Don’t Flush

Dearest Will,

Tonight I enjoyed playing word games with you on my iPad.  I loved that you ate every bite of your dinner, and kept your father and I laughing thru the whole meal by doing your eyebrow raise and saying funny things.

I love that when I tried working with you on your “c” sounds, you strongly came back at me with the confident “t” sound.  I would said, “Car, K-K-K Car.”  You proudly responded, “Tar, Mama.  I said it, Tar!”

I love that when you announced you had to poop and you headed off to the bathroom to go, I asked you to call me when you were ready to be wiped.  You responded to my request with, “That’s a great idea, Mama.”

Son, I love you so much, I really do.  But when you fake cried for 15 minutes because I flushed the potty after your poop session, and you LOST it because YOU wanted to flush down your poops…there are no words to describe those feelings. 

Consider this your notice.  I will NEVER flush your poops again.  You can be the only one in charge of that.

Love,

Your loving Mama

Corndog

I recently painted our home office, which covered a new $25 paintbrush in my selected color.  When the job was finally complete, I made the executive decision to clean out the $25 brush rather than toss it out.

This was mainly because Wes was giving me a hard time for even considering the option of tossing it.  Clearly, he’s a lot more thrifty than I.

I really have no idea how things like this happen; how one task of spraying out a simple paintbrush can quickly turn into giggles and games.  I guess it is one of the joys of having an active, curious almost 3-year-old. 

Anyway, in the process of cleaning out my paint brush, my child managed to get soaking wet and then covered in sand.  He basically “corndogged” himself.

If you grew up in a Stich related household, the term ‘corndog’ is a familiar term…and we’re not talking about any food products here.

Stich is my maiden name.  My father is one of twelve children.  He grew up in a huge family, and many terms and sayings they created have been passed down thru the generations.  Corndog just happens to be one of those terms.

Corndog Defined:  There are actually 2 definitions of corndog that come to my mind –

1.  submerging oneself in water, more specifically the Gulf of Mexico, and then running onto shore to roll in the beach sand. 

2. While playing beach volleyball, you are suddenly tackled by the opposing team.  The sole purpose of this attack is to cover the targeted person from head to toe in beach sand, “corndogging” them.  The attack typically takes place just after a team huddle, so the attackers can pick their target.

Apparently, this Stich Family term is embedded deep in our blood. 

While the second definition above is typically, the norm; apparently my child prefers to corndog himself.

He makes me laugh.  His giggle is infectious, and I love him more every day!

OVERwhelmed

o·ver·whelm

verb /ˌōvərˈ(h)welm/ 
overwhelmed, past participle; overwhelmed, past tense; overwhelming, present participle; overwhelms, 3rd person singular present

  • Bury or drown beneath a huge mass
    • – the water flowed through to overwhelm the whole dam and the village beneath
  • Defeat completely
    • – his teams overwhelmed their opponents
  • Give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate
    • – they were overwhelmed by farewell messages
  • Have a strong emotional effect on
    • – I was overwhelmed with guilt

This is how I feel.

No joke!  The past few weeks have been TOUGH; the next few weeks will be TOUGH. 

Here’s why:

A new job on the horizon; The fear of the unknown involving that.

Studying and Tests for licensing needed for the new job; knowing that if I fail everyone will know and it will keep me from my new job. 

A house that doesn’t clean itself, dishes that don’t scrub themselves, meals that don’t cook themselves, and laundry that doesn’t wash itself.

Trying to be an active, involved mother and attempting to keep up with a 2 something year old little boy and remain an integral part of his life, while being spread so thin with all of the other “things” going on in life.

Work. The 8-5 gig.  Stressing that the duties I currently do, won’t be properly handled or there won’t be anyone available to do them, the way I do, when I depart.  (I realize I have a control issue.)

The thought of my baby starting pre-school come August.  It freaks me out and makes me so nervous. Even if it is only 2 mornings; it is 2 mornings in the care of a STRANGERI’m going to puke.

Bills.  Constantly rolling in.

Weight. Could someone please invent a magic pill that allows one to still eat but drop 20 lbs effortlessly? 

…I think I could go on for days.  But the past few weeks, the things mentioned above have really been catching up to me and causing me so much anxiety and headache.  My mind doesn’t stop racing.

I know I just need to suck it up and deal with it.  At this low point, it can only get better right?  …clearly, it can’t get any worse.

I do realize that most of the above stressors and reasons why I feel completely overwhelmed are self-inflicted.

