AsylumMom

Life on the inside. I've been sentenced 18 years to life and The Wardens are doing their best to drive me even crazier.

Archive for the tag “insane”

Intro to: “Feeding my Family of 4 for a Month Under $300” (Also D6 & D7)

Today will be short because it’s only an introduction to something I will be working on over the next week or so.

If you have read my “about” page, you have seen that I live in a tiny town with no options for shopping (at least not within a limited budget) and I might add, we live an hour from any other decently-sized civilization. If you haven’t read my “about” page, go now!

Did you go? Good, now we can really start. All of this may leave you wondering, “Well, how do you afford the gas to go grocery shopping? Wouldn’t that break your budget?”, to which my answer would be, “Yes, it would, especially since I drive a Suburban. But I don’t go grocery shopping often enough to cost me too much in gas.”. At this point you are staring at me like I’ve lost my ever-loving mind. I mean, really, how the hell do I not go grocery shopping!? I’ve got kids to feed!

Okay, let me clear things up. I said I don’t go grocery shopping often. Not that I never go. I go once a month.

That’s right! One day a month, I get a babysitter (yes, it’s necessary), put my big ass cooler in the back of my suburban,  grab my shopping list, and off I go to do my grocery shopping for that entire month. In fact, this introduction is coming right now because I’m going for the month of February on Friday! Yay! Isn’t that just perfect timing? It’s almost like I planned it…

How do I do this? Well, I buy everything I need for the entire month in one trip (the only thing I don’t buy is milk because we get that at the convenience store as needed) and that means I need to have the entire month planned out, to the day, to the meal, to the second!….Right?

WRONG

Wrong? Yep. I don’t have my menu planned for each and every day. I do, however, have a menu. This is what I will be posting tomorrow as well as my shopping list. I make a list of meals that my family likes. I then double or triple them as needed. I do a lot of freezer meals but I’m pretty lazy so that means I like to do things the easy way. I use easy recipes and easy methods. I figure up how many times one batch of food can feed us (I do a lot of leftovers for lunch) and shop accordingly.

One of my favorite examples is when I make chicken spaghetti, I double my ingredients  then I assemble one in my 9×9 baking dish and another in a foil catering dish (I bought 20 of them with 20 lids for around $10 at Sam’s). Then I place one in the oven, and cover the other and put it in the freezer! It’s that easy. When I’m ready to eat it, I get it out the morning of, place it in the cold oven (so it’s not taking space on my counter tops) and by the time I’m ready to bake it, it’s thawed out! Easy-peasy.

With that in mind, you can come back tomorrow to find my menu for this month as well as my shopping list for Friday. Then, Friday evening, I will post a copy of my receipt so you can see the proof! After that, I will be posting the recipes as I make them (screw that cooking once a month thing, I go with the flow!) and I will be posting the instructions on how I save them for later and how I go about re-heating them! This should be fun!

As a side note, I’ve been doing things this way for about 4 months now. I looked into many variations before I kind of stumbled into this method that works well for me. I understand that most people don’t live this far from a grocery store and that’s fine. But I do. And I have to keep my family on a VERY tight budget. This was the best way for me to do it. Another way this would help someone is any parent with a schedule too busy to shop often or think about meals every day could easily chose one day a month to shop and spread the work out accordingly. It really is a flexible plan!

 

Now! For D6 and D7!

D6 said “from some place low”….

A shot of my son's toy shelves in his room.

A shot of my son’s toy shelves in his room.

D7 said to take a picture of fruit… this will have to do.

I didn't have any fresh fruit (or fake for that matter) on hand so my smoothie raspberries would just have to be good enough.

I didn’t have any fresh fruit (or fake for that matter) on hand so my smoothie raspberries would just have to be good enough.

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Monday’s Aren’t All Bad… (and D5)

Seriously, this week’s bad moment award goes to Sunday!

Today’s post will be short, since it is, after all, late and I am tired from a long day. The Wardens chose today to refuse naps and scream loudly simply to enjoy the echo. And through all of that, yesterday was worse. Why you ask? Let me tell you a little story.

It begins in a sunny meadow. The Wardens were enjoying some worry free play while Mom frolicked alongside them.

