Mom's Corner

Motherhood— Nature’s calling? Or straight up Nature?!

I see a crack of light and the silhouette it creates accentuating the beautiful gift God has provided me with– my oldest daughter… who creepily whispers my name early in the morning as she stands motionless in my doorway. OH. MY. GOSH. Why?! That’s right–school… and it’s picture day. That crack of light capturing her silhouette was my eyelids refusing to open as they were reacting to the bright light my daughter turned on.

I cross the rocky terrain that is my living room to reach my destination. The end is in sight (or the beginning, really, for that matter) and I can almost reach the coffee pot… I make it! But not unscathed by my surroundings as I stepped on a giant LEGO aka “breakfast” that my toddler “made” for me and put ever-so-sweetly in a bowl in my path to the kitchen.

I close my eyes for a [milli]second and listen to my surroundings. I take in the [not so] faint calls of the wild. The monkey’s howl, the lion’s roar, the cow’s moo, the cat’s meow, the sheep’s baaa, the frog’s “bibbit”, and the toddler’s cry! I hear the sounds of an endless flowing river that is Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol babbling in the background… and I mean never ending and unfortunately somewhat catchy.

The coffee hits me at the same time as my hangry child’s stomach decides to scavenge for a ‘nack. So I plot my escape to the bathroom with a decoy of distraction with piranhas goldfish in a cup over by the couch and I make a break for it! But I am not fast enough. The toddler catches up with me as I’m trying to close the bathroom door and in fear of frightening the toddler and hurting her fingers I give in. She sits there feeding me piranhas goldfish as I do my business –she doesn’t take her eyes off of me.

My nose senses something’s gone awry and knows it’s time to capture the toddler and put her in a new net that catches her waste that is the diaper. But she knows what’s up. So I make my way into her room, grab my tools to clean a bottom and I see her. She lurks around the corner thinking I can’t see what she’s up to. So I back up out of her line of sight and I wait silently. I hear her steps as she creeps closer and out I pop with a playful roar and I tickle her to the ground. It’s all fun and games until she crocodile rolls away with remnants of poo on her rump. Not today, tiny human! Not today.

She’s fought long and hard and is ready to give in. But not before she pulls on my pant legs, plays with her food, pulls her sissy’s hair, fights with the floor, cries out for “douche“–which I translate as juice, colors on sissy’s homework, eats her prey dinner, gives me kisses, and says “nigh-night“.

Finally. Time for myself. I sit, close my eyes, and listen. No more roars, “bibbits”, or cries. No more rough, LEGO-breakfast terrain to trench through. No more secret passwords I mean…terrible, new-age math homework. No more toddler-chaperoned trips to the bathroom. No more hugs. No more “I love you mom“s. No more bodies in my arms to snuggle.

The day is done. My heart is full. And even with the chaos-clad days I have I still want to wake those sleeping beasts for just another kiss.

But I know what awaits tomorrow so for now I’ll take my rest.

So as the light closes on the horizon that are my eyelids– I sleep.

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Mom's Corner

What I think my toddler wants – a poem by me

a poem by me- Ashley Cincotta

Mama, mama, can’t you hear?

I’m wide awake, let’s play!

Time to get up out of bed,

Lets get on with this day.

I’m hungry! Feed me now! Or else,

I’ll lay down on this floor.

No! Not that, or this, or that,

You know! I’m wanting something more! Continue reading “What I think my toddler wants – a poem by me”

Tasty Food

Hot Dish: An “anything goes” one-dish meal (Fun story & recipe included!)

Hot Dish: An “anything goes” one-dish meal, commonly known in the upper Midwest.

What in the world right? That’s pretty vague. I did some more research and outside of the Midwest it would be considered a casserole. HOWEVER– the reverse is not true. A casserole isn’t considered a hot dish. We still call green bean casserole, green bean casserole- not green bean hot-dish.

Or wait.. I mean that would just mean its a freaking hot dish.

These suckers are typically called just that– A hot dish. Not spaghetti hot dish, not tater tot hot dish, not whatever-I-wanted-to-put-in-this hot dish. JUST…hot dish. It typically contains a starch, a meat, and a canned or frozen vegetable mixed with canned soup. The only time I’ve seen it referred to any specific ingredient (forgive me if I’m wrong) is when I look up “hot dish recipe” on Pinterest.

Here’s another true story:

The first time I ate hot dish was when I was visiting my boyfriend’s (now husband) family and his mom made it for dinner. I didn’t question it. She pulled it out of the oven and it looked to me like baked spaghetti. “Cool! I can do this, I like spaghetti“, I thought. It was delicious! So a few days go by, we go to his sister’s house who had just had a baby, and she offers up some hot dish that a neighbor brought over as a kind gesture. She says its in the fridge. Score! More baked spaghetti! 

Wrong.

