Motherhood: A Balancing Act

mom_hectic_morning_webThis gig is hard, man! The back to school routine of getting them up, washed, dressed, fed and out the door with their homework and lunches — sometimes we are right down to the wire. Okay, most times. Yesterday Little Guy had to buy lunch because he didn’t have time to make his own. Yeah, that’s another thing adding, rather than taking away stress to my morning. He wants to make his own lunch. Why it kills me to let go of control in this one little facet of school prep, I will never understand.

Then the other half of the school day. Getting them to do homework. Wheedling. Cajoling. Bribing. She insists on setting her own schedule. He can’t understand why I won’t let him read a comic book during reading time. The teachers want my signature on everything from school lunch menus to nightly homework assignments — just to prove that I’ve seen it. OMG! I’ve seen it, already! Don’t care. Stop giving ME homework. I put in my thirteen years.kids-fighting

It’s a wonder I don’t start drinking the minute we get home about 3:30, instead of waiting until the kids have gone to bed. Hey, chill out. I’m a one-glass-of-wine kind of girl. That’s all I need to find my happy place. Well, that and a good book. Or a good Netflix binge. Just some valuable, non-mom ‘me’ time to counteract the fighting, the arguing (I swear my oldest has a career in law ahead of her), the broken windows (tools, brooms… if it isn’t actually his, Little Guy will eventually break it). I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting to run away every once in a while.

And because we need it, because we’ve earned it, sometimes we’re given that teeny little glimpse of mommy perfection. Just enough to keep us from completely losing our shit. I started to write ‘going bonkers’ and realized that just doesn’t say enough. Call a spade a spade, am I right?

After fighting with LG for days to read his just-right books, I offer him a deal. I’ll cut his reading time down to twenty minutes if he agrees to read the book he got out of the school library. The timer went off at twenty minutes and he asked (I kid you not!) to keep reading. And at 40 minutes he announced he’d finished the book. Cover to cover. That is my amazing second grader! I felt like the quarterback doing his dance after a fifty-yard touchdown. happy-dance

The night everyone raves over dinner, asks for seconds, cleans their own plate and doesn’t ask what’s for dessert. Walking in to find that Big Sis is voluntarily cleaning her bedroom. Not just shoving it under the bed but making piles to donate, recycle and toss. The love notes I find in the shower, when they’ve used up my supply of Aqua Notes I keep in there for when inspiration strikes. Random hugs, even when I’m not wearing a really fuzzy pair of pajamas. God, I live for those moments.

I’ll go in tonight, after they’re asleep. Slide the DS out from under its hiding place under his pillow, and the Kindle out from under hers. I will watch them at their most vulnerable. Eleven and seven and still clinging to a cherished stuffed animal as they snore softly and drool all over their pillows. I’ll take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Before the crazy starts all over again the next morning. Eh, it may be a different crazy. After all, it’s a different day. And the good moments will be different too. A check and balance system that keeps me on my toes. Because some day I’ll be the grandma, and they’ll be coming to me for parenting advice. Oh yeah, you better believe I’m gonna drag out every embarrassing memory from their childhood I can possibly think of. That’s balance for ya!cutesleeper

A Writer Mom’s Best Friend

A weekly staple -- at least.

A weekly staple — at least.

I hate to cook. Always have. I am an expert on shortcut meals. Uncle Ben’s microwaveable rice? Been using it since it came out on the market. So you know what is awesome that I just haven’t made better use of until recently? My crock pot.

French toast in the crock pot. Holy yum!

French toast in the crock pot. Holy yum!

Yes, I am home all day writing. Yes, with a little forethought I’d have time to plan out and execute nutritious, nourishing meals for my family. But I am not a ‘follow the recipe’ kind of person. If it’s not easy, I don’t do it. Period.

So imagine my delight when I discover that a few ingredients thrown into a crock pot on simmer all day can result in food my family will actually eat? And I didn’t have to slave over it all day. My handy dandy little crock pot did it for me.

In the hopes that I’m not the only mom out there who is allergic to her kitchen, I am posting a few of our family favs.

The French toast recipe from the picture posted above is here: http://todayscreativeblog.net/crockpot-french-toast/

Shredded chicken for tacos

Shredded chicken for tacos

Another favorite we like to make for Taco Tuesdays is here:

http://www.twohealthykitchens.com/2014/01/08/3-ingredient-crock-pot-chicken-tacos/

I’ve done potato dishes, pork tenderloin, sliced apples (okay, that one took a lot of prep time on my part), Korean BBQ Beef, Coke and soy sauce drumsticks, lots of fun things. And the smells wafting through the house while it’s cooking? Bonus! People walk in and think I’m the real deal. Ha! I’ve fooled them. 🙂

What are your favorite crock pot recipes? Am I missing something really delicious? Let me know in the comments.

Happy lazy cooking!

Newbie…but not.


I’m not new to blogging. I jumped on board YEARS ago with a personal blog to keep in touch with family on the other side of the country. It was a great way to share photos and little snippits of our lives. But then along came Facebook and the blog fell by the wayside.

Once I became published and realized I needed an online presence, I relied on guest blogging. It was great and I have enjoyed every single one of the blogs that I have written for or been interviewed on. But it’s been almost two years now and I need to stop being lazy about blogging and just DO IT already.

So here’s me: I write small town contemporary romance that my Greater Seattle chaptermates would call sweet. I think we need to sit down and have a discussion about the meaning of sweet. Because I disagree. Ahem, moving on. I’m a mom to two. You’ll hear me reference them by their online names. The oldest is Big Sis. She’s 10 years old, a budding artist (yeah, I’ll probably bug you with photos of her artwork), a bit of a drama queen and the most compassionate little soul I know. Then there is Little Guy. He’s six years old and the cause of most of my gray hairs and also most of my laugh lines. He fancies himself a scientist, and has a “secret” lab in his bedroom closet. (Shh! Don’t tell him I told you.) I’ll probably bug you with quotes from him on a fairly regular basis. The kid frustrates me to no end, but he also keeps me in stitches.lunakids

I also have an adult child, or what some people would call my husband. And three fur children, the biggest attention-seeker of those being our Border Collie mix, Luna. luna a

So, welcome to my crazy, disorganized world. I’ll post a little from writing, a little from living in this madcap household and a little glue that holds it all together. I’d love to get some ideas for creative blog posts, or something that can be my weekly “thing”. Got a great idea? Leave it in the comments. Want to introduce yourself? I LOVE meeting new people. Introduce yourself in the comments.

mommeme