October 29, 2010

Halloween Is Almost Here?................. (dammit)

Oh, my dear Mama friends, I just do not know what happened. Time just keeps passing me by. A few days ago I was telling Spawn#2 that we couldn't start her Halloween costume because it was too early. I had a whole October/Halloween curriculum packet- not opened until yesterday. And we finally carved our pumpkins today, 3 days before Halloween. Ok, to be fair, you can't carve them early here in Sunny California.... last year they were filled with mold in 3 days, and super squishy and really disgusting.  
I broke down and bought another of those rip-off pumpkin carving kits today for 5 bucks, so the Spawn could (in theory) carve at the same time. It took a good 30 minutes to get all those pumpkin guts out- the kids hate doing it, so of course Mama has to. We started carving, and all 3 of my little pumpkin carvers broke! I almost stomped back into the drug store with my twisted scraps of metal to demand a refund, but I was covered with pumpkin entrails. So that meant that, you guessed it, Not Blessed Mama had to do all the carving with a damn steak knife. We wound up with some pretty sad Jack 'o Lanterns, but they are DONE! And the kids love them, so I guess all's well that ends well. Or whatever that saying is.

Spawn#3 wanted something super scary. 

Of course, so did Spawn#1. Boys.

And Spawn#2 wanted eye lashes, but messed up and
had to cut these big ol' eyes out. 


October 25, 2010

What Does your Clothing Say About You?

Normally, my clothing says, "I was made in Vietnam by a man who doesn't earn enough money to feed his family". Really rather depressing, isn't it? I have been making a big effort to buy as much of our clothing used as possible. It's quite easy for the kids. But I am a plus-sized mama- and since I don't wear muumuus, options at the thrift store for me can be limited. Recently I told you about my new endeavor with Hip Mountain Mama- she was looking for mamas with a commitment to the Earth who were interested in sharing their experiences with her products. I recently ordered the 4 Tiered Lace Skirt and I LOVE it. I am definitely a skirt and dress girl- they're easy, comfortable and cute. Plus, if you get them long, people don't stare at your natural (not shaven) legs!

The skirt is lovely- well made, gorgeous, with a nice cut and feel. It's made by Gypsy Rose, and reading the tag warms your heart- "This garment was hand crafted in the peaceful mountain Kingdom of Nepal, where the mountains are high and the air is pure." Gypsy Rose's goal is to ensure that the environment is not harmed and they pay their workers fair wages (no child labor!) and provide clean , safe working conditions. Now, if you had just gone to Wal-Mart and bought a $5 shirt, an angel would be crying. Well, probably. 

Gorgeous, hand made clothing made by a company with morals- sold by a family owned business committed to the environment? Win, win! Please check out Hip Mountain Mama for amazing green products for your entire family. 

I was not paid to do this review- all views are my own and are completely true!

October 22, 2010

Where Do You Belong?

I gotta tell you about something that's been bothering me, my dear mama friends. At home I am the classic mama martyr- doing everything for everyone else, tirelessly, ignoring or postponing my own needs. You know the drill. The thing that bugs me is that I don't have any place of my own in our house. I don't have it decorated how I would like- I'd have to say our style is Ikea-HandMeDown-Cheap. We don't own the house either so we can't do too much to it, although I have painted a little. Since we co-sleep and I'm constantly nursing a babe at night, I bed hop to which ever room happens to need me (with a nursling in tow). So the master bedroom isn't really mine- we have no office to make a computer corner- the living room has Taco Bell lights in it. My stamp just isn't anywhere. Well, my friends might argue that the kitchen is mine- it's decorated in Hello Kitty stuff. But I didn't buy any of that stuff (even though I do love it)- and let's face it, the kitchen is a torture chamber of endless chores not somewhere you can relax and enjoy yourself. 
But upon reflection, there is one place I really love. And here it is. 

It's my hammock. A good friend gave it to me when she was leaving town a few years ago, and she has no idea how much joy this simple thing has given me. I nurse my little guy in it. I read in it. I snuggle my big kids in it, and tell them that I will squash them if they dump us out. I watch the kids screaming "LOOK AT ME MOM!" on the trampoline in it. I chat with friends, play with my iPhone, and listen to the breeze in it. It's big, orange, and comfy. And this is the view:

And finally, the people in the hammock:

So, where do you belong?

I took these pictures with the Hipstamatic app for the iPhone, which has to be one of the coolest apps ever. It isn't free, but it's awesome.  