I CHOOSE to leave a comfortable job.  I CHOOSE to start a new job, knowing what all that entailed.  I CHOSE to enroll Will in pre-school to get some socialization with children his age. I CHOSE to build a house bigger than I probably should have, with more mopping and scrubbing real-estate than I ever wanted to clean.  I CHOOSE to not work out – but seriously, I don’t know where I could find the time.

So, yes.  These are self-inflicted stressors…but what was I thinking with them all coming at me at once?

Thinking?  Apparently, I wasn’t.  But it’s life.  Waves of this come and go, just like the tide at the beach.  So for now, I will buckle-up, bear-down, and pray for a successful outcome. 

I’ll pray that I keep my hair and don’t pull it out strand by strand.  I’ll pray that I won’t wake-up, locked in my closet, curled into the fetal position with no intention of removing myself.  I’ll also pray for my family; god keep them from moving to a far-away land to get away from me.

Lastly, I’ll pray for a case of wine to be delivered to my doorstep via Priority Overnight.  Or some Xanax…yes, maybe Xanax is the key. 

So god, if you hear this, send wine…and Xanax!

-EmJ

Home Office Re-Do

I started a project in our home office a few weeks ago.  Essentially, a complete re-do of the room.

I’d like to go on record to say that, I started this project before I realized I was going to be spending the next 2 1/2 months of my life studying for insurance exams.  You see, I thought I’d have time to paint the room, rearrange the furniture, throw together the window treatments, and build a large corkboard calendar for the wall.

I still plan on doing all of those things, but to-date, I can tell you that I have gotten through precisely 1/4 of the above projects.

Anyway, this was day 1 of my project.  Picking a paint color.

Here are some of the elements that I am planning to incorporate into the room:

The current progress of the room is – the walls are painted, the furniture is somewhat moved in and arranged and… that’s all folks!  I just haven’t had the time to finish up the project.

Normally, this kind of thing would really get to me.  I’m the kind of person that wants instant gratification, and I want something to be done thoroughly and completely in one swipe.

But I am trying to turn over a new leaf.  I’m going to try and not let it get to me.  I’m just going to roll with the punches and pick up the project when I have time.  It will get done eventually, right?!  ….right? 

When I have it ready, I assure you I will share an “after” picture.

Until then, I’m going back to the books to study, and tonight I hope to dream about my new home office – the completed version I have dancing around in my head.

I’m also going to dream about my cork-board calendar project.

I found this project on the Southern Living website.  It is called ‘Done in a Day: Wall Calendar.’ 

I have renamed this project for personal reasons.  Mine will be called, “Done in 3 Weeks: Wall Calendar.”  Anyone that has an almost 3-year-old in the house knows why this name change was neccessary. 

Here’s a link to the project:

http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/solutions/easy-wall-calendar-project-00400000052303/

Can’t wait to share an “after” picture of my room re-do!  Till then, I’ll be dreamin.

-EmJ

Changes…they are a comin’

I issued a teaser the other day regarding some news.  News that I was hoping would be happy news.

Today, I will fill you in on that news.

 

Extra, Extra, Read All About It…

For 5 years now, I have worked at the same job.  For those of you that don’t know where I work, or what I do I will give you a little history…without completely giving things away. 

I think there are some things that shouldn’t be written about on the internet, and going into detail about work stuff is one of them.

I started as an Executive Assistant to the CEO and the CFO of a company, that for no reason in particular will remain unnamed.  My duties grew and grew.  Eventually, I was promoted to the Manager of Meetings and Events at the holding company level.  Basically, for the company that owned the company that originally hired me. You follow?

With my promotion, I was in charge of managing and planning the meetings and events for 3 large companies; all of which had at least 1 BIG annual meeting as well as lots of other smaller meetings and training sessions around the nation.  I also kept my original duties of Executive Assistant, continuing to work for the people who awarded me the promotion and whom I completely respected and admired.  I LOVED my job…I still love it. 

Not long after things were in full swing with my promotion, an amazing, extremely fitting to my personality and strengths, opportunity presented itself to me.  I knew I had to jump on it. 

With that, I announce that at the end of July, I will be leaving my comfort zone and amazing job for an amazing NEW position. 

My new opportunity is many things.  I could probably insert 1,000 different words to describe the millions of emotions running thru my head, but I will spare you.  I will say, that my new opportunity is very exciting, yet extremely scary all at the same time.  I think anyone starting anything new has a little apprehension, and a little nervousness about it.  I think this is mostly attributed to the fear of the unknown.

