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Jen’s Brown Rice Bowl

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Ingredients

1cup brown rice

1 cup water

1.5 cup vegitable broth

1/2 lime juiced

2tbl chopped fresh cilantro

1 carrot sliced

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup chopped red & green bell peppers

2 small roasted sweet peppers chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 fresh chopped tomato

1tbl chopped green onion

1/2cup corn

1/2 cup black beans

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 avocado

1/4 tsp coconut oil

Directions

Heat up 1 cup water and 1.5 cup broth, add in rice and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until done or about 30 minutes.

In another pan heat up coconut oil and sauté onions until soft, then add in  carrots, peppers, and tomato and 1/3 cup water and let simmer for 10 minutes. Once soft, add corn, black beans, green onions, and roasted peppers. And cook on medium to low heat until all ingredients are cooked thoroughly. Add in seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.

When rice is almost done, add half a lime, juiced and cilantro and mix together. When veggies are cooked through, add them to the rice and mix.

Serve with avocado, more cilantro and of course your favorite hot sauce!

Enjoy!!!

 

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My Morning

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Sometimes my mornings crack me up. All I want to do is wake up and go to the bathroom, drink some coffee in the peace and quiet, maybe read my bible. But some days this is not a possibility. Like when you have an extremely long and busy weekend including a sick kid and you finally got good sleep and don’t want it to end! So you sleep in and this happens instead:

Hear baby sucking her fingers
Nurse baby in my sleep
Put baby back to bed
Pump remaining milk
Go back to sleep
Untie kids shoes in my sleep upon kids request. Really? … yeah it happened.
Wake up to whining 2 yr old and baby
Move baby to living room
Change baby diaper
Change 2yr old poopy diaper
Pull kid out of crib
Dispose of diaper
Wash hands while baby cries
Start coffee while baby cries
Pour kids cereal while baby cries
Pour milk for kid while baby cries
Fill 2yr old silly with milk while baby cries
Pour my cereal and cut fruit
Pour coffee and cream
Baby quiets down
Put cereal and coffee by couch
Mom gets to go to the bathroom!!!!
Wash hands
Pick up baby and nurse her again
Set baby down to roll around
Eat breakfast, drink coffee and finally try to wake up 😅