Okay, so it wasn’t a meadow, it was my dead-weeds-back-yard and we weren’t frolicking, I was chasing B with a camera in one hand and Row in the other trying to get pictures. Then, B decides to play on the tire swing. I sit down near him with Row in my lap and begin snapping my photos.

Shit.

Literally.

Shit on my shoulder and on Row’s arm and in his hair.

A bird shit on us.

At which point I jump up, exclaim “Are you freaking kidding ME!?” and run into the house in search of baby wipes to clean us off.

So a happy Sunday full of pictures and a warm sunlight turned into shit.

I’m going to find that bird and shoot it. (Not really, I didn’t get a good look at the suspect. Now a vicious, shitting bird is loose on the streets just waiting for his next victim.)

 

On another note, today is D5 of the photo challenge and I was supposed to take a picture from “somewhere up high”. I am a mom, this is a mom blog, so what did I take a picture of? My kids’ messy room, of course! Look! Look, and relish in the fact that you aren’t the only person with toys and random boxes strewn across you child’s floor!

It will probably be an entirely new kind of mess tomorrow. We like to keep things fresh here.

It will probably be an entirely new kind of mess tomorrow. We like to keep things fresh here.

My First Weekend Post!

Please excuse my bad posting etiquette. Dad is off work on weekends and we like to spend that time together collaborating about how The Wardens treated us over the past week. Today I will bring to you the things that happened this weekend and a roundup of stuff I have found and been following this week on the internet!

 

1)      I did wake up Friday to find shit in Row’s sheets. Joy. I think I jinxed myself.

2)      Yesterday morning I made pancakes for breakfast. Pink, vanilla cake flavored pancakes. Yes. PINK. B was not impressed and refused them entirely. Row, however, enjoyed both his serving as well as B’s.

3)      Row has started crawling with his feet flat on the ground. It seems to be a lot slower, however, he enjoys that it allows him to pass over toys without scraping his stomach.

4)      The Wardens have been sleeping soundly through the night for quite some time now. They share a room and it seems to work well for them. But I suppose they thought I was getting too comfortable because Row made me participate in a drill last night at 3am. I can only assume this drill was of his own planning seeing as B was in his bed with his eyes screwed shut and his hands over his ears. Row persisted though until I brought him a sufficient amount of food and a fresh diaper. We did this again at 6am. I think he is punishing me but I’m not quite sure what for.

 

Now for my internet finds!

 

First, a close friend of mine has also jumped on this blogging bandwagon with me and her blog is a joy to read! Her name is Tess and she is also learning the ways of Mom-Slave. Go check her out here!

 

Second, as I was scrolling through the “freshly pressed” list of blogs, I stubbled across this man’s story. I love that he is a stay at home mommy-man as he calls himself. He has a great sense of humor and obviously finds joy in the cynical side of parenting like I do. This one story in particular made me smile. If he sounds like someone you would like to check out, just click here!

 

Third, another close friend of mine, with a daughter the same age as Warden Row, found out about a month ago that her daughter Makayla has cancer. The cancer had spread to her spine and has damaged her nerves that control the movement of her legs and feet. She will be starting her second round of Chemo soon and will need physical therapy once the cancer is gone. She is only 9 months old. A mutual friend of ours has started a fund raiser for Makayla and her family and if you enjoy Pampered Chef’s products or are interested in helping, you can join this facebook event and purchase some products. All proceeds will go directly to baby Makayla and her family. Thank you!

 

And Fourth, If you are an animal lover you are going to love this. Copper’s Cat Commune is a home based sanctuary where Mimi and Matt Baker take in cats that may have missed the mark on being as healthy as society would like them to be. They specialize in Feline Leukemia sufferers and refuse to let someone put a cat down just because of this disease. They have a wonderful story and a beautiful home. Mimi Baker is a pet photographer and a vet technician. Her and Matt pay for these animal’s health care and food out of their own pockets and love them more deeply than anyone could love an animal. They are hoping to get recognized as a charity soon so they can receive help with the animal care. But until then you can join them in their journey of facebook and read all the individual back stories of each cat with beautiful pictures to match! I suppose I should mention that Mimi Baker is my mom and Matt is my step dad. They have had such an influence on my life and how I treat the rest of the world. I am very proud to be the daughter of such a caring and selfless woman.