My new career is a FABULOUS opportunity, and one I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of.  It is an awesome opportunity to put my family in a better financial position, while offering more flexibility.  It is the best of both worlds, and I am really eager to get off the ground and get going.

It has been a LONG time since I’ve been so fired up about something.  And being fired up is an amazing feeling!

So…what am I going to be doing?  I’m sure you are slightly curious.

I am going to be an insurance agent. 

How boring does that sound when I just throw it out there like that?

  I am SO EXCITED to get out and talk to such a wide range of people.  I just love meeting new people!  And I love the fact that I won’t be stuck behind a desk for 9 hours a day!  What’s better, is that the people I will meet with are already somewhat expecting me.  None of that pounding the pavement, cold calling crap that sucks so bad.  These are all warm leads, baby!

In order for me to legally sell insurance products to my new clients, I have to go thru all of the proper licensing requirements.  This means I have to get a 215 Life, Health and Variable Annuity license, as well as a Series 6 license.

Studying for these tests has pretty much taken over my life the past week, and it will probably take up the next 2 months of my life.  So if you don’t see me, just check my home office where I’ll be studying and prepping for my exams…oh, and if you come to visit, bring me a treat.  Preferably, something with caffeine or sugar to keep me going!

To date, I have completed the 40 hour required course for the 215 license (painful), and I found out that I passed the exam for the course.  Which is such a relief, because I had 5 days to memorize a 30 chapter textbook on a subject that I knew nothing about.

I am now eligible to sit for the state examination for the 215 license, which I am doing either at the end of the week, or beginning of next week.  The date of the State exam depends on how long it takes for my background check to go thru. 

Once the state 215 exam is passed, which I plan on passing the first try, I am onto the Series 6.  I’ve heard the Series 6 is a bear, but I’m ready to tackle it.

That is pretty much the end of my announcements!

Wish me luck in my future endeavour, and with passing all of these exams!  I will be sure to keep you informed on how it goes…good or bad. 

In the meantime, I’ll be taking in all of this change while enjoying a big ole’ glass of vino!  I suggest you do the same.

-EmJ

Super-Easy Delicious Fish Tacos

 I am ab-so-lutely in LOVE with Mexican food.  It is one of my favorites!

There’s been just one little problem.  Taco’s, one of the simplest go-to meals in our house, have been getting a little boring lately.  I decided to freshen it up a bit and branch out…but only slightly.

My answer to this was easy… FISH Tacos.  But not just any fish tacos; Super-Easy Delicious Fish Tacos!  Fish tacos so good, that they would make Dora-Dora-Dora the Explorer grab her little back-pack and head on over to our house to join us for dinner.

I started out making a fresh salsa.  I DESPISE jarred salsa…it just isn’t good.  So a fresh, colorful, tasty salsa HAD to be a part of my fiesta.  Luckily, we had a ton of tomatoes from the garden, so it couldn’t have been more perfect.

In my pitiful little food chopper I combined tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and garlic powder.  Obvi, my chopper is due for replacement; I had to chop some of the ingredients (1/2 of the tomato and the onion) in phases and then combine all together in a bowl.  But sometimes, you just gotta work with what cha got.  So, until my dream comes true of a 5-cup beautiful stainless steel food processor, with all of the cool attachments that I imagine comes with it, you get to see pictures of my pitiful little cracked food chopper. 

After the salsa was combined it looked TOTALLY de-lish!

Especially accompanied with some chips, for dipping.

Bethany Frankel would be disappointed in me – snacking while cooking is not a “Naturally Thin Rule,” but honestly, who could resist?  …I think I polished off the whole plate as the preparation progressed.

Next it was time for the Guac.  Yummm…I drool just thinking about guac.  It might be my all-time-favorite snack!

In my guac, I put chunks of avocado, chopped tomato, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, lime juice, kosher salt and a few dashes of garlic powder. 

All of those delicious fresh ingredients then get “mashed” together…and taste-tested to make sure nothing is poisonous.

Now that all of the cold prep items are done and waiting.  It is time to move onto the fish.  I considered cooking the fish a number of different ways; baked, broiled, grilled.  But I ultimately decided to pan fry the fish.  My Aunt had done it this way before and it was amazing.

I took tilapia filets (that were on sale at Publix) and spread them out on a plate.  My next step was to pour yellow cornmeal all over them and lightly cover them on both sides with the cornmeal.