I open this fridge and I’m looking all over, moving things, don’t see it. So I ask where it is. She tells me where, and what its in, so I pull it out to pop the lid off and put it in the microwave. But before I do that, I [naturally] look at it. What is this?! I mean it looks good, but it’s definitely not baked spaghetti (this time its creamy, with tater tots, and pasta). “What’s this?”, I ask.

Hot Dish“, she replies.

What?!

So moving on… Last night I was able to start dinner without a toddler pulling my pants down and wanted to find a quick, easy recipe with the few ingredients I knew I had. So what did I do? I went on Pinterest and searched “hot dish recipes“. And what do you know? To my surprise, not every recipe was labeled only hot dish (>.<). I found one called an Amish Hot Dish (click to see actual recipe). Seemed a little bit on the random side, but isn’t that what a hot dish is? Dinner Roulette? It shows the ingredients in grams (and I can’t figure that stuff out) so I used Google’s conversion calculator.

I’m also someone who doesn’t measure anything when I cook (unless its to make cookies…. then I just don’t follow the baking time, like I say here). So this is how I modified it (the main ingredients are what makes the flavor so delicious anyway), and maybe I’ll do it the right way, but until then, my rendition was delicious! Make sure you follow it step.by.step! I hope you enjoy it!

 

How to Make Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Mom's Corner

Momming with Tattoos

I wish I could say that in this day and age that its almost part of the norm to see a mom with tattoos. That the bad stigma that comes along with them has worn off.

While I have intentionally put myself in that position, I am still surprised that people still associate them with being unsuccessful, being trashy, bad parenting, or having been to jail (okay, no one has really said this one to me but the stigma is out there).

I mean haven’t your parents taught you to not judge people by the color of their skin?! Mine just happens to be multiple colors and pain inflicted. *shrugs*

I get it. Some people don’t fancy the concept. That’s fine! But I have never met a tattooed person who looks at someone without tattoos and hear them say  Why don’t you have any tattoos? How boring” (however… my seven year old has asked my niece why she only has one tattoo).

I started getting tattoos as soon as I turned 18. They all started off not visible to the eye when fully clothed, and slowly, as I crept into my mid 20s started bringing them to light (daylight, that is). See, my parents cannot stand them on me and my sister. It’s fine on everyone else! But not their beautiful, perfect, children. I remember the first one I got on my arm I made my sister tell them– at this point, I was 25 and had an almost 4 year old, and had been in the military for 6+ years–yet I was still petrified of their reaction.

Moving forward, since that tattoo I have added two more to said arm and have also added another child to my life. I have 16 total (tattoos, not children), my bigger ones living in the dark. Most of the questions I get are mainly “did that hurt??“, “Why did you get that one?“, or “I bet you hate covering them at work“. That last one isn’t a question but it is one I get a lot, and no, I wear t shirts, flip flops, shorts or hoodies to work… they don’t care about my tattoos.

They. Don’t. Care.

My husband doesn’t care, my friends [might have an opinion] but they don’t care, and guess what? My kids don’t care, either. My parents… they definitely care but have lightened up immensely since my sister and I just keep getting them.

I’m a mom just like the other non-tattooed moms. I love my kids. I clean my house. I do laundry. I read bedtime stories, tickle backs, and watch their chests rise and fall just to make sure they’re still breathing.

I put the creamer in the cupboard and the coffee pot in the fridge on exhausted mornings, just like the rest of you!

I even put my kids before myself.

I have major “momming insecurities”. Especially when you decide to side-eye me with judgement, I may act like I don’t care… but I do. I feel it. I shouldn’t have to feel that way because of what you think a mom should look like.

I’m not your “stereo-typical” tattooed woman (if that’s even still a thing). I love country music, I two step in my cowboy boots, I go to church regularly so that means I don’t worship the devil, I have a clean [criminal not driving] record  (like very many other tattooed men and women), I have a professional career, and I am so, veryvery, sensitive.

I am happy with my tattoos. If you’re happy with not having any, I’m happy for you.

Lets start living in a world where where it doesn’t matter what people look like and start learning to get to know the person for who they are, instead.

 

cheers!
♥ 
ashley

 

#coffeemom

 

 

 

Mom's Corner

Mom’s cup of coffee- A relatable short story.

Its 6:07am (yes, exactly that) and my alarm goes off.

I snooze it.

Then again at 6:11, 6:16, and 6:21am.

I snooze each one.

This morning I was able to. Both baby sitters I have, including my backup, were unable to watch my youngest. Lucky me. No, really. Lucky me. It’s a rare occasion I get to be home and “bum it” with my kids (yet its hardly ever really bumming it).

7:15am. I hear my youngest chatting away in her crib, and thats my cue. I get up, start the coffee, and head to her room. Exactly as I expect, she’s peering between the bars of her crib and her changing table. I see the smile in her eyes as I enter the room and make my way to her. Her eager arms reaching out to me, I swoop her up.

