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A Hard Knock Mom's Life & One Pot White Chicken Lasagna Soup



Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. 


Linda Wooten

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was laying on the bed as the technician did my ultrasound. I was so excited I could barely lay still. Maynard (what we called HBear in utero) wouldn't turn around and he was having trouble determining the sex... and then he said it... "it's a girl!"

I burst into tears.

So many thoughts came into my mind.

1. Shit MS runs in our family. MS runs in our family through the ladies!

2. Shit she is going to hate me!


3. Shit I have to learn how to do hair!

It only took 8 years, 3 months and 3 days for my 2nd fear to become a reality.

HBear told me she hated me on Friday March 3, 2017.

I want to cry just thinking about it. I could even tell it was going to happen. There were some things leading up to it that had me worried, I even said something to Ninja that day! The day before, she was brushing her teeth and I was standing at the door. She looked at me and with a mouthful of toothpaste foam mumbled, "why are you standing there looking at me?" I explained to her that I had to watch over her to make sure things got done. Left to her own devices she lost focus and didn't brush her teeth so in order for her to get to bed at a decent time I had to watch her brush her teeth. She started ranting, "you don't understand me! Why do I have a Mother that doesn't understand me? Mom you are so mean! You just don't understand me!"

I saw it coming.

So, the other night, I actually don't even remember what it was about all I remember is her running down the hallway stomping and screaming, "I hate you Mom!"

Ninja said my face changed instantly. From anger to… Determination LOL. I took a swig of my wine, a deep breath, and walked into her room and right up the ladder to her bunkbed.

You see when I was a kid I said that often to my Mom. Her response was always giving it back to me. I would say I hate you Mom and she would say, I hate you too. I know she didn't mean it but I was a kid I didn't know that. It was the old, if you bite me I bite you back thing that parents did at that time. My Mom was young and I don't blame her for it now but it did take some counselling to come to that conclusion πŸ˜œ.  I swore to myself that when I had children that is not the way I would handle it. In fact, my Mom and I talked about that towards the end and I know that she is proud of me and how I handled this situation.

You would think that would make it easier for me but to be honest it just makes it that much more difficult.

I know HBear didn't mean it. She does not hate me. She loves me. But it still stabbed me in the heart when she said it.

I held her hands and I made her look at me. I said, "we don't do that. That's not who we are. Our hearts are full of love not hate. You may think that you hate me right now but I love you and when you say hurtful words to me like that you break my heart. Once your heart is broken it cannot be repaired. It will always have those cracks in it. Those cracks get bigger and bigger and can cause breaks in our relationship. I don't want to ever hear you say that to me again. When you love somebody you never purposely try to hurt them like you just tried to hurt me. When you love somebody you build them up... you don't knock them down. Do you understand me?"

Her chin was quivering and the snot was pouring down her face as she nodded her head solemnly and said "I'm so sorry Mommy. I was just so angry!"

"It's OK to be angry! But it's how we deal with that anger that defines us. Mommy has taken years to realize this and I want to save you the heartache and all of the anger. We can work together but we will never say that word to each other. OK?"

She wailed, "but this is all your fault! If you weren't so mean I would not have said it! I just want to go back and start all over again." I explained that what she was feeling was regret. That regret only came when you knew you had done something to be ashamed of or regretful for. I told her that in life we all have choices. She chose not to go to bed when she was told. Which led to a consequence. After that it's all up to her and the choice she makes. She could choose to blame this on me and never take responsibility of her actions and continue to make the same choices that ultimately lead to more consequences or she could choose to take responsibility for her own actions.

I said, "if you were old enough to know your body you would know that bedtime has been chosen because that's how much rest your body needs. Once you're old enough to understand and listen to your body you can pick your own bedtime. I will know when you are ready to start making those big decisions when you start listening to me and showing me that you can go to bed at the proper time. The only thing you can blame me for is protecting your growing body for you so that when you are ready you can start taking care of yourself. If I didn't do this I wouldn't be doing my job."

She had a good cry and honestly later on, I did too. In fact, I went right outside afterwards and called my Sister so I could cry to her πŸ˜‚ it's a good thing she didn't answer and by the time she responded I had pulled my shit together πŸ˜‚.

I think of all the terrible things I said to my Mom and I know I broke her heart into so many pieces. It makes me sick to my stomach. I know that Me, my Sister and to a certain extent my Brother were the Loves of her life. Every time I said I hate you I think I did leave a crack in her heart. It makes me so sad to know that I can never make that up to her. All I can hope is that she's out there somewhere watching me deal with my independent, headstrong, crazy ass daughter and knows that I never meant it and that in some small way I am making it up to her by breaking the cycle. It is so important that you ALWAYS tell the people who mean the most to you... just that. So important πŸ’›.

So that was on Friday, the teeth brushing was on Thursday but Wednesday… Oh Wednesday πŸ˜‚. Wednesday it was 8:15pm and I told her it was bedtime. She completely ignored me. Her bedtime is 8 o'clock and I allowed her to stay up 15 minutes later to watch the end of So You Think You Can Dance Junior. Here I am thinking I'm nice and she is thinking, like usual, that she can take advantage of me. Every night when I say it's bedtime it takes her 5-10 minutes to actually get up and get moving. I'm sick of it. I told her I was going to count to 3 and if she wasn't at the door she would get 1 week of TV taken away. I said 1… She didn't move. I said 2… She slowly began getting off the bed. I said 2 1/2… She picked up her water bottle and took a sip. I said 2 3/4… She kept on sipping. I said 3… And she ran towards the door.

No way. She lost a week of TV. Actually that's why she said she hated me! SBean asked if she could watch a movie that evening because it wasn't a school night and we said yes. HBear got all excited until I reminded her that she lost her opportunity to watch a movie on Wednesday.

