Sometimes Life Requires Cake

There are sometimes events and moments in life that just call for cake.

Like, for dinner.

CakeForDinner

{Yes, dinner}

Yesterday was one of those days. Just as I thought we’d cleared the sickness train and were well on our way to family wellness land, it hit us again.

One child had been diagnosed with bronchitis earlier in the week, but then another went down. I noticed one of the twinnies was breathing a bit shallow. I watched. I listened. I watched some more….wondering “do I call or just wait and see?”….my gut told me no, I needed to call. So I called.

{If it’s one thing I’ve learned….always trust your instincts}

Turns out, my littlest boy had the beginnings of croup and an ear infection. Blech. Sure glad I called! We’ve done this croup thing before, but it involved a long night at the ER of the local Children’s hospital….no one needed to do that again. Nope. No thank you.

However, this meant a long afternoon spent getting two toddlers packed up and to the pediatricians office and then racing back home in time for the school bus to arrive with the older kiddos. By the time all that finished, it was after 4 and what I had planned to make for dinner I really wasn’t in the mood to make.

{it was pancakes. pancakes/cake, same difference, right?}

I was, however, really in the mood for cake. Like, serious craving for cake and icing. I actually wanted a cupcake, but I figured the other five members of the household might want one too. And I was out of cupcake liners….so I made a cake.

I used this recipe for the cake:

Homemade Yellow Cake 

which I love because it’s SO simple and doesn’t require difficult anything. And it’s tasty.

And I used this recipe for the icing:

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Super simple and I had all the things on hand.

My oldest laughed and thought I was totally joking when he asked “what’s for dinner?” and I said cake.

He said “like pancakes?”

I said, nope. Cake, like yellow cake and chocolate frosting.

He responded, “mom, I like this thinking, keep going with that, it’s awesome”.

{also, this brings me to ask, do you say icing or frosting? I use them interchangeably, but, it makes me wonder, if there a correct terminology to either? I know, that was random. Happens a lot around here. Let’s blame the cake.}

I usually stick pretty consistently to the meals I’ve planned out, but I looked at the flour and eggs and realized they could either turn into breakfast for dinner in the form of pancakes, or make an actual cake.

So, cake it was!  I served some fruit on the side, so it totally balanced it out. That’s what I’m going with.

Dinner was actually awesome though. We all enjoyed dinner together after a somewhat chaotic day (more like week…month….). Definitely a fun memory for my family.

And really, that’s what it’s about….family time and enjoying each other and life. Even in the midst of the crazy.

Sometimes, life calls for cake. For dinner.

The Traveling Sister Mugs {DIY fun}

I sat down and cried the other day. Like boo hoo couldn’t stop the tears from flowing cry.

And it was all sparked by a picture my sister had posted on Facebook. A perfectly wonderful picture about fall starting to trickle in where she lives. Not something that would typically cause someone to cry…but it caused the stinging in my eyes of the tears that were soon to flow from them.

You see, my sister moved over 900 miles away last year. For the previous 12 years, we’d lived max 10minutes from each other. And now it takes a 4-ish hour plane ride to get to each other. My littlest littles think their Auntie lives in mommy’s phone.

{For real}

travelingsistermugs

Last month was my her birthday, and I had decided loooong ago I was going to get my craft on and make something with our respective states we now live in on it.

I had originally planned on making something like the nail and string art coolness that’s been super popular and all over pinterest of late, but I decided my sanity and trying to make it with twinadoes (aka twin toddlers) circling about my feet and wanting to “help” with ALL THE THINGS lately, well, no. I love my sister, but I’m not sure it would’ve ever gotten finished.

Then I thought about something I KNEW she’d love and appreciate and actually use and not stress about a place to hang….a coffee mug!

I’ve seen the sharpie mugs all over pinterest for a while now, so I decided to try it out myself to make my sisters mug.

{I actually ended up making two, in case I totally screwed one up….}

Wanna make one too?

It’s a pretty fun and simple enough project. Just plan a couple days or a weekend to complete it…it’s not a make the same day as giving kinda handmade gift!

What you’ll need:

-Plain coffee mug (I got mine at Tuesday Morning, but The Dollar Store or Target would be good too)

DecoArt Glass Paint Markers  {aff link}

-pencil

-printer (optional depending on design)

-tape

Instead of trying to freehand the outline of the two states I was drawing, I decided to print them out. Then I cut out around it, turned them over and colored over the back with a pencil.

statesilhouette

Then I taped it to the coffee mug and traced the outline onto the mug. I didn’t press super hard, but firm is good to make sure it transfers well to the mug.

statesilhouettemg

coffeemugpens

I then, following the instructions that came with the pens, traced over the pencil lines and added a little heart on our respective cities. Or at least close-ish to them.

And Voila! I let them dry overnight and then baked them according to what the manufacturers instructions were.

And, in an effort to be absolutely thorough…..I tested the durability out by hand washing AND putting them in the dishwasher, and both ways they came out looking great. I’ve used and washed mine several times in the dishwasher and still looking great, no chipping, peeling or fading.

