair done every 3 weeks. My hair needs it, and I love the down time to relax and indulge.
A fun question…..You’re stuck in an airport with a 6 hour delay by yourself with your children, what 3 things would you want to have with you? We need my ipad, a tractor for Giancarlo and a train for Angelo
And lastly….What is one piece of advice that you would pass on to other moms? My friend Ellen gave me this advice when I became a mom…. Whenever my kids want to be picked up- I DO! No matter how nice my clothes are and how dirty their shoes are, no matter how tired or hot I am, or how heavy they are- I will pick them up! Because there will be a day when they don’t want to be carried anymore and I WILL MISS that!!! Love this..it is so true! I think I follow this one a little too closely….because when both of my kids want to be carried…I listen too!!
I hope that you enjoyed Rina’s experiences as much as I did! If you are interested as being featured as a MMB “Real Mom”, please email me at email@example.com.
In the world of e-mail, texting, and writing on “walls”, it is amazing that a simple piece of mail will light up someone’s day. When we get home everyday, we always walk to our mailbox. My son asks the entire way back up our hilly driveway – is there any mail for me? And most often…it is bills, catalogues, or the most fun, during campaign season, political mailers. When there is a hand addressed piece of mail – his face absolutely lights up. I have to admit, when I get something in the mail, it makes me pretty happy as well. Enter…Sweet Pea Papery!
I am excited to partner this week for a great giveaway with another local mom-owned business – Sweet Pea Papery, as Christina truly knows what it takes to put a smile on someone’s face. Not only does she sell beautiful stationery, but it can be personalized, and is 100% environmentally friendly. I love these products, because the are teaching our children two important lessons – 1) how important it is to reach out to friends and family with a handwritten note, and 2) to be conscious of the environment. Love it!
Before we get to the giveaway…here are some of my favorite products from Sweet Pea Papery:
Dinoland: It is no secret that my son loves Dinosaurs. This set would be a HUGE hit! You can get these notecards personalized, or not, and in sets starting at 15, and up to 50.
I am loving the style “Sprinkle some fairy dust” for my little princess! So sweet and magical – precious! Similar to the dinosaur style above, you can have this personalized or not, and can purchase in quantities from 15 up to 50.
Lastly, there are some times where I absolutely struggle with what to get some people for gifts…I think my parents would love the “Fun in the Sun” card, and I think that the “Teacher’s Pet” would be great for my kid’s teachers!
Today, we are having a giveaway for 25 personalized notecards, the design chosen by the winner. To be entered to win, please use the rafflecopter entry below. To enter the giveaway, please visit Sweet Pea Papery’s Shop online, and leave a blog post comment below sharing what item you adore!
No purchase necessary. Winner will receive 25 personalized notecards of their choice. Must be 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Entries are due at 11:59 on XX. If you do not follow the rules of the giveaway, your entry will not be valid. Only residents of the US are eligible to win. Odds of winning depends on the number of entries received. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator through Rafflecopter. Winners will be notified within 48 hours of the contest ending. If we do not receive an email response, we will select another winner. The giveaway is sponsored by Mastering Mommy Brain and Sweet Pea Papery. Mastering Mommy Brain did not receive any compensation for this giveaway.
With a snowy winter, we have been living it up on the comfort food! After last week’s sauce and meatball recipe, I had one reader say she wanted more secret family recipes!So, you have our best blueberry muffins, pepperoni bread, sauce and meatballs, and now my dad’s chili.
My husband is a huge cornbread fan, so I always pair my chili with a great cornbread recipe that I found in “Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals“. It is one of my favorite cookbooks…and I have tried just about every recipe in it (only a slight exaggeration) if you are looking for a new one to try! I love that both the chili and the cornbread are freezer friendly.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped onions
1 lb ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 15 oz can red kidney beans
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups red wine (burgundy)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste, depending on your preferences)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in oil for 10 minutes or until they are translucent.