I didn’t dredge the fish in egg or milk before the cornmeal step, and it worked out just fine…also saved just a few small calories.

Next I cooked the fish in hot canola oil. 

While the fish cooked, I set out all of the toppings and threw together a special spiced sour cream topping to go on the tacos.

I took sour cream, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne pepper and mixed it all together.  I call it- Spiced Sour Cream….I made that up, but it sounds pretty good; and it was!

I then prepared some refried black beans.  I cheated here and bought a package from Publix.  Not a cheapo package, but an all natural, no preservatives, healthy one.  Took all of 5 minutes to prepare and was so good.

I look the last filet of fish out of the oil and started assembling the tacos.

A base of black beans, topped with shredded cheddar, hot crispy fish chunks, chunky guacamole, a dab of spiced sour cream, and then a topping of fresh salsa!

FIESTA!!  Every taste bud in my mouth was shaking a beat to imaginary maracas.

I will be making these again, for sure!  They were a big hit at the house.  They were even deemed, “Will Approved.”  He ate a whole one.

Of course, there isn’t much that isn’t “Will Approved.” I love that my child isn’t a picky eater.

Apparently, Will scarfed the taco so fast, that I only was able to catch a picture of him with his dessert…a hot chocolate chip cookie that he helped bake.

Really?!

My husband = wonderful.

Seriously, he is a wonderful father, a great husband, an extremely hard worker and the love of my life.

I even think he’s hot.  Still.  After 100 years of dating and 4 years of marriage, I STILL think my husband is a good-looking, hot individual.

See…

I even know that my husband is intelligent.  The triple threat; Good looking, smart, great father, and a hard worker! 

(Is that 4 things?…does that make him a quad-thread?) 

Anyway…

Even triple threats sometimes have lapses in judgement.  I get it.  I too, sometimes bring a little less than my A game. 

It’s ok.  It happens, right?

Well, the following story happened.  And as I think my triple-threat is somewhat embarrassed by the events that I am about to unfold to you; I just can’t resist sharing. 

So here goes…

Friday night, the Friday night before my big test, I was confined to the office studying my brains out. 

My Triple-Threat, was in charge of the munchkin.  The potty-training munchkin, who is finishing up week 1 of strictly big-boy underwear.

As I am studying, I hear the TV on…re-runs of NCIS (my triple threat’s favorite).  I also hear my ipad blaring a sight-word spelling game, then Dora, then Talking Tom Cat, then Dora, then Wonderpets, then Dora. 

My munchkin switches between apps about every 3 minutes.  His attention span allows for concentration on one thing for approximately 3 minutes and then it is onto the next.

At about 9PM sharp, I hear my Triple Threat tell our munchkin that it is bath time and I hear the movement of removing himself from the couch begin.  I hear him get up from the couch and make his way to our munchkin’s bathroom, to presumably, start the bath water.

This is where it gets interesting.

The next spoken words I hear, are, “WILL!  Did you poop in your big boys?!”

We call Will’s big boy underwear, “big-boys.”  It’s just our thing.

Then I hear, “ohhhh, Will.  Come here.  Come here right now!”

Yes, folks.  I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Apparently, my triple threat walked into our munchkins bathroom, to discover that he:

  1. had a Number Two accident 
  2. removed his soiled underwear
  3.  left the, aforementioned soiled underwear on the floor in his bathroom, and then
  4. continued out to the living room, naked, where my triple threat was relaxing and watching his favorite TV show, and played with MY ipad for approximately 20 minutes.

It wasn’t until bath-time, that this whole debacle was realized.

As I heard this unfold, I couldn’t help but to feel my face get red with anger.

I mean, is Abby and the NCIS gang all that interesting, that you don’t realize your only child has dropped a deuce in his pants, removed them, and then shown back up in the living room, dirty-bottomed, and sans underwear?!

I love you, honey!  But, REALLY?!

-EmJ

Don’t Cry…Or Do Cry

I know there really isn’t anyone out there routinely reading this blog, or waiting for an updated post from me.  

 Of course, this is partly due to the fact that I haven’t shared this blog with anyone…not even the family pets.  However, I realize that if you are currently reading this post, then I must have finally gotten the balls to share.  Go me!

Sorry. Side-tracked.  Damn Adult A D D.

Anyway, by some teeny-tiny chance there is someone out there waiting patiently for me to post…Don’t cry!

Don't Cry...Frequent Posts are Coming!

 
Cry?