Blog

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life

6:30am
Wake up and nurse little 3 mo old Annabelle on the edge of my bed while I wait for my brain to kick on.  I hear the 6 year old getting ready for school during her normal routine as Dad searches the house for her clothes. When the baby falls back asleep, I lay her back down in her pack n play and go out and pump the extra milk and wish Amilia a wonderful day as her and dad head out for school. 🎒
7:20am
Finish pumping and put away the milk in the fridge when I hear my middle baby, Megan who is almost 2 yrs old, crying for me. I find her in her crib soaked from another night of the diaper not holding up. Damn Huggies. I clean Meg off and change her to a pull-up. Then I have to change Megs bedding which means I have to switch all the laundry to free the washer. I dump her soaked bedding and pillows in the wash and start the load of laundry. Corey returns from taking Amilia to school. I begin to make Corey’s lunch and put it in the fridge for him to take to work then pull out chicken to thaw. Megan requests the canned pineapples she saw me put in daddy’s lunch. While Corey takes a shower, I check on Anna to find her awake. I bring her to the living room and change her diaper in the bassinet.
7:45am
Cuddle up on the couch with both babies and corey starts the Coffee for me. I noticed Meg somehow soaked her hair with pineapple juice and it’s now sticky. Corey takes Anna baby to say goodbye and I pour my coffee and he is off to work! I then do the Dishes. Megan requests more food. Specifically eggs. Without words, of course, so she simply smacks the carton of eggs in the fridge and looks up at me to make sure I understand. Since I’m already in the kitchen I go ahead and scramble some eggs. She insists on helping. Oh, so helpful. Not. I’m able to get a couple bites of food, take my medicine and reheat my coffee as it’s gotten cold already. ☕️
9am
I sit and Nurse Anna. After, I need to switch the laundry and start another load. I Check the tomato plant outside and let Meg play outside.
Then we play with her toy cars  inside and I decide to the kids need a car track for all their matchbox cars to drive on, so I start to paint one on the back of a large piece of cardboard I have handy. So far, so good, but I need white paint. I’ll need to go to Hobby Lobby later.
Megan’s butt stinks, so I put away the paint, clean her black feet from running around out back and change her poopie diaper. Reheat coffee cuz it’s gotten cold again. Anna falls asleep so I sit and rest for a minute.
10am
Mamma needs to go to the bathroom. I don’t do so alone unfortunately. Meg hops on my lap while I do my thang. When I’m done, I start to fold the laundry. Realizing Meg’s hair is now crunchy from pineapple juice I take the to the bathroom and scrub her down, clean her hair, dry her off, brush her hair and she brushes her teeth. We go back out and I put Megs shirt on and she runs off. Fold more laundry while also realizing I’m out of some groceries. So I make a grocery list.
Meg requests to use the toilet so we go but she just sits there. Nothing. New pull-up and back to folding laundry. Switch laundry. Fold laundry again. Load more laundry. I put Megs shorts on.
11am
Dare I? I rush and take a quick shower. 7 minutes! That included shampoo, condition and shave! Not bad. I hop out, get dressed, brush teeth and hair and wash my face. Naturally the next on my list is to clean up the mess Meg made while I was showering. Toddlers. Then I realize my shirt stinks, so I change change my shirt (throw in wash). I put on a movie for Meg and close up the windows turn on the AC. I get Meg a drink and dump out my coffee because the last of it got cold again.
I grab some water and notice my new shirt Shirt stinks too, so I change, again.
11:30am
I check on Annabelle – she is still napping, thank the LORD. I sit down with my new book and a bottle of water. Read for 10min until Meg jumps on me wanting attention. Then she drinks my water. Then she pours water on me.
11:45
Anna wakes up and needs to be nursed. Meg requires me to pour my water into a cup for her. My water supply quickly diminishing. I check Facebook while nursing. Nothing. Check email. Nothing. Scan tv channels. Nothing. Hungry, but still feeding baby, so I wait. Meg comes to me, crying for comfort over spilling ice water on herself. MY water that SHE stole and then spilled. I watch as Meg gets distracted by the baby’s bumbo seat. Then she gets stuck in the bumbo seat.
My Stomach is now growling! I turn on a random movie to distract me from my hunger while I nurse and drink some water. Waiting for her to finish eating, I decide on lunch.
