Teenage Defiance

Man. Do you ever have those moments when you wonder if your kid is going to make it to their next birthday?? You know, the whole “Sometimes I fear for my child’s safety. Specifically the one behind me rolling his eyes.”

Teenage defiance is very real. And, maybe it’s selective memory though my mother agrees, it is worse than it’s ever been.

There is an element of entitlement that has these kids thinking they shouldn’t have to follow rules. Or do chores. Or participate in anything that they don’t pick specifically for themselves.

Then you have the age old snotty, rude, snarky mouth and eye rolls that also come with these rough teenage years.

And if you’re a single parent, God blessed, you’re in for quite the ride. But there are things you can do! Some of these you’re going to look at and say “WTF, c? You’re joking, right?”. Nope. Here I am trying to survive teenager #2 (at home) and I can tell you that the opposite of all these things I’m going to tell you does NOT work. When I switched gears, so did the attitudes…at least to a manageable level.

So here goes…

Keep Calm– I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I think we all struggle with it. They will try to push your buttons. And just constantly push your limits. By incident #3 our instinct is to just snap. But don’t.

Keep Your Voice Down – Don’t raise your voice, raise your argument. Another element of keeping calm. If anything, remind yourself that they almost instantly tune you out when you yell.

Shorten the Punishment – I was always good for taking something away for a week. Sometimes more. Resist that urge. It just makes them realize they can live with/without whatever punishment has been doled out. Keep it to 48-72 hours.

Be Matter-of-Fact – Don’t let ‘em suck you in to a discussion. When they get you talking they can get you frustrated. “You were 2 hours late, you can’t go anywhere for the next 2 days.” Leave it at that.

Don’t Argue Late or Early – One is never emotionally stable at midnight, or 5am. Let it lie until you’ve slept/had coffee. Approach all conflict when you’re refreshed.

These things have helped me curb some of the teenage BS in my house. I don’t think it will ever go away completely, it wouldn’t be natural. But at least I’m regaining some of my sanity 🙂

I’d love to hear how you handle it! Let us know in the comments.

xo
c

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Jambalaya Stuffed Chicken

Dammit. I’m late. But it was so good I’m posting it anyways.

Every year on Fat Tuesday I make Jambalaya. Every. Stinking. Year. This year I wanted to change things up, get rid of the rice, and keep all that amazing flavor. And boy oh boy did I succeed. Sadly, I only took pictures through the veg prep. Dammit, again.

Jambalaya Stuffed Chicken

2 tbsp olive oil

4 split chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin

1 lb pork sausage* or store bought andouiille removed from casing.

2 bell peppers, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 carrots, shredded

Cajun seasoning to taste

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup chicken broth

*make your own andouille!

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp sage
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Brown pork sausage & seasonings/andouille over medium heat until no longer pink. Set aside
  3. Prep all of your veggies, getting an even dice on all
  4. Heat skillet and 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat and get the veg sauteeing over medium heat
  5. While your veg is cooking, prep your chicken tits, getting them to an even thickness. Sprinkle them with cajun seasoning and set aside.
  6. When veg has finished, wipe out pan, drop the other tbsp oil, and keep over medium heat as you put together the chicken
  7. Add 1/4 of the sausage and 1/4 of the veg to one side of each piece of chicken. Roll chicken around filling and secure with a toothpick or two
  8. Sear the chicken on all sides and move to a 9×13 baking dish.
  9. add the chicken broth and bay leaves, sprinkle with more cajun seasoning, and cover tightly.
  10. Bake chicken for 20-30 minutes or until they are no longer pink.

If you try it, let me know what you think!!

xo
c

 

Song of the Week – A Love Song

Oh hey, guys! It’s Valentines Day! And Ash Wednesday. What a combination *eye roll*

No worries, I’ve got it figured out…Spicy Crabby Thai noodle bowls. It’s going to be amazing 🙂

But food is not what we’re here to talk about. I want to talk about looooove.

JFTP is hands down the very best man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He is kind and patient, fun and nerdy. And he makes me feel like everything is right with the world. I adore him oh so much.

I could go on and on, or post a million and one songs that make me think of him. But this really sums us up.

Happy Valentines day, peeps. Love hard.

xo

c

 

What It’s Really Like

Image result for dating in your 30s is like riding a bike

Just. Like. That.
 
Then, in my case, it’s like “Oh, hey. Let’s add 4 small humans to that hell. They will chase you on your firey bike.”
 
There is so damn much that goes into dating with kids. When they were really little I thought “It will be easier when they’re older”. And it is. In some respects. But there are things that are constant. Things you don’t want to say out loud, yet you must to give them an idea of what your life is like. But there are things that must be said to your potential significant other. If I were to write a letter, even today, here’s how it would go:
 
Dearest JFTP,
 
The success or failure of this endeavor, as the children are concerns, rests upon your head.
 
You cannot be a selfish ass when you’re dating someone who has children. You can’t get so wrapped up in the small things that happen that you lose sight of the big picture. These small humans are learingin how to be people. They’re goign to say stupid shit and be obnoxious. There are going to be crisis situations and drama. But if you’ve got the presence of mind to look at it for what it actually is. The shit that happens isn’t about you most of the time, even if it feels like it in the moment. Get over yourself. Because yeah…
 
It can be chaotic. Running here, last minute shopping, making birthday treats at 10pm.
 