October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday... and a few words

Spawn#3 and his cousin. Don't they look like angels?
It was a nice break from the screaming. 

October 18, 2010

Autumn- Or, GermyTime

Who doesn't love Fall? The trees turn gorgeous shades of red, orange and yellow. It's sweater time- a welcome break from the sweltering summer heat.
And, my kids are sick. Without fail.
Growing up, I was a sickly child. I didn't have anything specifically wrong with me- I just caught everything, and I was always sick. Back before medical records were computerized, the Doctor would heft in my chart and drop it on the desk with a big thump. I remember my mother asking why I got sick so much- and there was no answer. Immunity wise, I just suck.
So I suppose it is fitting that I have the snottiest, sniffliest little kids around (sniffliest- did you like that word?). If someone sneezes in France, my kids get sick. Poor Spawn#1 gets it the worst, then it trickles down in a lovely domino effect. Kids all get wiped out- bam, bam, bam. I lug out the towels, the vomit bowls and the wash cloths for wiping noses. I'm a pro at dealing with puke- shouldn't I be getting some kind of medal for that? Why don't the real skills in life get honored- like the ability to catch a 2 year old's vomit in a bowl, without spilling a drop on the bed, while you vomit in a plastic bag yourself? Yes, that seriously happened. It was probably one of the worst moments of my life. I just don't understand why I'm not getting some national recognition. How about November 3rd can be Moms Are Awesome for Cleaning Puke  Day? And you send your mom a bouquet of rags and Lysol? Just a thought.
And hey, if your kids aren't puking and you have a moment- go check out the blog post I wrote for Laugh Until you Cry- I promise, it's not about vomit.

October 15, 2010

My First Guest Post- Oink!

Gather round, my dear mama friends. I told you exciting things were afoot! I am so excited today to be hosting my very first ever guest blogger! I feel so worldy, and fancy. She's a fellow mama humor blogger from a group of awesome moms on SITS, called the Oink tribe. Don't laugh- I'm trying not to take offense to the name. Without further ado.....
Hey There! I’m Losing Brownies, and I’m so excited to be guest posting today for my Oink Tribe SITStah, Not Blessed Mama!
Over at Losing the baby weight…one brownie at a time I often write about my life as a SAHM to The Boy and usually I include my husband, Gadget Guy, in these adventures, mishaps, and antics. I write about a variety of things, but you really don’t know what you’ll get on any given day.
The Boy turned 5 months old this month. Since The Boy is my current employer and I came into this job knowing not so much, I’m going to write about 5 things I’ve learned in this new job.
1.      Never leave the house without a change of clothes… for yourself. No matter how well you plan you will be spit up on, pooped on, peed on, or vomited on. Having a back up is worth it, especially if you are having family photos done! Believe me, this happened to me both times we attempted to have pictures taken!
2.      When making plans always allow yourself a two hour buffer. So if want to meet up for lunch at noon, then make yourself think you are meeting at ten, because between getting the diaper bag packed, feeding your child, a diaper change, an outfit change and stopping for gas or some other forgotten errand, you’ll eventually get to your destination two hours later. My non baby friends always expect me to be late, running behind, or feeling a bit crazed when I finally show up.
3.      Your child will make a liar out of you. If you ever mutter the phrase “My child never…” or “My child does/doesn’t...” they will automatically do the opposite. Take for example my Grand Dad. He came down for a visit and for the last 5 months I’ve been telling him how wonderful The Boy is with new people and how easily he adapts to them. Well the first time my Grand Dad tries to pick him up The Boy starts wailing and screaming. We tried this the entire weekend. It wasn’t until the very last day that he finally warmed up to him, and then Grand Dad had to leave.
4.      The laundry will never be done, the house will never be spotless, and the dishes will always need to be washed. You could spend all day getting it done, but the next day there will be more of it. Don’t sweat it if it takes a while to get to it. And don’t forget to ask for help! If someone doesn’t want to help clean, you know there is someone who at least wants to cuddle and squish your baby.
5.      No matter how bad the day goes, seeing your child smile and coo at you will always make you feel better, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

October 13, 2010

Goings On

There has been a lot going on over here at Not Blessed Mama lately. You know, Hollywood producers calling wanting to know my life story, Juicy Couture sending me free purses, getting invited to movie premieres. It's been amazing! Well, that was a slight exaggeration. But there has been a lot going on here. It's been fun and rewarding watching my little blog grow, and getting involved in some really cool projects.

