inspiration

I am a failure.

How often do we feel this way? When things aren’t going my way or the way I think they should be going I feel like a failure. When I am at my lowest I become very critical of myself. This is true for many things in my life. My most recent “failure” has been potty training my son. Intellectually, I know that I have not failed and that each child is different. I know this but I can’t help it, I slip up often and have little pity parties in my head. I wrote about potty training here and since then we had a good few days and then he decided he wanted nothing to do with the potty. Naturally, I keep trying to figure out why. He had only positive experiences with the potty and he enjoyed the sticker chart we were doing. His refusal is without tears, just very matter of fact. I suspect that this is not entirely unusual and I’ve responded by easing up a bit and bringing up the potty every few days.

Another struggle we are having relates to sleep. Diego is not fond of getting into bed these days. He doesn’t want to go to sleep and his refusal has him rejecting books as well. They are so tied into our bedtime routine that his disdain has not spared them. It’s annoying to deal with because bedtime is now a longer process that has me or my husband sitting in his room until he falls asleep. If we leave he gets out of bed. We’ve tried a lot of different things and so far nothing has worked. He has also been waking up during the night, something that he did not do just a few months ago. Whatever this phase is about I am ready for it to end. I’m coping by continuing to be consistent with our routine and I walk him back to bed and tuck him in when he wakes up at 2am and do so again and again on nights with multiple wakings.

I can’t lie and say that I don’t feel myself becoming angry at times. It is NOT easy to keep your cool while sleep deprived and the urge to raise my voice or even (gasp) smack him has cropped up. It ashamed me to admit it and that’s ok, I am human. There is no shame in being weak and finding ourselves in these situations where our patience is tested to its limits. I am not a fan of pretending that parenting is all rainbows and unicorns. No child is perfect and people can pretend that they birthed little angels but those angels have horns sometimes, haha. I’m not a perfect parent.

Diego is a very sweet boy and I have to admit that I have very few reasons to complain but he’s a two year old who is still not in control of his emotions etc, so of course he’s going to have bad days! It’s part of growing up. I’m growing up right along with him.

During the past couple of months I have not been posting here consistently and this is another source of feelings of failure. I don’t really know why. I decided to write this blog for me and I still write it for myself but I do enjoy sharing. I especially treasure the messages I get from people who read and reach out to me. BookFridays got away from me. I am about 8 books behind and this stresses me out. I got out of the habit of writing a post right after I finished a book and now I feel like it all got away from me. I plan on getting back on track but there are times when I berate myself for falling off my schedule.

I am a failure is this toxic, destructive mantra that we all need to fight against. I would say we need to get rid of it but I think it’s ok to be low, and feel down. It’s ok to give into those feelings every now and then. That’s human. I also think we need to be kind to ourselves and be forgiving. It’s so much easier to talk others up but when it comes to ourselves we reserve the harshest judgment. We kick ourselves when we are down and we tell ourselves the very worst lies about our worth. Even at our lowest we all have things to look back on and be proud of and feel stronger. Most of all, we are worthy of love, friendship, happiness and success always.

I am a failure is a lie.

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Making Pop-Tarts at home!

The other day a group of friends were discussing treats and Pop-Tarts were mentioned. I haven’t had a Pop-Tart in ages. My adult tastebuds find them too sweet and artificial.  When I mentioned this, one of the girls shared this recipe and as soon as I saw it I knew I would be making my own take of it. My husband loves Pop-Tarts but stopped eating them because, well, they’re not good for you. Now, we can have them as an occasional treat and know exactly what was put in them.

The dough is easy to make. I am by no means an expert baker but I can get by. You can use a food processor to make the dough but you can always cut the butter  into the flour by hand either by crumbling it with your fingers or using a cutter (or two butter knives). Once there are no large chunks of butter you are done. If you’re mixing it by hand you might be wise to take a break here and there as the heat from your hands will make the butter too soft and you don’t want that.

When you add your 4 tbsp of ice-cold water you want to mix the dough only until it’s combined. Over-mixing will result in a chewy dough as opposed to light and flaky.

After making the dough I formed it into a disk, wrapped it and put it in the fridge to firm up while I worked on the filling.

The recipe called for strawberry preserves and I’m sure this is a fine ingredient to use but I wanted something a little more fresh. I do not have a recipe for the filling I made but the general idea is to mix some fresh fruit into the filling. I used about a cup or two of strawberries that I mashed up. To that, I added a splash of limeade and about a half cup of all natural strawberry jam. The jam I bought did not contain high fructose corn syrup or any dyes. Sugar was the first ingredient listed so I knew I would not need to add any more sugar. Also, I would substitute the limeade for fresh lemon or lime juice if I had it. Bring this to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it’s reduced a bit take it off the heat and pour into a heat-proof glass vessel. Leave to cool completely before using.

I was not very neat when it came to rolling out the dough and cutting it into rectangles. One of the things I love about homemade goodies is the rustic imperfection of the end result. I don’t want my tarts to look like they were mechanically manufactured. I like that they look amateur and homemade. That’s just me, you can be as perfect as you like. It’s all good! Also, I chose not to add the icing and sprinkles because I figured they were sweet enough on their own.

These can be frozen and baked off as you need them. Or, you can bake them and then freeze them.

This recipe made eight tarts. There are only four left!

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Why I blog

I’ve been blogging for almost a year! I sometimes can’t believe that I have managed to write over eighty posts so far. It’s been a lot of fun for me to come up with things to write about and share my thoughts as well as snippets of my life with family and friends.

Here are four reasons why I blog and plan to do so for a long time:

  1. It’s fun. Blogging can be as serious or as lighthearted as you want it to be. It’s encouraged me to try new things and learn about new things.
  2. It’s a creative outlet. The content of my blog is all my own. I decide what I post and how I post it. I can blog about anything I want, recipes, hairstyle ideas, and even crafts.
  3. It allows me to document thoughts, events, and other interesting endeavors.  My favorite part about blogging is being able to look back. One day, when Diego is older he will be able to sift through our lives through the blog. He will be able to get to know me in a different way. I think that’s a wonderful thing.
  4. I love writing and blogging is a way to practice. Writing, like anything, is something you get better at through practice. I try to write a little every day. My blog is just one of the places I do so. Sometimes I look back on a post and I think about all the ways it could have been better. If I encounter a typo or grammatical error I am quick to correct it. I don’t aim for perfection, but I try to not make any grave mistakes.

When I started this blog, I did so in order to be able to share my life with friends and family far and wide, and with the hopes of maybe sharing it with some friends I made along the way. I like to share experiences, perspectives, inspiration, and photographs. I started this blog in order to document my life as a wife, mother, and eternal optimist. A lot of my posts will be centered around my own parenting wins and losses, but I like to share things that would be of interest to people whether they are parents themselves or not.