12pm
Finally I get to grill the chicken, make my salad and put away extra chicken for Corey’s lunch. I eat eat as fast as I can and share my salad with Meg. Then I nurse Anna on other side and Meg steels more water. I watch a show while nursing. Oh and I gotta post that awesome salad on instagram!
12:45
Fill trail mix. Fill up my empty water bottle. Get some baby cuddles and watch my show. Play with the baby’s. Post their cuteness on Instagram. Then I get to do half my makeup and quickly do my hair. I also brush and put up Megs hair.
1:30
Put Meg shoe on. Chase Meg. Put other Meg shoe on. Put my shoes on. Baby sister loves and hugs. Make sure Anna is not hungry. She won’t eat so I load kids in car. Go to hobby lobby, get stroller out, load baby and grab Meg. Carry Meg thru store so she doesn’t break anything, cuz let’s be real! 😏 I go to check out as my arm feels like it’s falling off, since Meg is getting so big! Walk to the car and let other mom know she left something at the counter. I load Meg in her car seat, load Anna, put stroller in back if van, load paint and canvas in backseat and get in car. I sit and breathe for a second but the baby starts crying and sucking on fingers even though I tried to feed her before I left. I start to drive hoping she will fall asleep and realize I forgot my water bottle at home. Run back home for my water bottle. I drive to Amilia’s school and park.
2:15
Meg and Anna fell asleep in car. Hallelujah! 🙏
Mammas quiet time to write!
2:40
Mia gets out of school, load her in car and drive home. I talk to Amilia about upcoming concert and she is scared. I unload the kids from car. Meg cries for me to carry her while I’m carrying Anna.
I manage to shuffle all three of them inside and lay Anna down. Inside, Mia cries about leaving her lunchbox at school and insists she is in trouble even tho I told her she’s not. Meg needs to be held while she tries to wake up from her nap in the car. Anna cries and sucks on her fingers wanting food and Amilia requests a snack. So many mouths!
I quickly make a peanut butter and jelly with veggie sticks for the older sisters to share and I tell them not to make mess.
I’m not hopeful. I tell the kids to sit down. No standing on the couch. Hmmm, this is not a new rule. 🙄
I change Annabelle’s diaper and sit down with her to nurse. While she eats, I hear an explosion in her fresh diaper! Of course she poops in her fresh diaper. Back up so I can change her diaper AGAIN. And sit BACK down to finish nursing her while the older kids request more veggie sticks. They have some after school TV time. Go ahead and judge me!
3:30pm
😳😰
I get puked on and wipe it up with my shirt. Now this one will stink. Meh. All three girls rest and we watch Daniel tiger. The mom in the show is way too calm and chipper! So unrealistic. Don’t get me wrong, I love this job but that doesn’t mean I’m walking around softly singing lessons to my kids with everything under control!
Im so tired!
I lay little Annabelle on the floor and we all watch as she tries to roll over. She almost makes it to her belly. The older girls play out back as I try to catch her rolling over on video. No such luck. Any day now tho!
4pm
Get tackled by my 2 yr old
Get smacked in the face with a DVD case by my 2 yr old. Can she tell I’m getting tired and losing stamina?
Put baby in her bouncer, paint with kids again. Baby is crying and dinner needs to be made so we clean up. Mom gets a fast pee break!!!! 😬 If fast pee breaks were an Olympic sport I’d get a gold medal 🥇!!
Now what to make for dinner??? Am I off yet? Meg needs to be held while I plan dinner, of course. Oh, good she is distracted by an old carrot on the floor, I can do a quick straighten up before the hubby gets home! Now seriously… what’s for dinner?  Fix Amilia’s backpack upon request. Okay, really … dinner. Wait, first wine. 🍷 Okay, now dinner. I finally make a decision on what to make. Explain to kids that no, they don’t actually get a choice in what I make. Give the mom look 👀 when they say they don’t like what I’m making. Kids run away. Okay, dinner. Distracted by the random Texas storm ⛈ outside! No,  FREAKING DINNER!!
So I put some noodles in water and sip my wine. Grill more chicken pull out veggies and ingredients I need.
Hubby is home!!!! ❤️ Thank the Lord!! 🙏
Dinner almost done and I’m sweating so I stick my head in the freezer. Then I update husband on Amilia’s school day. Give girls and husband their food and sit to nurse he baby again! Tell the kids to eat. Husband tells kids to eat. We both tell kids to stop playing and eat! Husband reminds kids to sit and eat. We let the kids know that daddy will be out of town tomorrow.