And there will be adventures. Getting everyone out of the house and going to the mall, the park, or the zoo. Taking a last minute road trip to the beach. Finding something to do so you’re not climbing the walls.
 
There’s a lot of love. You’re opening yourself to more than one person. And chances are if you’re not a dick, they’re going to embrace and love you. A lot.
You can still have alone time! You’re not always going to get your date night perfect. There may be an event you have to miss. But with communication you can make things work out okay. If you’re willing to be OK with a little extra effort.
Suck it up. The kids are going to be around. And they are happy to have you around. So it’s got to be asked: Are you going to spend the next 8 years only staying at the house when all of the kids are gone? Do you really think that’s sustainable?
 
In the end, your attitude and outlook are going to be the ultimate factors that determines whether your relationship flourishes or fails. Are you conditional or unconditional when it comes to love??
Are you a single parent in the dating world? What would you say?
xo
c

Taking Care of Us

When you start a relationship, you spend your time wooing this person. The goal, in theory, is to create this connection. You make the effort to think of them and you find ways to make them feel special. You call them beautiful/handsome and compliment their talents and accomplishments. The flirting is strawberry bubblegum sweet. The sending of a text when you wake up doesn’t seem silly, you want to make sure they know you’re thinking of them. When there are kids, it’s even more important to make sure you find things to do together.
 
I don’t know why it happens, but these things inevitably fall away. The compliments and flirting go away. Time away gets lost in the day-to-day tasks and events. Before long, you’re only doing things on special occasions. Or worse, keeping only set weekly plans like an old married couple :p. Not that being a married couple is bad, but the old part? I love JFTP’s thing: “Let’s grow old together, not be old together”.
 
Anyway, things can completely deteriorate when you forget about being a couple. Fights, feelings of being ignored and unloved, a general decline in the relationship. Then you add the kid factor and you have a recipe for disaster, no matter how much you love each other. Here are some things I think couples can do to keep the relationship from sinking.
  • Don’t Coast
    Putting your relationship on auto-pilot does you no favors. You cannot expect things to grow themselves. Any relationship, romantic or otherwise, is like a garden. It needs to 
    be paid attention to if you want to see growth.
  • Communicate
    Good day? Talk. Bad day? Talk. Angry? Frustrated? Happy? Talk. And when you do it, don’t blame and accuse, but THINK. Is it True? Helpful? Important? Necessary? Kind?
  • Get Out Together
    Just because you’ve been together for 1, 5, 100 years, doesn’t mean the romance should be gone. Go out on dates. Spend time anywhere without the kids. You can make anything into a romantic day or evening if you have the proper mindset.
  • Remember the Little Things
    A text in the middle of the day. Flowers for no reason. A hug or kiss. A sincere compliment. Or a surprise dinner date. They’re not earth-shattering but can make someone’s day. 
  • Keep it Fresh
    Like I said, don’t get old. Mix things up! The restaurant, music, pub, lingerie ;). Take a class together. Go to a museum. Something. Anything. The key thing is to keep jumping the vast chasm of domesticity. Don’t let shit get stale, or everything will start to mold.
 
When I talked to my DSM about it, she said that we need to remember I am a packaged deal. Well, no sh*t. But being parents (or a parent and “mom’s boyfriend”) isn’t all we are. And we have to take care of us. I love him. I’m not going down without a fight.
 
xo
 
c

Gratitude & Happiness

Be Grateful, DammitThis is a topic on which I have written a gazillion times. But every time I do, there’s a different reason why.
This time is no exception.

Life is a funny thing. One day you’re skipping along and everything is hunky-Dory. The next, life is shit and you just gotta get out of this place. When these feelings hit it is easy to get all wrapped up in thinking you should be happier.  Maybe if I moved I’d be happier. If I wasn’t in such a stressful situation I might be happier. If my relationship was different maybe I’d be happier.

Once we start thinking like that we forget about the awesome things we have in our lives. The great food on our plates, our health, the love that surrounds us. Our jobs. Our family. Beer. We get so wrapped up in thinking we need x, y, or z that we completely miss A-W right there in front of us. Like the amazing person we are spending our time with.

Looking at everything we don’t have creates a negative outlook. This negative outlook affects how we think about our relationship. Not necessarily a “the grass is greener” scenario, but in a “could I be happier” thought process.

Of course, we could be happier. There is always room to escalate our happiness. But that doesn’t mean looking outside our bubble to do that. I’m not going to rehash a bunch of stuff that I wrote about a week-ish ago. I’m just going to remind you to be grateful. Being happy is a mindset and one you have complete control over. Finding gratitude every day increases your chances of being happy with what you have ten-fold.

Be grateful. Be happy. Love hard.
xo c

 

Song of the Day – His

I forgot about my Song of the Day post until this morning. I mentioned that to JFTP. In the interim, I posted, Song of the Day – Mine. But when he did respond, this was what I got. I wasn’t sure what version to post, but chose this one since we are going to Anthrax on Friday! 🤘🏻

Great, GREAT song. He’s not, though. He’s amazing. And I love him.

xo
c