I missed you last night“, I say kissing her cheek.

We wander to the kitchen with her weight on my hip and an arm around my neck. A waffle for breakfast- her favorite.

Mo nom-ah nom-ah!“, she squeals.

I pour a cup of coffee, add my creamer and we sashay to the living room. We sit on the floor at the foot of the chaise with my legs out in front and her on my lap. She leans back against my chest as she devours her waffle.

Mommy left her coffee¹.”

She doesn’t care. She’s snuggled up with mommy bobbing away to Paw Patrol. So I wait.

Finally she runs off and I get up to get my coffee. Its in the same spot, just lukewarm now. So I top it off with some from the pot.

Pitter patter, pitter patter. “Mo nom-ah nom-ah!“, she goes again. This time its for her Sippy (which is also Paw Patrol). So I put my coffee down² and reach for her cup and fill it up.

We walk back into the living room and she has me chase her into her princess tent, and we play.

Am I supposed to say no to this?!

When she runs out of the room I go back to my cup-same one- but this time I dump a little out since the red light is still on indicating the hot plate is still heating the almost-hour-old coffee, and once again I top it off.

Thud, tumble, tumble. “Ma maaaaaa“. I abandon my coffee³ and scurry to her room. There’s no crying so I’m not in full sprint, but more of a brisk walk (think a 4-5 level) on the treadmill. She looks up guiltily as she’s moved her dirty clothes hamper and managed to unplug her nightlight/white noise machine and pulled it down from the shelf by the cord. I roll up the plug and stow it away until it makes its way back out for bedtime.

But this hamper she’s moved… its been tipped over, displaying the cootie-clad clothing from the week splayed out on the floor. It’s begging me to bring it downstairs to be washed- so I do it. I also bring another load up from the dryer and I sit on the floor and I fold. I fold and I fold until I remember I have a [probably frozen] coffee waiting for me. The light is off on the pot. The remainder of the coffee is no longer warm enough to make mine any warmer. So I open the microwave as a last resort and I reheat my coffee. *cringe*

img_4060
About to heat my coffee up in my Harry Potter mug. Note there is NO RED LIGHT ON on the pot

While its heating up I decide to throw in a pizza (yep, its lunchtime now). I set the oven to 450° and the microwave signals that my coffee is ready⁴. So I crack the microwave door while I finish putting in my pizza.

15 minutes passes, out comes my lunch and shortly after we both share my pizza. Once its consumed I stand up, wash my plate, and place it in the dishwasher.

I turn around…and freeze. “Sh*t, my coffee“.

I take it out, walk to the sink, and dump it out.

I look at a bottle above my fridge. Is it too early for wine?! I grab a glass and the bottle to open it up…

Ma maaaaa!”

…..maybe tomorrow.

this story is based on true events • (in probably every single house that has a coffee-drinking mom). I really hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed reflecting back on my day!

cheers!

 

#coffeemom

Life change

5 Things I learned by moving and starting over

Ever wonder what it would be like to make the move to another state you know little, to nothing, about? Where you know only a handful of people, those of which are family members who live about an hour away? Or to give up a stable career to start over 180º in another direction? Or you meet someone amazing and have to decide whether or not to move to where you’re from or where he’s from? I know what it’s like and this is my list from my personal experience.

1. It gets lonely.

You know those days when you could go grab coffee with your best friend? Or have a movie/wine night on a whim? Or hell, even a play date where the kids can entertain each other while you two catch up on the latest gossip. I’m on year three here in Minnesota and while I do have friends, it doesn’t help that none of them live nearby, or we all have kids and can’t figure our schedules out. Or twenty other reasons it just doesn’t work out. And I am the queen of extroverts. #teamleo #lifeoftheparty. Another reason it gets lonely is because more people come go, than go come. You can try all day to keep in touch with people, but nine times out of ten it isn’t reciprocated.

2. Finding a [good] job isn’t going to be easy.

In my case I went from full blown active duty Air Force to the Air Force reserve. Completely different worlds. (For those of you who don’t know, that means I work my military job one weekend a month and participate in two full weeks worth of all military-ness a year). Since I have been here I have gone through four different [civilian] jobs before I landed my current one. One where I get paid a decent wage near home. I took a huge pay cut taking this leap of faith moving out here, but what makes up for it is the cost of living is much lower than Colorado. That’s FIVE jobs in THREE years.

3. Small towns > Suburbs & Cities

I came from living in both. The hustle and bustle of the cities, and by golly the traffic, is not my cup of tea. And the suburbs! Where you have the ability to high five your neighbor while you’re both on your porcelain thrones because you’re living on top of the other- no thanks! While that was appealing to me before and I could still live there and be just fine with it, I’m 95% sure that if I had to choose I’d be going with the small town vibes. You get more bang (and land) for your buck out here! I like looking around and not being able to look in my neighbors’ eyes, or recognize them, since I’m near sighted and would need my glasses to do so. I give credit to my husband for wanting to raise our family out here. Don’t be afraid of moving to a small town!

