The other day, a friend of mine came over for some coffee. This is a luxury that I rarely get to enjoy…the kids are at school part-time, I am currently on leave and the opportunity to sip a cup of coffee while chatting with a friend as opposed to gulping down a cup in the hopes that the caffeine will quickly hit and I will again become a functioning member of society was kind of amazing. When we were talking about this kind of rare occurrence – our conversation started to turn to the subject of “mom friends” – the friends you start to make when you have kids, the people who may not have entered your life if it had not been for the little people
It can be tricky to meet mom friends…not because the opportunities don’t exist, but because it is sometimes harder to make the “click” happen. We talked about two of the key lessons we have learned over the years…
1) Often times, you are not just making a friend, it is a package deal
When you make friends as a mom – it is now a package deal. I am not sure about you, but I don’t get much time to head out for girls nights out…most time with my friends includes our children, and at times, our husbands. If your child doesn’t get along with your friend’s child – it can be pretty miserable. Time together is spent being a referee as opposed to enjoying time together….so, it is key to find the perfect package deal with kids and moms
2) Parenting similarities often win
I used to celebrate my differences with my friends – I loved to learn from them, appreciated experiencing new things, and enjoyed the variety of activities I was exposed to…now, I find I seek parents who have similar values and parenting styles. Why? It is just easier…it is easier when similar behaviors are accepted and when boundaries are the same. It reduces confusion for the kids, and frustration for me.
The lessons my friend and I have learned over the years is that friendships are (much) different from how we were as teenagers, or even in the college years, where most people try to fill up their social calendars, or where you were tolerant of drama. Personally – I spend time with the friends I enjoy (and I am lucky to have some great ones!), and if we don’t have plans – the time is spent quite simply, enjoying the free time with my children. While the kids at time can drive me bonkers- we are guaranteed to always have lots of giggles, create great memories, and simply enjoy ourselves…
When you are raising your kids – who needs mama drama in their life? I think our kids encourage us to spend our time on what is most important, and what we most enjoy.
Have you changed your approach to friendships since having children? Any lessons you have learned?
We are enjoying a TON of great veggies from our farm share right now…although with limited time on my hands, I am having a tough time using them all up. This week I made a ratatouille after my neighbor mentioned she made one, but still had a bunch of vegetables left over. Today’s recipe for the Three Cheese Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables was just what I was looking for to use everything up…including my fresh herbs that have grown like crazy this summer! Add in the fact that using the recipe below, I had enough food for 2 dinners for my family this week, plus put a tray in the freezer, and I am one happy girl.
In a large baking pan/casserole dish, add the peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, and oil; spread out and roast at 450 degrees for 25 minutes,stirring 2-3 times throughout. Season with salt and pepper, add in the parsley, basil, and rosemary.
While the veggies are roasting, cook the pasta to the package directions for al dente, and strain. Pour cool water over the pasta and drain. Combine with sauce, vegetables, mozzarella cheese, Fontina cheese, and half the parmesan cheese. Transfer to a baking dish.
Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.
If freezing: freeze at this point. When ready to cook, thaw in fridge, and then bring to room temperature before cooking.
Bake covered with foil at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly
Would love to know what you think! Also…do you have any “go to” recipes that you use to enjoy all those amazing summer vegetables in their prime?
Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Tiny Prints and do receive commissions from the links below. As always, the opinions listed are my own, and are not influenced in any way. I thank you for helping to support MMB!
This week, I have spending some time on the Tiny Prints Website, looking at Baptism Invitations and Birth Announcements. I have always loved the classic designs and high quality product which they produce – and this time, I feel like some of the designs are just breathtaking. I just heard about their big Labor Day sale though (25% off!!)- which makes their products even more affordable as well. Not only did I think about those two products but…as much as we hate to admit it – the Holidays are right around the corner. So yes, you could order your cards, save money, and have them ready to mail before the “official” end of summer.
Here are some of the products I am loving over at the Tiny Prints Sale:
Here are the Holiday Cards…can someone please go and recreate the beach shot now!? Ah, I am in LOVE with that idea and card design!
Are there any products you are loving on their website?
The details of the sale are as follows:
Save 25% off all orders using the code LABOR25 at checkout. There is no minimum purchase required for this promotion. This offer cannot be combined with other offers. This offer is not applicable to previously placed orders or toward the purchase of greeting cards, gift cards, gift certificates, calendars or photo books. Offer is only valid on Tiny Prints and is not applicable ontreat.com, third party or partner websites. To prevent abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer at any time without notice. We reserve the right to cancel any order at any time. Offer expires 9/3/13 at 11:59 pm (PT)
There are few things that we love in our house more than books. I was talking to a friend recently about getting into a “book rut” with the kids though – we were reading the same ones every night. We go to the library a ton, I am always keeping my eye out for new books, but I love to know what other parents are loving for their kids. I figured that I could share some of our favorites though in our new series…”mom and munchkins book reviews”- where I will try to post what we are loving reading. The first book in this series is a special one…A couple weeks ago,I heard about a fellow alum from the University of Richmond who had published a children’s book this summer. As soon as I heard this news…The Dream Big Academy: Rosie Wants to be a Fireman by Marissa Klein had to be on my children’s bookshelves! When we received our book in the mail, it was everything I hoped it would be…inspiring, beautifully written, and captivating for my muchkins (and their mommy!).