2. Add beef and brown the beef, drain.
3. Add remaining ingredients, mix well, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes (but really…I much prefer for it to simmer for about 2 hours or so…and really, the smell is better than any Yankee Candle out there)
Note: this recipe often tastes better the next day!
To freeze: cool to room temperature, store in a freezer friendly container; to reheat, thaw in refrigerator, then reheat in a saucepan.
Cornbread(Note: this recipe yields two cornbreads)
3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
4 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
3 cups buttermilk
3 egg whites
4 tbsp butter melted
2 cups shredded, reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup of salsa
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 9 inch pans with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, egg whites, and butter. Mix the two sets of ingredients together, stirring until fully combined. Mix in the cheese and salsa, and split the mixture into 2 pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
To freeze: cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap,and then foil or within a freezer friendly bag, and then freeze. To prepare: remove from freezer and defrost. You can heat slightly in the oven or microwave, as nothing tastes better than warm cornbread!
Today, my kids had “hibernation day” at school. It included wearing pajamas, bringing their favorite teddy bear to school, and then decorating brown paper bags (also known as caves) for their bears. My kids have talked about this for WEEKS. We had the PJs picked out for a week (to make sure that they were not in the laundry on hibernation day), the bear of choice was a hot topic for conversation at all meal times, and my son asked for brown paper bags (and extras!) when we went to the grocery store, so that we would be all set with the caves.
As we headed off to school today, the kids were dressed in PJs, teddies in hand, and HUGE smiles on their faces. We walked into school, and one of my friend’s husbands was standing at the office saying “I brought in a couple extra brown paper bags for today, in case any parents forgot their caves!”
Um…bingo! This momma left her “caves” right on the kitchen table. I was so grateful for this thinking ahead dad – he helped me avoid a massive mommy mess up today! I love when other parents anticipate “mommy brain” moments, and help each other out!
An added benefit of my friends knowing about this site was I did get a big “Mommy Brain” and laugh sent my way
Happy Wednesday….may you remember all the random school requests this week!
When I set out with the idea of this site last fall, one of my greatest goals was to build a community where mom’s felt comfortable to go to share a laugh, ask a question, commiserate with other’s challenges, and celebrate all the amazing times that we get to share as parents. On Friday, I received a question about conception challenges. The reader, having read past responses from MMB readers, was really hoping to get inputs from those on here…I hope that you will give your thoughts, tips, and ideas.
Can your readers suggest tips to keep from going crazy when trying to conceive? Everyone I know says to relax…but that is impossible for a “Type A” like me. I would also appreciate any tips for dealing with disappointments. This is the stuff I feel like no one talks about…except on the “trying to conceive parenting website boards”, which seem to be full of crazies. I would love the insight of your readers – as I can tell it is full of reasonable real people!!
I loved this question, because it is true…I feel like everyone talks about the great stuff with pregnancy – but the disappointment, the frustration…that gets pushed under a rock. You hear the words – just relax, enjoy the process, everything will work out. But really…its not always the case.
I would really love to hear what others think about conception challenges and managing disappointment.Please know that you can be anonymous in blog comments – feel free to use initials, a nickname, anything…
Here are my suggestions….
1) Be your healthiest self – Eating, drinking, sleeping, excersizing…not only for your potential baby, but for yourself. I know that when I am well rested, when I am feeling healthy, I can handle whatever life throws at me a lot better.
2) Find a girlfriend – husbands are great and supportive during the process…girlfriends can be a bit better at sometimes understanding the disappointment and pain. We had several months of disappointment when trying to conceive over the last couple of years. My husband’s thoughts were…”woohoo, more trying!” Mine were…”what am I doing wrong???” Not that he wasn’t supportive, or disappointed himself, but I often put the blame on myself, and it was comforting to have a friend to talk to during those times, to know that I wasn’t the only one who did that…
3) Know your body, then throw a bit of caution to the wind: thermometers, ovulation tests, ovulation calendars – everything can give you tons of information. I liked to have the information available…and then say screw it…
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