Yikes! She had a rough week.

On Sunday she had her 2 girlfriends over to rehearse for the talent show. When her friends left I sat her right down. I asked her how she felt the play date had went? She thought it was great! Ninja and I looked around at the house that look like it'd been through a war. We then had to tell her how disappointed we were in her actions. I was chatting with one of the Moms at the front door when she dropped her daughter off and the next thing I heard was bang in the laundry room! They were trying to pick up the ridiculously heavy wood panelled hatch that leads to the crawlspace!

I was like, "are you allowed to go down there anytime?" No. "When you do things do you ask permission?" Yes. "What were you thinking? Are you allowed to go into the food pantry and take out anything you want and eat it?" No (we had just snacked and taken her friend's blood sugar level as she has type 1 diabetes and it's very important to know what's going into her body!) "Are you allowed to jump all over the furniture until it's moved halfway across the room?" No.

I was so upset that she participated and allowed her friends to do that in our house. I don't blame her friends… They don't know her rules. HBear does though and I know if she had said I'm not allowed to do that her friends would have said OK. I asked her if she behaves like that at her friend's houses and she said very quickly, "no!"

I told her that I never expect perfection. Everybody is allowed to make mistakes. I did however, expect her to always think for herself and be a leader not a follower. I brought it right back around to choices. I said, "Everyone has choices, you think these choices are hard now but they just continuously get harder throughout your life, it's up to you to weigh out the outcomes and choose what you feel is right."


And then she had to vacuum up the mess and clean her bedroom.

I hope that sinks in but I'm fully prepared to reiterate these same sentiments for probably the next 20 years πŸ˜‚.


If you want to hear more about this epic "milestone" πŸ˜‚ you can hear all about it on Episode 6 of our podcast How Was Your Week, Honey?



A while back I made this incredible soup. It was comforting and delicious! As it is STILL not looking like spring around here I decided this is a good time to share this amazing recipe. The pictures don't do it justice, this soup is very very very good!


One Pot White Chicken Lasagna Soup
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

1 small rotisserie chicken, all white meat taken off
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons margarine
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/3 cup flour
9 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon EACH dried parsley, dried basil
1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, pepper
2 bay leaves
10 uncooked lasagna noodles broken into 1-2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 package chopped frozen spinach, thawed
1 cup Asiago cheese, 
grated

Garnish
shredded mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

parsley



Melt margarine with 2 tablespoons oil in a pot and heat over medium high heat. 

Add onions and carrots and cook, while stirring, for 3 minutes.



Add bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic and cook for 1 minute.


 

Sprinkle in flour then cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.




Turn heat to low and gradually stir in chicken broth.



Whisk 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 cup additional chicken broth and add to soup.



Stir in white chicken, chicken bouillon and all remaining herbs and spices.


 

Stir in lasagna noodles.



Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until lasagna noodles are tender, stirring occasionally so noodles don’t stick to bottom (approximately 20-30 minutes).


Turn heat to low, discard bay leaves and stir in cream, 
1 cup Parmesan cheese and spinach. Warm through.



Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish individual servings with cheese and parsley.





So this week while HBear was testing every fibre of my being... SBean was the complete opposite. She was helpful, charming and determined to learn how to read. She is so close, with a little help she can sound out most words and she can read most of Hop on Pop all on her own. This week we worked on her letters, her numbers and baked banana chocolate chip bars!

 



HBear had crazy hair day at school and she wanted her hair to look like a unicorn. See my third fear about having Girls has also become a reality πŸ˜‚. I don't think it turned out to be a unicorn... but if she wanted a punk rock My Little Pony... I think we nailed it πŸ€—!


 

 

Friday was Hotlunch day. We had our 2nd ever Hamburger Day. What a freaking gong show! It is very hard to correct our new Principal. So, when he tells you he is going to start bbqing at 11:30 and you remind him that 100 burgers and 21 chicken burgers need to be cooked, wrapped and put into their right bins by 12:15... and he sticks to his guns, you accept that you are going to have lunch out late. We only had 1 volunteer beside my LunchBesty and I (we need 6) so we had to ask 2 grade 5 students to "help" πŸ˜³. Thank goodness this is my last year and it will be someone else's problem next year!
  

I took Mom up some spring flowers after hot lunch. It was a rough one lol and I always go up there to bitch when I need to vent. The caretakers know me by name so I must need to vent a lot πŸ˜‚.



On Saturday was HBear's last Mini Swim Meet of the season! She did great! She doesn't get that look like she will tear off anyone's head if they get between her and the wall but she tries hard. Hopefully a little competitive edge will take root in her in the coming years.




After the swim meet Ninja and I made 30 bags of popcorn for a baby shower that I was invited to. The bags turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself πŸ˜Š.

 


A very rare selfie of me all cleaned up for the shower πŸ™ˆ. It was a great turn out and was well organized. The games were fun and the food was super yummy. I meant to take a picture of the beautiful array of food but I completely kept on eating and forgot to snap any good pictures πŸ™.



Spring where are you?!?!?!? Our weather sucked all week and we capped it off with a nice semi blizzard over the weekend! It didn't stay but I am seriously DONE with winter! 



While I ended my week with HBear and the rehearsal/playdate (see above lol) Ninja got to take SBean to the movies! They both enjoyed the new movie Ballerina and SBean was so wonderful at remembering the big picture and was able to tell us what happened in a clear and concise way!


I just can't wait until she is 8 and can clearly and concisely tell me off as well πŸ˜‚πŸ˜œπŸ˜³πŸ˜‘πŸ˜’πŸ™„πŸ’©πŸ‘ΉπŸ™ŠπŸ™‰.


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