{I’ll come back and post in few months and update how they are still holding up…}

So, now my sister and I can enjoy some coffee long distance in our sister mugs. It’s not quite the same as meeting at our favorite local coffee place in person, but FaceTime coffee chats are pretty good too.

How fun would this be for a long distance friendship {or sibling or relationship} gift? Be it the upcoming holidays or a going away gift, I think this is a super fun and personalized way to say you care and are thinking about that special person.

Have you made one of these? What design or state would you put on yours?

Taking a Break For My Kids, Not From My Kids

TakingTimeForMom

It was after a long couple weeks of 3 out of 4 kiddos sick, snotty noses, coughs, sneezes, not enough outside time and it was all catching up to me.

I was sick of my yoga pants and t-shirt covered in smears of snot. I made a decision that day to not let it overtake me.

After a long morning of busy toddlerness with the twinnies, I got them down for a nap and crossed my fingers that there would be no nap strikers that day. One of my toddlers seems to be on the verge of giving up ALL naps and I’m not sure Mama is ready for that!

I waited a few minutes to make sure they were both, indeed, going to nap. Success.

I stopped by our bedroom and glanced at myself in the mirror. Hair in a top not, snot smeared shirt and who knows what on my worn three days in a row yoga pants.

Ugh. I really did look like how I felt….and I didn’t like it.

I decided to change out of my clothes and put make-up on, regardless of how silly it might feel, since I had no plans to leave the house anytime soon. And as I pulled out my flat iron, put a little make-up on and changed into non snot smeared clothes, I began to feel so.much.better. And as I looked up and saw me, I could see the change in my entire being….I hadn’t done anything major, just jeans, a slightly dressier shirt than my usual snot smeared ones of late, and a little lip gloss. And earrings.

I breathed out a long breath and felt so much lighter. Even if it was for a moment of time. I felt like not “just mom”, but like mom in not yoga pants and a little bit of makeup (that covered over those dark-sleep-deprived circles…).

It reminded me of the time we finally got to go out on our first official date after we’d had the twins. I had begun to feel lost and completely overwhelmed by motherhood with four kiddos and two of them being infants that I was breastfeeding.

I felt nothing like the mom in the mirror with a little bit of make-up and a simple, clean shirt. I felt more akin to a dairy cow with two appendages constantly attached….oh, and two older kiddos I was trying to remember to actually get fed more than popcorn for breakfast.

{Yes, that actually happened. Popcorn for breakfast….more than once.}

And our date wasn’t anything major, it was to chuy’s for a late lunch. Not a quiet place, but somewhere taking all four kiddos to was just not gonna happen, and I’d been craving it and didn’t want it in a to-go bag.

We only had about 2 hours to get there, eat and get back to my nurslings twinfants. Part of that 2 hours being spent pumping in the car. Yep, hot date right there.

But before we’d even left to take the kids to the grandparents and even attempt a date, I was staring at the mom in the mirror, feeling awkward and unsure of what exactly I was supposed to be doing to get ready. Make up? Oh yeah….where is that again? Clothes….what even fits?

I rummaged through my clothes trying to find something that both fit and made me feel non-dairy cow-ish. I wasn’t having a successful time and I sat down on the bathroom floor and just started crying.

I felt silly, awkward and just not myself. I desperately wanted to spend time with my husband, but the effort it was taking was literally exhausting. And, it’s not like I had a ton of time to even get ready! Remember those nursing twinfants?

Yeah….

Thankfully, we were able to actually make it out the door, drop kids off and eat a mostly relaxing lunch.

It would be another few months before we’d actually make it out on a date again. That is another story in itself, but dates out are difficult to manage right now, so we try often to have dates at home….something else I’ll be talking more about in a future post…

Meanwhile, back to present day. Big kids at school, toddlers napping, I put on make-up and non-snotty clothes. I even flat ironed my hair a bit, just because.

Then I grabbed a cup of hot coffee and sat out on the front porch with my computer to get some things accomplished. I had my phone with the baby monitor on it, so I could hear the kiddos if they needed me.

It was only about 45 minutes total, but it was a glorious 45minutes. To myself.

And I think that is important for us mamas. It’s so easy to get taken over by the day in and day out mundane things. Not that yoga pants and t-shirts aren’t fabulous (because they totally are. I love them), but it matters that we try to keep hold of us too. Even if that means changing briefly out of the “mom uniform” and putting on a little lip gloss and drinking hot coffee on the front porch. Or scheduling a time for you to get out of the house, meet a friend for coffee, or simply go for a long walk or a bike ride, just you…do it.

Talk to your spouse about it, about how you feel. Work something out for you to be able to get away here and there, even if just a couple hours, one night a week.

It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?

I love, love, LOVE my kiddos and my family. But sometimes mama needs a break. And not a break FROM my kids, but a break FOR my kids.

Making sure to take time for mom, helps me be a better mom for my kids. And a better wife to my husband.

So carry on mamas. You’ve got this.

Tell me….how do you take time for yourself? What does that look like for you?