So exciting. 😒

And the reminders to sit and eat continue.
Now the Baby refuses to eat, screaming at me. She’s letting me know the boob factory is empty at the moment and she wants a bottle. Awesome.

I lay the baby down so I can eat my food and guess what? All that effort and I’m not a fan of dinner. Whatever. I eat it anyway.

2 yr old climbs on dad. 6 yr old gets in trouble for spitting out food and having an attitude.

Kids being goofballs! I have to stop eating and make a bottle. While it warms up, I watch daddy making itty bitty baby laugh as he tickles her. They are so cute.
Is it bedtime yet?
2 year old is on her 3rd helping of food. Meg comes over and shoves older sister over … ugh, whyyy? 😩 Butt spankin’ and sent to time out, she comes back crying and says sorry, hugging her sister.
Oldest running around the baby. Oldest in trouble for running around the baby. Oldest falls down, and we investigate if what’s on the back of her leg is a bruise or mud. It’s mud. Whew. Middle child almost jumps on baby. LORD, help me! Kids run around eating my homemade granola bars, guess I’ll need to make more.
Baby blows raspberries. So cute!!
Is it bedtime yet?
Oldest runs by baby again, dad reminds oldest not to run by the baby. AGAIN!
No, really, is it bedtime yet? No. No, it’s not. Another hour. ⏱
Shoe flies in front of my face. FUDGE!
Surprisingly it was the husband and not the kids. We block off the baby so the kids will stop running over and around her.
Meg steps on baby hand, gives us a look like, ummm whoops.
STOP RUNNING BY THE BABY!!!🤦‍♀️
Repeat.
Megs talks to Annabelle, who is trying to talk back. Man, I am in love.
Tell Meg to stop playing with the plants outside. Tell Amilia to clean up granola bar pieces off the new rug.
Family wrestle time? Why not. As I lay on the floor and rest my head SO ready for bed, 😴 this is of course a signal that mom wants two little monkeys to sit on her and pretend she’s a horse, right? After jumping and running and sitting and falling, they start a pillow fight with dad until they get out of hand and are required to stop. ✋🏻 The attitude flares and we tell the kids to go wash their hands and brush their teeth. Oldest complains and middle kid screams “YAY” as if she is a troll and I announced it was hug time. She runs to go brush her teeth and the oldest reluctantly follows.
It’s almost there. The end is near I can almost see it now! But when I get them down I still need to run to the store for some more fresh veggies. Where’s that list again?
Remake Megan’s bed. Annabelle fell asleep in the bouncer, how can I resist such cuteness?? Only 15 more minutes, so we let them snuggle in big sissies bed for a little. 🛏 They really can’t get any cuter! Change Megs diaper. Pjs and night lights. Hug hugs and nigh nigh’s. We tuck them in bed. Moms almost off the clock!! Annabelle will still need to nurse again before bedtime I’m sure. Time to run to the store.

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On the way, I contemplate. What exactly do I do all day? Often times people ask me do you work? Or do you just stay home with the kids? This question always gets me. I do not work. But I do not just stay home with the kids. Some days, everything I do feels so overwhelming. But other days it doesn’t feel like much. Yet, even in the very small tasks that I am doing, I am creating lives, shaping futures, and preparing humans for the road ahead of them. Isn’t it funny how doing that job can make someone feel so small. So what does she do all day? She makes a difference, even if she doesn’t feel like she does.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this job even comes with benefits. Unlimited soft and squishy baby cheek kisses anytime I want. For now.

All 3 kids asleep 💤 now it’s my turn! 🛌

Jen Johnson – love that you’re you

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jen’s no-bake granola bars

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Pushing past the urge to go buy food to snack on, I looked through the ingredients I had and looked up ideas for good snacks and realized I had everything in my own pantry to make some homemade granola bars. Although the recipe I found called for some different things I decided to substitute some things and add in some things and came up with my own recipe!!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

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2cups Old fashioned oats

1cup peanut butter

1/4cup honey

1tbsp brown sugar

2tsp Hershey’s dark chocolate

raisins and sliced almonds to your desired amount!

Parchment paper

Mix together in a bowl and place in an 8×8 dish with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 1hr. Pull out and slice in large or small bars. I did some large for me and some small for my kids. Then wrap individually in Saran Wrap and keep in fridge or freezer.

 

Enjoy!!!

 

jen – love that you’re you

Blog

Not Perfect

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I am a parent and I fall short many times because I believe sometimes parenting and raising kids is a near impossible job. I lose my temper, and my patience, get too tired to cook real food and give my kids mac n cheese and hot dogs for dinner. I sometimes don’t feel like playing their games and let them watch too much tv and even let them run amok outside in a diaper and no shoes. I give them medicine, allow things with chemicals in it, let them eat sugar, formula fed 2 of my babies and some days have absolutely no routine. I let them play in the mud, get dirty, wipe them down without a bath sometimes and don’t clean their face right after they eat and make a mess.  Also, I’m pretty sure 2 of my kids have actually ingested dog food at one point. Oh well. Some of this I’m actually proud of (not the dog food incidents) and some of it I wish I didn’t do. I’m not a perfect parent. But in many ways I am also an amazing parent. I bake fresh bread, grow some of my own veggies, teach my kids healthy habits, to take care of their bodies and minds, breastfed my 3rd baby, like using natural ingredients and home remedies such as essential oils and try very hard to be intentional with my parenting, read with them, protect them, and play with them. I do everything In my power to help them understand their emotions and know that it’s okay to make mistakes (and often lead by example, pointing out my own mistakes). I teach them about not keeping body secrets, what to do if strangers talk to them, and how to be a good friend. I give them space to learn things on their own even if it means getting a little hurt. I always show them I love them and make sure they know I will always be there for them.  But just because I believe strongly that some of the things I’m doing as a parent are, in fact, good and right, doesn’t mean everyone will agree to that effect. And sometimes I want to ignore those that disagree, but I don’t. I’m always open to parenting advice and tips of how I could be better because I believe everyone has their own wisdom and knowledge and we could all learn and benefit from fellow parents. Sometimes what works for others doesn’t work for me. And sometimes I find that they were right and I was wrong.