4. Amazon is Amazing

Its not like I’m new to online shopping- but I found the ease and convenience of Amazon (and their lightning speed shipping) to be a dream! Not to mention their lightning deals. Plus living in a super small town limits where I get to shop in person. Its a 25 minute drive to Target – ouch! – and I’m not making that trek for some milk or formula. (Not that I’d be buying either of those on Amazon so moot point, I just love Target). Its my best friend out here, I can meet Amazon up and sip coffee any time of day and tell my shopping secrets to it… except then Amazon goes and tells the UPS guys who delivers my packages in plain sight for my husband to see… so maybe not my best friend.

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I need this doormat

5. It has helped my marriage grow in so many ways.

I’m not alone in the “not having friends” department. The only other people my husband sees outside of work is yours truly and his family. Let’s even throw in Jason our boat salesman since he’s seen him more times than we’d like since purchasing our boat! (Good thing it’s still under 100% warranty). So we are each other’s support. We have become so much closer. (Partly because we initially lived in a town where the population was 1200, and I’m sure 1000 of them are cows so we were all each other saw!). We have both compromised so much to be where we are today. We did long distance for a little over a year when I was still serving on my active duty contract and his was done, and prior to that things weren’t even all that great. When he left Colorado, our relationship was at its all time low. We even broke up for a couple months until we realized we were still texting each other frequently and he made the first move into starting this back up. I was afraid. Afraid to leave the first place I had ever called home (military upbringing), to leave my freaking career, and my friends and family. But let me tell you this- it was the best thing I have ever done. We never (okay sometimes) get sick of each other. I supported him when we had 30 acres and a funny (I mean pig) farm. There’s never been a time when it was just the two of us because if you’ve read any of my previous posts you know he’s an amazing stepdad to my daughter from a previous marriage, and we’ve maybe been on a handful of “dates”, but this is our chaos. Maybe its because we are forced to get along because we’re all each other really ever spends time with, but I am beyond thankful that I took the leap.

I would have added Adapting to change/surroundings to part of my list but for my personal experience this didn’t necessarily apply since I’ve moved everywhere from Arkansas all the way to Japan and I can easily adapt.

If you’re thinking about doing it I recommend giving it a shot. You can always go back home and rejoin in the life you previously lived. You will always have somewhere to go home to. (Unless you’re me and your entire family moves away from the place you call home and sells their house and you can’t even bum a room from them anymore if you want to visit because they’re gone!). If its for the same reasons I did it, go for it if you feel the person is worth it. If they’re not, you can either make a new adventure of it, or you can go back home.

You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take

If you want to know more (after reading this novel- if you even made it this far) feel free to comment or email and I’ll get back to you! Thanks for reading!

cheers!

baking · cooking · Mom's Corner

‘Made with Love’, really means I licked the spoon and kept using it..

… but that’s okay because I didn’t make enough cookies to share my cooties with anyone but my household.

& If I’m being really honest, I tried to make them big enough to where there wasn’t enough to share at all.

Tonight I did something for myself. (If you read my last post about lost missing time, then you know its past 10:30pm and this is my me time). I baked my favorite cookies in the entire world. Chocolate chip!

(Yes, the photo credit for tonight’s photos in this post goes to yours, truly)

Baking is not my niche and I’m only alright at cooking. I probably have a handful of1-read-directions-on-box-2-throw-box-away-3-11821347 recipes that I’m actually good at that don’t consist of mac n’ cheese, spam and rice, and brinner. I’m not sure if you do this, too but this photo (to the right) may as well have been done by me. I am horrible at following directions step by step!

But! This one time I am very glad I did. Because these cookies came out as perfect as can be. I usually look in the oven around the suggested cook time and think “I may as well eat the cookie dough raw if this is when I’m supposed to take them out of the oven”. I then proceed to leave them in just 5 minutes longer. Which in the world of cookie baking is so dumb.

Don’t do it!

Not if you want baked-to-perfection soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. Which is the way God intended them to be. (Or maybe, just how I’d hope he’d want them to be). Anyway, I wanted to share a bit of my evening with you guys. Enjoy these [almost] professional photos taken with my iPhone 8 Plus camera.

**Also! If you can see any of my kitchen decor in the background behind those mouth-watering cookies, (I know my “professional” photos make it hard to pick out, ha!) just know that I was inspired by my super friend, Jennifer’s Home Design photos. I know I mention how baking isn’t my niche up there ↑↑↑ but home design is definitely hers! Check out her Facebook page JEM Home Design or her Instagram: @littlebeachcottage you won’t be disappointed!**