Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.

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Food, Glorious Food

When I first told people the family and I were moving to Italy, the response was always, “Lucky you”. The “luck” they referred to was more than the access to the Italian landscapes, or being able to view the historic sights of Rome.   What many people consider the best part of living in Italy is the chance to eat the wonderful Italian food.  And yes, the food is wonderful.

In Italy, food is the heart of the family and the Italian culture.  If you are fortunate enough to be invited to an Italian family’s home for dinner you will see first hand how food is used as a means for connection.  An Italian meal is carefully prepared, and thoughtfully served.  The meal often lasts for hours, and saying you are full isn’t really an option, as food continues to be brought to you long after you’ve reached your limit.

During our travels in Europe, we’ve had the opportunity to experience great local food from each location we have visited.  Here’s photo essay of some of the great foods we’ve experienced so far.  Buon appetitio!


Photo Friday – Sums It Up

On our recent vacation to Ireland each member of my family had a different perspective of what made the trip fun.  My husband and I enjoyed everything, especially driving the countryside and seeing the landscapes.  Little Boy enjoyed exploring, taking photographs, and recording videos with his camera.  The teenagers enjoyed…well, this video pretty much sums up the teen boys experience.

Video created by Little Boy.


Happy parents, adventurous little boy and two grumpy teenagers…the story of my life.


Photo Friday – Terror on the Streets

Today my greatest fear has happened.  Old Boy passed his driver’s test.  Needless to say, he is absolutely thrilled.  I, on the other, hand am convinced I will never sleep again.

My husband took him to the test this morning and agreed he would let him drive the car to school if he passed…alone.  My car and Old Boy are miles away now. Hopefully he will arrive home from school this afternoon.  Hopefully. Gulp.

And so the next chapter of parenthood begins…the teen driver.  Boy, I sure do miss the infant years.


Photo Friday – A Shopping Day From &#$%

Recently my little son celebrated his birthday.  This year we had a ‘themed” birthday party which almost killed me to prepare for, but that’s a another blog.  One of the gifts he received was money from his grandpa.  Money means shopping for a gift of one’s chosing.

My little son loves the craft store and loves doing ‘crafty things’.  As a matter of fact we call him ‘crafty guy’.  Every morning before school he takes out his crafty supplies and creates something.  It makes me nuts.  Little Boy knew exactly what he wanted to spend his birthday cash on.  He wanted to the craft store for more supplies.  I’m not a crafty gal.  I don’t like doing crafty things.  The only thing I like less than doing crafty things is going to the craft store.

A trip to the craft store is what I refer to my family as going to the “torture chamber”.

Today I thought I would take you on our hourendous  fun trip to the craft store.


Here we are.  At the craft store.  Sadly this store is within walking distance of my home.


Outside the store there are always huge bins of crap stuff the store is trying to get rid of.


There is so much I don’t like about the craft store.  The smell is one of the top things.  I believe these awful candles are to blame. Their fake scents are overpowering.


Little Boy loves space and creating a solar system is his favorite.  However, we already have 4 other solar systems in our home.  I told him to look elsewhere.


Toward the front of the store are bins and bins of junk.  These are the items Little Boy loves the most.


Craft stores don’t just have crafty things they have toys too.  Little Boy loves plastic animals.  We stood in front of the plastic animals for a long time.  I gently reminded him we already have 5,000 plastic animals at home.  However, apparently one can never have too many plastic animals.


Who doesn’t like puff balls?  Me, that’s who.


It’s never too soon to start on the 4th grade mission project.


Is there anything worse than the bow and fake flower section?  Nothing comes to mind.


I tried to get Little Boy to visit some sections I might enjoy.  He informed me, “That stuff is for girls.”  Perhaps he forgot I am a girl.


The cake section.  My worst nightmare.


Huge row of bins filled with…you fill in the blank.


No shopping trip would be complete without a few personal grooming items and some lingerie.


Shopping is hard work at the craft store.  Luckily there is huge display of healthy choices to replenish depleted energy.

We spent over 45 minutes shopping and didn’t even get to many sections of the store.   By the time we left my head hurt, my nose was clogged and I was extremely grumpy.  I vowed never to step foot in the craft store again unless they open a bar.



Photo Friday – Hidden Jewel

When we lived in our little house one of the things I loved was it’s front yard.  We replaced the lawn with drought tolerant plants to reduce our water usage.  My favorite plant was called the Butterfly Weed.