The One Thing We Should Never Say to a New Mother (But We Still Do)

Picture this:

You’re at a family gathering and your cousin walks in with her new baby boy. He’s right at a month old and he’s bundled tightly in her arms. His tiny little fists drawn up close to his chest. His bubbly lower lip hanging open as he sleeps soundly. Your cousin is smiling brightly but her eyes give her away as she searches the room for a place to sit down. Finally, finding comfort on a small couch, she lets herself feel relief, but only for a moment. The rest of the women in your family soon find seats around her as they begin cooing over the sleeping baby and flooding her with seemingly sympathetic questions.

“Is he sleeping through the night yet…”

“Have you tried a bottle so we can baby-sit yet…”

“Does he cry a lot…”

“So you’re still using that pacifier…”

“Why isn’t he wearing socks…”

“Where’s his hat…”

“Do you want to get him sick…”

On and on they trudge. Their voices sound sincere but their questions are accusing and hurtful. With every remark your cousin tries frantically to explain herself, to sound strong in her opinions, to act like she knows what she’s doing.

The truth is, inside she is crying. She is confused and doesn’t know the answers because she is a new mom and she is still trying her best to figure things out herself. She tried to look nice today and on the surface, she does. However, with a closer look, you can see that her pulled-back hair hasn’t been washed in a few days. Her cute jeans are still maternity pants she is trying desperately to hide. Her shirt has spit up stains she has tried to wipe clean and hide with a jacket. She put on concealer and mascara but you can still see the circles under her eyes.

You know where she’s been. You were there not too long ago. You look at your own 2 year old and think to yourself “I should tell her that this is only the beginning. She has no idea what’s coming. It only gets harder.” But before you can get over to tell her, the baby wakes up. His eyes only open slightly, and he might still go back to sleep. He looks away to nowhere in that way that newborns do. Slowly, he lets out a tiny smile. In that little moment, your cousin begins to glow. She is smiling at him and it’s clear all over her face that if this isn’t the very first smile, that it’s still one of the firsts. She is sitting there thinking to herself, “This is what makes everything worth it.”

“Oh! Isn’t that cute! It must be gas!”…..

Your grandmother giggles and all the women follow suit.

 

Your cousin is crestfallen. Her entire demeanor changes as she sighs out and lets it sink in that the only reason the baby smiled is because he passed gas.

 

 

Have you ever seen this happen? Has it happened to you? Have you been the one to say that very line? I have. I can say yes to all three of those questions. Now I ask you, why do we do this?

I know from experience that when you bring that newborn home, you want so desperately to feel like he knows you. Like he loves you. You spend hours awake trying to make him happy if only for a few minutes. You feel like you are a cumbersome giant that could snap his fingers if you move just the wrong way. You feel like every second of your life is dedicated to him. I know that in a months time, most new moms have only had about 3 showers. And more likely than not, they spent two of them sitting in the bottom of the tub crying. Wondering how they got here and why no one warned them just how hard it would be. Not the same stuff we all hear, “You won’t get any sleep…” or “That baby is going to go through a LOT of diapers…” I’m talking about the emotional struggle. How hard it is to deal with the guilt that comes with not falling in love instantly. Dealing with wondering who this little creature is and why it wants so much from you. Trying to feel confident in yourself and show others that you are strong. Dealing with your husband asking you “What do I need to do?” when you don’t even know yourself.

I know I’ve been there. I also know that the very fist time that baby smiled at me I felt like he was looking into my very soul

And I know that someone did say it was gas. I know that the second she said that, I died inside. Every second I spent with that baby had built up to that tiny moment where he recognized me. And it was shattered. Just like that.

He doesn’t know who I am or what I do for him. He’s just a baby and he passed gas. That’s why he smiled. It has nothing to do with me.”