Firstly, I got my first anonymous hate mail over my pro-breastfeeding post. I knew it would happen one day- I knew someone wouldn't like what I was writing. But I honestly didn't expect the meanness and spitefulness of the personal attacks. It's why I turned on comment moderation- it almost made me quit blogging (the horror!). I decided to keep chugging along though, writing my little bits of insanity for the internets. 

Secondly, I got my first product to review- the BrytonPick Flosser.

And the reason I am only writing this little blurb about it instead of reviewing it is that- it sucks. It's a little plastic stick with a metal tip you stick between your teeth to floss. Who wants to be sticking metal up into their gums??? My husband and I cracked up when we saw this. The package warns you to be careful and not cut your lip with it. And I couldn't even get it between my teeth. Sorry Bryton, this one's a fail. 

Thirdly, I have joined a really cool website of women supporting each other in their blogging endeavors- The SITS Girls. You probably all know about them, since I am last in line about everything- but if you are not familiar with them, go check them out. And a shout out to my fellow SITStahs!

And finally- you may remember me shamelessly begging you for votes a few months back in a writing contest I entered, if you are a loyal reader (I love you, loyal readers!). Well the lovely Suzy over at Hip Mountain Mama sent out a call to her customers to form a Sisterhood of like minded women who would love to talk about the items they have purchased from her awesome family owned business. And I guess she needed a little bit of snarky to go with all that green-ness, so she chose Not Blessed Mama. I'll be posting a review of a skirt I recently bought, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be my gateway to plus-size modeling. Or, there will be pictures.

SO that is all the exciting, fun, craziness that is going on with Not Blessed Mama. I'd like to thank you again, my dear mama friends, for reading. I'm loving this wild ride we're on together, and I love hearing from you as well!

October 11, 2010

Not Blessed Mama Cooks! (sometimes)

Mamas, let me be honest with you- cooking isn't my thing. I do cook- we try and eat at home as much as possible, and only eat out on the weekends once or twice. But I really don't enjoy it. At the end of the day I'm getting tired, the house is getting messy (or already is a disaster), Not Blessed Daddy's home and things are generally just chaotic and busy. The last thing I want to do is slave in a hot kitchen over a meal that will be either inhaled in 30 seconds or picked and prodded and rejected. Needless to say, simple meals are generally preferred. One pot? Excellent.  Few ingredients? Yahoo! So in that spirit, I would like to share one of my favorite recipes. It's simple, easy, tasty and the ingredients are probably already in your cupboard. AND it's Filipino. You see, N.B. Dad is Filipino, and I figured it would be nice for him to eat some food from his childhood. I knew I would never stack up to his Mama, but I was okay with that- until he asked me to make this dish to take to the in-laws the other day. As I told my brother-in-law, "Do you have any idea how intimidating it is to make Filipino food for your in-laws when you're white?!" They all raved over my Chicken Adobo,  and I hope it lived up to their stringent standards. 
it doesn't look like much, but you'll love it!

ingredients: 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 Tbs brown sugar, 
1 Tbs chopped garlic, 3 bay leaves, black pepper, chicken thighs
  1. In a pot, combine soy sauce (low sodium is good), vinegar (I use white distilled), water, brown sugar, chopped garlic (I use canned!), bay leaves, a dash of black pepper, and as many chicken thighs as you like. I used about 3 lbs. the other day- the leftovers are excellent, so don't worry about making too much. I prefer boneless/skinless, but that is not the Pinoy way- we compromise with skinless, bone-in.
  2. Boil like crazy for 30 minutes and don't turn the heat down until you hear the pot boil over. Frantically hope dinner is not ruined
  3. Okay, okay, number 2 was a joke. Well, it's what I do- but do as I say, not as I do. Gently simmer for about 40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. You want it bubbling, but not a rolling boil. Check broth after about 25 minutes. Add water if it's too strong- but it should be tangy. It will be soupy.
  4. Eat! Ladle the sauce over rice. 

This recipe is super easy and hard to mess up. I don't even measure the ingredients anymore, just dump it in and cook away. I hope you try it and enjoy it!
And if you have any quick, easy recipes (especially for the crock pot), comment below! My family will thank you for it. 

