The plan looked so perfect on paper. In reality, it is unattainable, at least for now. In parenting, there is not enough time in the day to get things done. Twenty four hours is cheating. It is not as long as you think it is. Twenty four hours, that’s all you get in a day. For the past three days, I’ve been watering the garden in my head and doing laundry in my brain. I’ve been chasing sleep, running on E, holding my pee and poop, listening to cries of two babies, trying to figure out parenting as tears of frustration and joy drip down my sleepy eyes. I chose motherhood, full time motherhood and this is the beginning of the rest of my life.
The first time I heard my toddler talking to herself, I was taken aback. I tiptoed closer to the door and perched myself on the wall. I wanted to hear everything she was saying, all of it. That first day, she made a phone call with a pretend phone, spoke our dialect(igbo) a little bit and calmed a crying baby(teddy bear.)
These days, she sings happy birthday every morning, first thing. She sang it again today, probably because we sang happy birthday to a member in church yesterday during midweek prayers.
She has been singing happy birthday since her 2nd birthday. Since we sang her a song and blew a candle.
To be honest, I was a little worried about the self talk. I researched it and found out that it’s pretty normal for toddlers. These self talks take me into her mind, into her world and allow me to see and hear things that go through her mind.
I don’t know how long this will last but until then, I’ll enjoy every bit of it.
I miss the days when I tucked you in my shirt and felt your breathing
Your body would always feel so warm
You slept like you were still in my womb
The tubes and lines coming out of your body was in our way
But it didn’t stop us from speaking heart to heart
Skin to skin
I promised I would be the best mother if only God let you out of this sick bed
The NICU days were no fun
It felt like eternity
Like we had a baby but no baby
On bad days, we slept in the free house, half awake
Guzzling free coffee to keep awake
To keep sane.
On Sundays, when the cafeterias were closed, we ate salty panini
Sighing our way through lunch
We hated staying one minute over the hour
Miscalculating the parking time
And paying for another hour……
They say an apple a day keeps the Doctor away. I say, an apple a day, if you can afford it, keeps the Doctor away. You might wonder, who can’t afford an apple? Forget about organic apples for a second. Think outside of the box. As in developing countries, as in Nigeria, where I grew up.
It’s an Apple, not rocket science.
I’m not talking about local apples, which most people should be able to afford during its season. I’m talking about foreign apples. They are imported into Nigeria and are quite expensive, unless you don’t mind a rotten one..lol.
Expensive is in the eyes of the beholder. As a kid, it was expensive. It was luxury. It was sold 3 apples for a hundred naira. Who wants to buy an apple with money for some real food? I’m not sure how much imported apples currently cost in Nigeria, but the last time I visited the country, it didn’t tickle my fancy.
Somehow, we have been brainwashed with the fact that foreign apples don’t grow in Nigeria.
How true? Not sure! But I have a strong feeling that someday, I will walk into a booming foreign apple farm in Nigeria. For now, let me continue to believe that there is a valid reason for importing apples into Nigeria and sticking a heavy price tag on it.
Out of apples cometh applesauce.
Permit me to confess that I neither ate or saw applesauce all my life until I came to America. I never went looking for one. I had no need for it. It might be found in a baby food store but I have no reasons to believe that applesauce is a food of choice in a developing country.
Talk about real food.
I love the local apples grown in Nigeria. I ate them whenever it was in season, but it never occurred to me that you could make applesauce out of apples. Not until I saw applesauce sitting on the shelve in the grocery stores of America.
It didn’t make sense to me at first. Who would forgo crunchy for mushy? Unless you have no teeth I thought.
But I was wrong, still wrong.
Apparently, applesauce is a thing in America and I have joined the queue.
I love applesauce for many reasons. It’s a great alternative to apples, it’s good for baking, it’s an awesome addition to smoothies, it’s a nutritious snack and its a yummy baby and toddler food.
Above all, it’s very easy to make.
The next time you crave applesauce, take a trip to the grocery store or local farmers market and buy some delicious apples, then come home and try this simple recipe that even a 5th grader can conquer. Be careful not to use too much water. I made that mistake the first time. Cooking the apples make them soft enough to be blended even without water.
What you need:
-1-2 cups Water
-Cinnamon or spice of choice(optional.)
What to do:
-Wash, peel, core and slice apples.
-Place in pot and add water.
-Cook in medium heat for about 10mins
-Allow to cool, then blend until smooth or chunky(if that’s your preference)
-Add spice of choice.
If you are terribly busy like everyone else and have no time to cook at home, you are not alone. PREPPING is the way to go and I’m learning to do that. I work full time, I’m heavily pregnant, have a toddler and love to eat home cooked meals. The problem is- I only have a pair of hands and one brain.
During thanksgiving, I loaded up on fresh whole turkey as much as my freezer space could handle. If I had an extra freezer, I would buy a lot more.
To prep this whole turkey and have it ready/almost ready to eat when I need it, I baked, sliced and stored in the freezer.
First, thaw the turkey overnight.
Second, rub liberally with salt, pepper and olive oil. Wrap with foil.
Third- bake at 350 degrees for 3 hours.
Unwrap and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
Let cool and slice. Store in zip lock bag in the freezer.
Here you go, you have healthy meat sliced and ready to use when you need it. This can be done with chicken as well. If using chicken, bake for 2 hours before unwrapping.
When life hands you a bad cold, you make blueberry juice packed with natural antioxidants, infused with a burst of citrus. I have a bad cold that have lingered since December 26th. Talk about carrying a cold from 2015 to 2016….smh.
I love anything berries, especially blueberries because its a brain food. Berries are packed with antioxidants that help the body fight infections. Antioxidants also help to prevent cell damage in the body.
For this homemade blueberry juice, I added some raspberries and oranges. Feel free to combine as many different berries as you wish, I’m sure it will still taste awesome.
What you need:
- Oranges (optional)
- Honey or sugar
What to do:
- Place berries and sugar in a small pot and add just enough water to cover the berries. Bring to boil and turn off heat.
- Sieve berries in a clean bowl and set juice aside.
- Mash berries and sieve again. Add a little more water if needed during sieving.
- Add oranges if desired for a burst of citrus flavor.
Store juice in a tight container like a mason jar.
I have been on a no artificial sugar and no flour diet for 10 days now. I’m trying my best to eliminate unnecessary sugars and salad dressing is one of them.
The next time you crave a sweet dressing for your salad, be sure to grill some peaches.