Why would you cry, you ask?

Due to my stint of non-existence, of course.

I really wanted this new blog writting hobby to be a frequent part of my week, or even day. But I’ve been temporarily hi-jacked.

I will explain later as to why I’ve been hi-jacked… hopefully I will have some very exciting news to share, and it will be a happy announcement and not a- pass me the bottle, drown my sorrows, ‘are you f’ing kidding me,’ announcement.

No Mom, I’m not pregnant!
(I do realize my mother isn’t currently reading this blog – as no one is.  But as I mentioned above- about having the balls to share it, and the time passing that I actually did; I predict that she will actually read this one day.  So I figured I’d just throw this little fact out there for when  she does.  OH- and another reason I mention this, is because whenever I say that, “I have news,” she automatically asks me if I’m pregnant.  It’s just her thing.  I say, “I’m tired.” She say’s, “Are you pregnant!”  I say, “I don’t feel good.”  She says, “Are you pregnant.”  You get the picture.  Love you Mom, and I promise…NOT pregnant! )   🙂

Sorry, ADD kicked in, again. I’ll move on…

Since I somehow got on the topic of crying, and to try to provide you, all ZERO of you, with some sort of substance (other than the hilarious crying picture of my child)- I thought I’d leave you with a blog I discovered that I REALLY think you should check out.

http://alicepyne.blogspot.com/

You won’t be disappointed. But I will issue this warning: Go ahead and grab a box of Kleenex….if you are anything like me, you might just shed a tear.  It’s all about tears today.
Till next time! (hopefully with some exciting news – and no more tears)
-EmJ

Shrimp Pizza

The other night we needed a quick fix for dinner.  Something that wouldn’t take too long, and put to use some left-overs and items we already had on hand.

You see, I hadn’t been to the grocery store, and we were running on fumes in terms of what we had on hand to eat.

The night before, we feasted upon boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, a huge salad and cheese grits.  We polished off the cheese grits, but had some left over salad and PLENTY of left over boiled shrimp.  I knew whatever I was going to make would include the left-over shrimp and salad.

Scanning the refrigerator and pantry for ideas I stumbled upon a prepared pizza crust. Not a typical prepared pizza crust, but an artisan stone-baked yummy pizza crust.  Side Note: Bought a three pack of them from Costco a month or so before – and they freeze VERY well!

I also found some fresh organic spinach, a package of sun-dried tomatoes, some prepared pesto, fresh mozzarella cheese block, 1/4 of an onion and some garlic cloves.

 Then it hit me.  I’m going to throw together a shrimp pizza!

So I did.

I brushed a layer of pesto onto the crust.  Then placed a layer of washed organic spinach. Next, I added some sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced Vidalia onion, and peeled boiled shrimp. 

To top it off I smothered the top with shredded crumbled fresh mozzarella cheese and a touch of freshly minced garlic cloves and Italian seasoning.

Side Note: I learned quickly that fresh mozzarella doesn’t shred very well with a hand-held cheese grater.  I would call it more of a crumble effect…but I was totally fine with it.

At this point, I am salivating and ravenous.

 I popped it in the oven at 400 degrees and watched until it was melted, bubbly and starting to brown ever so slightly.

 I reluctantly let the pizza sit for 5 to 10 minutes so it could cool slightly before I began cutting into it.

I served up the pizza with the left-over salad from the night before and it was the perfect complement.

Since my 2.5 year old would be eating this meal and we have shellfish allergies in the family, I left shrimp off a large corner of the pizza.  So if you aren’t a shrimp fan, this pizza is JUST AS GOOD with going sans shellfish. 

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Crust of your liking (or make your own, if you’re that good)
  •  1/4 cup Prepared Pesto (get the refrigerated kind, its way better!)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (more or less to your liking)
  • 1/4 thinly sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • Fresh mozzarella (spring for the fresh…you will be so happy you did)
  • Approximately 15 peeled shrimp (substitute any other protein – chicken, sausage, etc.  Or omit completely if you just want to go veggie.)
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning

Directions:

Pre-heat oven and pizza stone to 400 Degrees.

While oven is preheating spread layer of pesto on pizza crust.  Layer fresh spinach leaves over entire crust.  Evenly place shrimp over top spinach.  Sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes, sliced onion and mozzarella cheese over top.  Lastly, sprinkle minced garlic and italian seasoning.

Carefully slide onto preheated pizza stone and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted, bubbly and beginning to brown.

Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes before slicing.