Why do we do this? Doesn’t that mother deserve her moment? Doesn’t she deserve to feel like everything she has been through was worth it because the baby smiled at her? I think so. So next time you, or I, see a newborn smile, don’t say “It must be gas.” Try instead, “Look at him, he recognized your voice. He must really love his mommy.” Is it too hard to do that? I don’t think so.

That mother will remember those first smiles for the rest of her life. You? You probably won’t remember that comment for a week. Save her the heartbreak. Because the truth is, I believe that baby is smiling at his mommy. Why wouldn’t he? He loves her.

D1- Introduction to the Thirty Day Photo Challenge

Today I wanted to start a thirty day photo challenge to keep things interesting on here. I found a few lists on Pinterest but ultimately decided on this one:

30 Day Photography Challenge

Because today is D1, I had the “Self Portrait” on my to-do list. I grabbed my camera, found some decent light (by opening the side door to my house and standing there) and started taking some shots! I had a few that I liked and they are all unedited. This is how I look every day. No makeup, raw skin by my nose from a recent sinus infection, zits on my forehead, and more freckles than I care to talk about!

The one decent shot

The one decent shot

Funny faces are…. funny

We're all a little mad here...

We’re all a little mad here…

So try and keep up :)

So try and keep up 🙂

Thank you for looking at my weird little self portraits! Come back tomorrow for D2!

The Other Patient

As promised, today I will tell you more about my husband, “Dad”. So here it is:

The Only 5 Things You Need to Know About Dad

  1. He loves all things motorized. If it has a motor, says “vroom vroom” or looks like a smaller version of something with a motor, then he loves it. Period.
  2. He has a pretty freaking amazingly awesome red beard. That I love and won’t let him shave.
  3. He drinks more sweet tea than I do… which is a lot.
  4. He works hard so that The Wardens can afford to keep me here as their slave 24/7.
  5. He loves me and The Wardens more than anyone else ever could. I mean, he willingly comes home to this crazy house every day. That’s pretty awesome.

Enjoy this iPhone shot of him and his freaking amazingly awesome red beard.

Dad and his red beard

Now, today was only going to be about Dad but The Wardens presented me with an awesome impromptu photo session that I thoroughly enjoyed. These are the things they do to foster feelings of affection in me… today it worked. I am ashamed of myself. But not so much that I won’t share the photos with you!

B laying on Dad laying on the couch during his lunch break.

B laying on Dad laying on the couch during his lunch break.

Look at those lashes! I’m jealous…

B holding me down for a routine affection session

It worked.

You see that, Momma? That’s what we call “outside”. I know it seems like a distant memory, but fear not, summer is near and we will have an array of activities for you to accompany us on.

No! I will not hold still for the camera! You don’t own me! I own you.

I told you no! I will not stand for this.

This is the proper way to make a crazy face. Now practice!

These are what The Wardens use to torture Dad and myself. Colors and noises are key in their effectiveness.

Contemplating new forms of torture

A shape sorting device. It’s new and they have yet to discover how to use it against me.

Intense focus

See? We have broken toys here. They are still useful!

Awesome technique, B!

Put the shape in my mouth? Like this? Okay.

If we work together, we can figure this out.

A Closer Look at The Wardens

Hello lovelies! Okay, today we are going to take a closer look at The Wardens. Just to get this thing started on the right foot!

Warden B:

B is my oldest son. He just turned two on January 20th and he’s a ball of energy! I mean, honestly, what did you expect me to say about a two year old boy? Aside from the average things about boys, he’s really athletic for his age. I have spent a little over a year pulling him down from every surface imaginable to the point that I am rarely even shocked anymore. Just the other day he had a large plastic box on top of the couch and he was dancing on top of the box! He has blonde hair and striking light blue eyes. B loves his toys but none more than his hammers. He collects toy hammers. I mean he does it. On his own! Every time he spends time at another family member’s house he always comes back with a new toy hammer that he stole from them. He sneaks them out in his diaper bag. Ha. He also loves trucks and cars of any sort. Toy or real. Where other kids run from loud vehicles, B runs to them. It drives me crazy. He doesn’t talk yet but has a vocabulary of a few funny words. It’s very frustrating to have an independent child that can’t tell you what he wants. I wish I had started baby sign language with him a long time ago. Sigh, oh well. B did just enter his terrible two’s and although he has been experiencing trouble and punishment and “no” for a long while now, he was just introduced to the naughty chair yesterday. It absolutely ruined his entire world. I should get a picture for you. I’m probably a bad mom because I think it’s funny. But hey, how else am I supposed to get my revenge for them driving me bonkers? Laughing at their facial expressions is about as good as it gets (not where he can see of course, I go around the corner and laugh silently) Ha!