The book kicks off with Rosie going through her bedtime routine, and then settling into her dream world, where she is invited along with the fire chief in his adventures. The story has beautiful rhymes, and after a couple of read throughs, my 4-year-old knew what words were going to come next. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful – which my 2-year-old loved to use to follow along with the story. I loved the ending of the book, where Rosie talks to her parents and is reassured that she can “Dream Big” each night when she goes to bed, because she can be anything that she would like to be when she grows up.
The book prompted some great discussion as well for us…I asked my kids what they wanted to be when they grow up. My son’s answer was a football player. It was the perfect opportunity for us to talk about practicing hard at sports (he is getting ready for soccer and fall baseball seasons to kick off). When my daughter said that she wanted to be a policeman (going off the fireman theme)…my son said that girls really can’t be firemen and policemen. Um,record scratch – I know he didn’t learn that in my house! SO…instead of going on a rant, which I felt brewing pretty quickly, I decided to take the opportunity to use the book to share that anyone can dream big, and can be whatever they would like. And that a girl was more than capable of being a firewoman or policewoman!
For more details check out The Dream Big Academy:
On the web: http://www.dreambigacademy.com/
On FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDreamBigAcademy
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChoiceFashionNY
I can’t wait to see what comes next in The Dream Big Academy Series!
I hope that you check out this book. I would love to know your thoughts. If you have another book you think that we should check out on MMB, please let me know!
The other day – we had someone new join our family…no, not the little girl I mentioned here last week. This time, it was a puppy named Lucy. Before you think I am crazy for getting a dog, at the same time we had a newborn arrive in our house, please read further…
At dinner time, right around the point where we reminded our middle child to eat her vegetables for the 10th time, and I turned to pick up a fussy baby, there was barking. I turned back around and found my daughter on the ground, looking like a little puppy. She must have seen the confused look on my face from how we go from discussing carrots to barking – so she explained – “I’m Lucy, the puppy”. Um, ok? That night she continued on the Lucy path. My children have pretty active imaginations, so I thought this was just another temporary character.
The next morning, I sat on the couch cuddling my older two as they watched a show – but I had to move my munchkins off my lap when the monitor let me know that the baby was waking and ready to eat. As I returned to the TV room – Lucy had returned once again.
Ah…things were starting to make sense. Someone was starting to feel a bit slighted? As momma guilt came crashing down, I started to recall all the things people said to me when we went from one to two…
Imagine your husband brought home another wife…you had to share your toys, have all your meals together…AND she was smaller, cuter, and everyone else paid more attention to the “new wife?”
Focus on where memories will stay – everyone loves to hold and snuggle with a newborn, but your older child will be watching every movement.
I started to realize that things had to feel even worse for my newly appointed “middle child.” Not only was she sharing her parents’ attention, but she now had to share her adoring older brother, who was completely loving everything about his newest little sister. She also often received a lot of attention from our family and friends, and that was shifting now as well. We wanted her to welcome her little sister, but do not want to have her doubt her place in our family.
We are lucky in the fact that when she is jealous, “Lucy” appears. We are quickly alerted to how she is feeling. We also brought our son in on the secret. Whenever we hear a bark, we say we would rather play with a girl than a dog. We would rather have a family of people, and then ignore the dog actions until she becomes herself again
We have made an extra effort with both children to not disrupt their routine as much as possible, to spend the quality one on one time that they are used to, and to incorporate them into their new sister’s routine. Picking out her clothes, helping me change diapers, or “reading” to her have all helped a bit. Friends recommended the following books as well…
Siblings without Rivalry is one for mommy and daddy (so will take a little time to review!) , You’re All My Favorites has been the perfect book for the kids. Not only does this version have a CD as well, so they can turn along with the pages, but, it shows the kids how unique each of them are. I talk along with the book, and tell each one which bear they are like in our family. My daughter knows this book well enough, so when we get to “her” bear – she yells out – “its my page!!”.
While I know Lucy will make returns to our house – I think that we will be ready to keep things in check. Although honestly – it has been the best dog we could ask for at this point
Any other advice that you would like to share in working through our time with Lucy?
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