I FINALLY made something in my crock pot that doesn’t taste like nothing!
Welcome to Guilt Free Saturday:The Long Weekend Edition.
Or, perhaps I should call this the “What Not to Wear” edition.
Are you familiar with “What Not to Wear”? If not, you are missing out. Here is a short synopsis: Stacey and Clinton work makeover magic in one week with a $5000 shopping spree on a fashion disaster that has been nominated by friends and family. The nominee has to surrender all their clothes and shop in NYC by Stacey and Clinton’s rules.
This past Saturday, I could totally hear Stacey and Clinton yelling at me.
See, they give each nominee a set of rules that assists that person in finding clothes that are practical, comfortable, fashionable, and figure-flattering. Most of these rules change to fit the nominee, except for one: when you leave the house, WEAR REAL CLOTHES. No pajamas. Nothing you would wear to paint the house or to work out at the gym.
Now, I am hardly a diva. Or even high maintenance. To be honest, I rarely do normal things like comb my hair (I wish I was joking, but hey, I have curly hair. Combing it sometimes is a bad scene.) However, I always wear real clothes when I go out. Oh, and shower. It is part of my self-care. It is part of my, “Even though I am a mom I can still look young and cute,” needs.
This Saturday, I majorly broke that rule.
I was tired. My daughter is on this new kick up waking up at 5:45 AM and not going back to sleep. We had to do a major shopping trip at Wal-Mart. I was comfy. I was like, you know what, SORRY Stacey and Clinton, I am about to become a mom stereotype. Out I went, in my electric green fleece pants and hooded sweatshirt and snow boots. Unwashed hair in a ponytail.
I did not feel one bit guilty. Or as if I was “letting myself go,” as my mother (who, by the way, has NEVER left the house in pajamas in her entire life. Or sweatpants.) would say. It’s Saturday. I dress for work every day of the week. I’m not a person you have to worry about showing up for a wedding in jeans. I just needed a day off.
Emboldened by my success in non-real clothes wearing, I decided to push the envelope. After we went shopping, I took my daughter to McDonalds’, to the giant Play Place that is five minutes from our house. Where, I would like to say, I was NOT the only mom not wearing real clothes AND some dude hit on me and was like, “I used to be a police officer!” (Ummm, that’s nice. You obviously didn’t do a ring check, dude.)
Eat that, Stacey and Clinton. Even in my pajamas in public, I still got it.
Over the Blizzard Weekend, we made the decision to start potty-training. We had purchased the potty, and since we had nothing else to do, it was all hey, why not?
We aren’t using any special method, or formula, or book. We are using the old “keep sitting them on the potty at regular intervals and act like its a big deal if they pee,” method. Also, my daughter is a little young, so I also don’t want to stress her out. I have all these Freudian nightmares in the back of my mind. But I digress.
It has been going pretty well. We camp out on the potty. We often pee. We use the iPad to relax and entertain ourselves. I think I have seen every cat video on YouTube. This one is particularly effective, as it shows a cat USING the potty! When there is success, we clap, cheer, high five. As my daughter says now, when she looks into the potty, “Proud!”
However, I am always one to push the envelope. She wasn’t asking to use the potty, and that is where success really lies in this whole endeavor. So I think to myself, maybe I can sweeten the deal. Who doesn’t like an incentive? Toddlers love incentives! All the books say so. And I had a bag of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips. A chocolate chip is the perfect size for a toddler!
(Just a side note-I don’t really do incentives. I will probably go into why in detail another time. The short story is, you should do what is right just because. But peeing isn’t a moral or behavior issue. So I wavered.)
So she pees in the potty. And I tell her, “You pee peed in the potty! Mommy so proud! When you go pee pee in the potty, you get CHOCOLATE!” I hand her the chocolate chip.
Keep in mind my child eats a 90% Mom Food Nazi health food diet. When she asks for “cake” she means a salt free organic rice cake.
She puts that little chip in her mouth. I swear, she heard a choir of angels so loud, I found them deafening. I think a little taste revolution took place on that tongue. “Mmmmmm!” she shrieks, “CHOCOLATE!”
She finishes eating it. “Mamma. More chocolate?” she takes my hand and leads me to the cabinet.
“No more chocolate. Only when you go pee pee. Go pee pee, get chocolate.”
MAMMA, MORE CHOCOLATE!
Guys, I was in serious trouble. This was totally not what I had in mind. As you can imagine, “No,” did not go well.
Ten minutes of crying later, all I could think of was, “Epic Mom Fail. Worst decision yet.”
And secretly, in the back of my head, “Demanding more high quality semisweet chocolate? THAT’S Mamma’s girl!”
Maybe we aren’t asking to use the potty yet, but Mamma’s still proud.
Dear Dutch Baby,
How have I lived three decades without you? Your buttery goodness, golden top, and puffy interior bring me delectable satisfaction. You are the result of an improbable union between a crepe and fried dough. Plain, soft, and easy to eat, you are the perfect “mommy and me” breakfast. I fed my child powdered sugar without guilt, while I slathered my slices with homemade blueberry jam.
Let me bask in your image…
And you are so easy to make!
I adapted from this recipe. There are endless variations. Use one egg, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup of milk per person eating the pancake. Mix well in a blender or by hand. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place a huge hunk of butter in the center of a skillet. I used 1/4 of a stick. Place the skillet with the butter in the oven. Let it melt while the oven preheats. Pour the batter in and bake 20-25 minutes, until it is golden and puffy, like a popover. Top with powdered sugar or other topping of your choice! Also feel free to add some spices to the dough-I will be adding some cinnamon and sugar to my Dutch Babies in my future.
Till Next Time, oh glorious pancake,
This post is coming to you in celebration of my spontaneous Mom-cation!
What is a Mom-cation, you ask?
A Mom-cation is an unexpected period of time when there are no immediate, pressing responsibilities competing for your attention, your child is otherwise occupied (mine is napping) and you are actually free to relax.
Generally, Mom-cations are unexpected. Today, I came home from work unusually early. Just in time to put my child down for a nap! I threw in a load of laundry. And I am now lying on my couch, watching some show about sausages on the Travel Channel and typing this. Oh, and eating caramel popcorn with dark chocolate, cashews, and almonds, which I totally recommend.
Mom-cations are, I believe, a necessity. For most of us, there is always something that MUST be done. A child to watch, a meal to cook, a meeting to attend, a client to see. Most exhaustingly, there is always someone to engage with. Those moments when not only do you not have to do anything, but you don’t have to interact with anyone, are precious, and few and far between.
I have a pre-plan in my head for my Mom-cations. Three, actually. In the winter, I do what I am doing now-lie on the couch, watch TV only I like, and fart around on my iPad. In the summer, I go outside and stay in range of my baby monitor (if my child is sleeping and home) and read. If I am not at home and am, say, in-between appointments, I go to a book store. With my pre-plans, I can relax, QUICK, for the 35 minutes I usually have.
I encourage you to plan for your Mom-cations. I am going to go enjoy the precious few minutes I have left!