Warden Row:

Row is my second son. He is nine months old and will be enjoying his first birthday on April 10th this year! Row is quite inquisitive about the world and can often be found screaming in frustration at some random toy because he hasn’t yet figured it out. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of him giving it a stern talking-to. He is currently crawling, standing, pulling up, and trying to follow his brother all over the furniture (though he hasn’t quite figured out how to get his legs up on things yet). He’s a total opposite from B. He is long and skinny and has no allergies or sensitivities. (B has eczema, dairy sensitivity, and seasonal allergies just like me.) Row has amazingly beautiful, deep, red hair. In the sun light it looks like it might be made of pure copper for how bright it shines. He also has blue eyes like B but Row’s are darker and a little more on the navy side. Row loves to babble and talk and squeal and make all kinds of incredibly annoying sounds. He has only recently been introduced to the word “no” and therefore watches B’s fits with a look of complete confusion and concern. Which is also funny to me and forces me around the corner again for yet another laughing fit. Row is a very strict warden. He rarely lets me out of his sight without screaming uncontrollably. He also loves to ask to be held and then promptly begins to use me as a jungle gym (his intent is obviously to break me down both mentally and physically so that I cannot leave. I also assume he is trying to establish some feeling of dominance or mastery over me.)

That’s all the basics on The Wardens. No wonder I’m crazy. I mean, you ladies with 3,4,5+ boys? I have no idea how you do it. I step on legos daily. I dig rocks and dirt and mud out of their mouths every time they even think of going outside. It’s like it magically appears! I have years of broken bones, scraped knees, tree climbing, toy cars, loud fights, and sports to look forward to. (Not that girls are any different, I’m sure they are their own kind of crazy and I know I was just as messy as Row and B when I was younger.) Here is a quick iPhone picture from our time outside yesterday. B loves Dad’s go-cart and he and Row decided to try and leave us crazies here alone. (Don’t worry, I took the key out and it was out of gas.)

 

Come back tomorrow as I hope to have a post on Dad’s profile! After that I think I will be looking into doing a 30-day style challenge with my camera along side my regular posts. Time for me to go anyway, B is trying to rearrange the stash of diapers…again. They really are doing their best to drive me even crazier…

Welcome to The Asylum!

Meet The Wardens: Row and B.

B is the older one, he’s worked here for 2 years now and is rather experienced and therefore knows when to use his power and when to save his energy. Row is newer, though. He’s only been on the job for about 9 months and still plays by the book. He often mistakes a patient’s absence from sight as an attempted escape and sounds his alarm immediately. However, he has been watching B lately and is starting to learn the ways of this place. The Wardens watch over me and one other patient. I don’t know his real name, but I’ve heard B refer to him as “Dad”. Dad doesn’t seem to be in as critical condition as myself and I have often suspected that he is a spy for The Wardens because they let him leave without near as much fuss as they provide me. I’m going to be here for a long time. Two years ago I was sentenced with 18 years to life in this place and the tag on my uniform says “Mom”. I’ve heard of other places similar to this and the rumors are that it only gets stranger. I’m going to document my discoveries whenever I can, The Wardens are very strict here and often use me as a slave to their needs. Perhaps we “Moms” can figure this out together. In the short amount of time I’ve been here I have already started to become brainwashed. The Wardens often try to foster feelings of affection in me but I shall not be fooled. I must remain vigilant in my journey.

I must go now as B has discovered my position and is demanding that I prepare their daily meals. I will return soon as I learn more about this place. I’m going to be here for a while.

Warden Row, the strict one.

Warden Row, the strict one.

Warden B. Older and more relaxed.

Warden B. Older and more relaxed.

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