I forgot what it's like to have a newborn in the house. It's amazing how our recollection of life with babies seem so different when viewed in retrospect. Sometimes those early years of exhaustion seem to pale in comparison with the new challenges each life stage brings as your children grow up with their own mind, voice, determination, and opinion.
After a few weeks of settling in with our new puppy, I was re-introduced again with that "new Mom" feeling of adjusting to a schedule that is dictated mostly by a creature no bigger than ten pounds. Trying to prepare for hosting our annual Mother's Day gathering this weekend, along with chauffeuring kids to school, swimming, birthday parties and hockey games all while trying to keep with a training-in-progress puppy's schedule has definitely been trying, and as we manoeuvre through this new phase in our lives, there are some things that I've kept reminding myself.
I looked back to when I first became a mother and tried to apply some lessons learned. Surprisingly this has (somewhat) helped us get through this "new mother" phase with the puppy.
1) They will sleep through the night eventually. Just hang in there. Be strong.
2) What goes in, comes out. So only feed the best you can afford. If it's not organic, then get food as pure to it's original source that you can. (i.e. no dyes, preservatives, chemicals, artificial anything). Remember they are what they eat.
3) Setting a precedent with good habits as early as possible helps make things a little easier, so they don't have to be re-taught again later (usually with defiance).
4) You don't need to buy EVERY toy/gizmo/hot-designer-item...usually just a few key basics to start will work. As they grow, your needs and their tastes will change. Buy accordingly.
5) It does get a little easier (at least, less labour intensive!). You will settle into a routine and find those moments where you can get a "break" again.
So for Mother's Day this weekend, I hope all Mothers, both new and experienced, enjoy a little break. Because even when the little ones don't listen, wreck the furniture, have accidents in the house, and constantly demand your attention, just stop and look into their "puppy dog" eyes...their love usually puts things back into perspective. And that's what's being a Mom is all about.
Happy Mother's Day
Crockpot Cocktail Meatballs
(adapted from Allrecipes).
This recipe can be made even easier by using pre-made frozen meatballs. I go back and forth between both (although I like the taste of homemade meatballs a little better). When you're time crunched, this recipe is quick and easy, serves a large crowd, and can give you a little break from the kitchen so you can enjoy the company of guests.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup ketchup or bbq sauce
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or cornflake crumbs)
- 1/3 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup parmesan (or 1 tsp. soy sauce for asian flair)
- 3 tablespoons minced onion
- 1 (8 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
- 3/4 cup chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion.
- Roll into small meatballs.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once until cooked.
- In a slow cooker blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice.
- Add meatballs, and simmer for 2-4 hours on low before serving.