October 8, 2010


Today, my dear mama friends, I am going to write a blog post you may laugh at. Let me be a little more specific- today I expect that you may laugh at me, instead of with me. And I am still going to write it. Because that's the kind of cool mama friend I am. You know you love to have that one friend who always makes you feel better. 
"I thought my house was a disaster, but damn, have you seen Not Blessed Mama's house?"
"My kids are so bad lately. But we just went to the park and N.B.M.'s kids were there, and let me tell you..."
"I am such a mess today! But at least my clothes don't have bleach spots and holes like Not Blessed Mama.... that poor woman."
So I have to tell you, I have a new favorite song. I started hearing it on the radio, and it just kept getting stuck in my head- you know how that is. I started listening to it on Grooveshark (a hackin' awesome site), and I even BOUGHT this song on iTunes- my first purchase! 
Now is the time that you start laughing. 
The song is Dynamite by Taio Cruz.
Laugh. Go ahead.
Not only does this song have a catchy beat that makes me wanna shake what my momma gave me, it's the lyrics that caught me. 

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Sayin' ayo, gotta let go
I wanna celebrate and live my life
Sayin' ayo, baby let’s go

(Disclaimer before I proceed: the lyrics following the ones above do not pertain to me as much. I am not gon' rock this club- I am not gon' go all night. I am most certainly not gon' lights it up like it's dynamite. But it is very catchy, so listen anyway.)

Who knew you'd find such an appropriate quote for motherhood in a hip hop song? I feel like this could be the motto for my life- someone needlepoint this onto a pillow for me, will ya? 
I hate having unnecessary stress and drama in my life. Kids a filthy mess? Let it go. House a disaster? Let it go. In-laws criticizing your parenting choices? Let it go.  Husband complaining about having mac n cheese for dinner again? Kick him. Then let it go.  Pick your battles- if it's important, fight for it. If not- yup, you guessed it- let it go. Life really is too short and amazing to be stressed, exhausted and miserable every day. I do want to celebrate and live my life every day. I want to enjoy my kids, have fun with them, and savor them growing up. Because while Spawn#1 is only a whopping nine years old, those nine years have flashed right before my eyes. Only recently he was a wild little child playing with Thomas trains, and now that damn kid is almost as tall as I am- and smart as a whip. He doesn't miss anything. I just don't know how it happened. Well, I guess I do. Time. It's what happens to you when you get old.
So that's why today, my dear mama friends, I am inviting you to blast this addicting song the next time you need a little pick me up. But do yourself a favor, turn your monitor off while you listen (unless you like watching boobalicious women working on cars, which seems to be a popular music video theme- so maybe people do like it). 

October 4, 2010

September, I Hardly Knew Ye

Does anyone know what happened to September? The other day, I was planning Halloween costumes ridiculously early. Now it is October (4th!) and I'm sure I'll be scrambling to finish sewing at the last minute (as always). Here's a glimpse into our September. 

Almost no fall foliage for us yet, but we have some lovely
morning glories and zinnias. 

Oh why did I let him get that haircut! I could have squeezed out 
another 6 months of babyness from him. 

Spawn#2 modeled a dress she made and Spawn #3 gave a talk
about a custom Bionicle he created.

Spiderman, a Princess and a Zombie.
The annual Homeschooling picnic has something for everyone.

Sharing the Love

Recently the very sweet (and adorable) Kat over at For Love Of My Oceans was gracious enough to bestow upon yours truly, Not Blessed Mama, her very first blog award. It is such an honor Kat, and thank you! 

I've got my floor length gown on now, and I'm giving a very moving speech- thanking "all the little people" who helped to make this happen! Actually, that kind of fits, doesn't it? 

Now I would like to share with you some of Not Blessed Mama's favorite blogs- and you know she has very discriminating taste! 

1000 Reasons I'm A Crap Mom The title says it all.
Chronicles of Twitch and Meathead Because she said "Meathead". 
Kidlit's Korner A good friend new to blogging.
Las Vegas Mama 'Cuz she's sassy.
Sunshine SAHM 'Cuz she likes to be real. 
the little things A sweet little blog. 
Airing My Dirty Laundry Because dirty laundry is a big part of my life. And she's funny. 
The Pioneer Woman More of an institution than a blog. Check out her recipes. 
Mommy Wants Vodka Aunt Becky cusses. As much as I'd like to. 
The Diary Of An Indy Grrrl I like to think I would have been like this 10+ years ago. If I was cool.

Ok, the idea here is to link 15 blogs you love and let them all know, to get the bloggy love flowing. Alas, not Blessed Mama is lazy. I mean tired. I mean lazy. That was a lot of work listing those 10! So I am going to leave it at that, and say thank you to all the cool bloggers I love to read, listed or not. 

P.S. When I went to Google Reader to get my blog links, I had 666 "new items" to read. WHAT DOES IT MEAN???
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