I have learned over the years that doing what works for me isn’t always the right thing because I am a human who makes mistakes and is lazy and will take shortcuts sometimes. I struggles with depression, so some days what “works for me” isn’t good for my kids (like not getting out of bed and not paying attention and wanting to sleep all day.) But I do not believe anyone else should judge me for that. We all have our issues. Mine is depression and I have to push myself to be better every day. We should all be pushing harder every day to be better parents. We shouldn’t pressure ourselves or guilt ourselves and we should give ourselves a hell of a lot more credit for the amazing jobs we do because parenting is hard work. But take advice, be open, and willing to grow, and do things differently and try new things if it seems fit and maybe even if it doesn’t.  You never know what you’ll learn.

And most importantly don’t judge others!! Pray for them and offer to help any way you can!

God made you who you are and gave you the children you have, so don’t forget to love that You’re You!

 

Blog

Moments

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I recently began going to Celebrate Recovery at my local church and one method I’ve really been trying that I learned there is not just one day at a time but one moment at a time. That is something I’ve been working on to help me on my journey in recovery from depression, anxiety, self-hate and people pleasing.

As I awoke to my medication alarm chiming, realizing I slept in and had a hungry, full diaper 2 month old, a whining, hungry, full diaper almost 2 year old and I had to pee, take out my nightguard for teeth grinding and in desperate need of coffee, I really had to take it one moment at a time.

I decided my first moment would be to move the baby to the living room bassinet. I laid her down and decided my next moment would be to quickly change her diaper. As I did that, I began to plan my next moment. I contemplated getting the other kid but decided I needed to take care of myself real quick. (Not an easy decision for a self-hating, people pleaser to make) Bathroom would be my next moment. Next; teeth. I went along this way throughout the morning, grabbing the kiddo, changing her diaper, getting her some milk, starting the coffee, taking my medicine, moving my coffee/phone/remote to the table by the couch in preparation to feed the baby and have everything I need. I sat down and realized: I did it.

No fuss, no rush, no stress. Just a bunch of small moments one after another. A pretty big deal considering just getting out of bed alone can be difficult for someone struggling with depression and anxiety.

I challenge anyone struggling to get through their day today to just take it one moment at a time. What will your next moment consist of? Do that. That’s all you have to focus on. If you accomplish that and can take on another moment, then do one more moment. Keep doing that until you need a break and remember, each moment is a success and you just accomplished something. It may be small, but it’s an accomplishment.

Way to go, you!!!

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Let’s get real

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Let’s get real. I’m scared … So scared the wrong person will read. Read what? The truth, from my eyes. I know my truth is true, but I don’t want it to hurt, or offend. But it’s my truth, and it deserves to be told.

Right?

So many doubts form in my damaged mind. I’ve spent a good portion of my 27 years of life in fear … telling myself hateful and hurtful things. Many of us do. Some, more than others.

“I’m such an idiot.”
“I can’t do anything right.”
“I’m so stupid.”

Some of these things we just gradually learn to tell ourselves, without a single thought. Some of them are told TO us, at a young age. But if we don’t put a stop to these hateful thoughts, they will take over and it will be come our reality. We will truly begin to see ourselves as “idiots” and “stupid” and “incapable of doing anything right”

That will do more damage than you know.

 

I’m Jen. Welcome to my blog.