I planted the Butterfly Weed to attract Monarch Butterflies to the garden.  Monarchs use it  as host to lay eggs on.  The caterpillars hatch and eat the leaves.  For several years after planting no butterflies stopped by.  Finally the year before we moved several Monarchs came by and layed eggs.

The results were fabulous.  Dozens of caterpillars were found in my garden the following spring.  My family and I were thrilled when we saw all the chrysalis and finally the newly hatched butterflies.

When we moved to the new house I was determined to put a new Butterfly Weed in our backyard so we could enjoy butterflies again.  I planted a new plant last fall.  I didn’t expect any butterflies to find the plant so soon, but a few weeks ago I noticed all the leaves were gone.  A sign someone had nibbled.


Later in the week my little son noticed a caterpillar crawling around on the sidewalk.  We let it be and wondered if it might be a Monarch caterpillar.  A few days after my little son was outside playing when he noticed a beautiful chrysalis hanging from a board on our wood fence.  It looked like a jewel.


My family and I pay a visit to the chrysalis everyday to look for changes.  The wings are becoming more visible, so we expect the butterfly to emerge any day.

Few things are more magical than watching a caterpillar change to a butterfly.  It’s truly a miracle.  When she finally does hatch (of course it will be a she) I will post a photo for you.

Happy Friday.


Photo Friday – The Mess

Today’s post is not really a Photo Friday one, but it does have to do with photos. I mentioned yesterday that I am using part of our family vacation to work on a home project. The project is to organize our family photos. I am completely overwhelmed at the task. The last photo album I worked on was fifteen years ago when Old Boy was a baby.

When my mother passed away years ago I remember my sisters and I looking for our family photos. When we found them there were hundreds of pictures in various boxes. Very few albums were found. Our family had only had a few professional photos done. I was disappointed to not have an album dedicated to me. I am one of five children and a my mother was a single parent. I doubt she had much time or interest in creating a photo album for each of her kids.

When we sorted out the photos I was sad to see my little pile of photos. My oldest sister had the most photos. She was the first child and they wanted to capture her every movement. By the time they got to me, the fourth child, my parents were too tired to take photos. The only person who had less photos in their pile was my younger sister. Seeing my small photo pile and not in a nice album I decided to not let that happen when I had children.

Flash forward eighteen years from my mother’s death and I have the similar pile of photos in a box and very few albums. I will give myself a little credit to say I have tons of photos for each of my boys. So many photos that I have no idea where to begin with regards to organizing them. Box after box filled with mixed photos of the boys, friends, family, travels, and pets. As a matter of fact the huge mess of photo sits behind me as I type waiting for someone to organize them. Sigh.


I am not a crafty gal. I love the idea of scrapbooks and even went to a scrapbook party once, but I don’t like doing that kind of thing. It’s not fun for me. It seems like work…kind of like cooking. I remember one friend of mine who starting working on her first child’s baby book the first week she came home from the hospital. I was stunned.   I felt bad knowing my child (three years older) did not even have a book started yet.  I did create a baby book for Old Boy, but sadly Tall Boy and Little Boy do not have one. By now I have forgotten all the dates for their milestones (walking, talking, eating). I guess I will have to make some dates up.


Scrapbooks are the kind of thing good mothers do. Each time I look at the pile it reminds me of my failings. Yes, it’s a silly and overly dramatic thing to say, but it’s true. My mother was a loving mother and I don’t think less of her because of the lack of albums, but I guess I expect more from me. She was a single mom and well, I’m not.  By the way, I know I am a good mother, but if I can get a grip on the photos before Old Boy heads out to college I will be an even better mother! (Big Smile)

I asked my husband to help me out with the project, but apparently putting together the new Foosball table for the boys is more important. Ah well. Better get started…this could take a while.

Like my mother used to say, “You can only eat an elephant one bit at a time.”  I just had no idea how tough elephant skin was to chew.


Photo Friday – Insanity Instagram

Another long week of life and blogging.  Hope you and the family are enjoying the holidays.  I think we are ‘almost’ ready at our house to celebrate Christmas next week.

I am still doing my photo-a-day challenge for December. I post my images on Instagram.  I love Instagram, but am sad to hear they may be having issues with privacy and publishing photos. I will make a decision whether to keep the account once I learn all the information. I use a Droid phone (robot girl) for my photos and am learning how to make them interesting with Instagram. All part of my plan to learn and grow.


If you are wondering what’s happening with the husband, kids and I check out my Insanity Instagram page found at the top of my blog. Click to the page then click to the link below the photo of the hands.

Here is another link to Insanity Instagram.

Happy day to all of you!