Baked Eggplant Parmesan – Pregnancy Woes, cont.

Is this pregnancy OVER yet???

Not really, but kind of. I get really, REALLY big when I am pregnant. I’m already big and I still have 3 months to go. Sigh…

All of the sudden my pregnant body decided that meat was out of the question.

We were working on Potty training the 2yr old, when I decided, as a reward, we would go out to Red Robin (hubby was out of town). I got my very favorite Bleu Cheese burger, with BBQ sauce and onion straws. I ate the whole thing and most of my fries. (no comments on how I’m not supposed to eat bleu cheese whilst pregnant. I know)

We left shortly after because the 4 yr old and the 2 yr old were no longer full, and determined to make a mess of Red Robin. Those looks of “Oh how cute” from the other customers were about to change to “Why isn’t she controlling her children??”

I paid and got everyone in the car when it hit me. My stomach was rolling and heartburn was kicking in. I was SO SICK.

Ever since then meat has been questionable. I have eaten those breaded chicken patties and breaded chicken tenders, as long as there is a giant salad to go with it. But beef? Getouttahere.

Anything too greasy is out of the question. That includes too much cheese, but I can handle some, as long as I don’t overdo it. Also, overeating will immediately make me sick. And too much sugar.

So now I am forced to eat healthy, which isn’t necessarily bad.

A couple of weeks ago I got two GIANT eggplants in my Bountiful Basket, and I immediately though: Eggplant Parmesan.

I LOVE Eggplant Parmesan. To the point that I almost prefer it (as long as it is done right) to chicken parm. And I like breaded, lightly fried chicken. With all my heart (why can’t we live closer to an Ikea? I need those chicken strips, STAT)

I busily got on Pintrest and found this recipe: http://laurassweetspot.com/2013/04/04/baked-eggplant-parmesan/ 

Normally, I would post it here and add my revisions, but I honestly didn’t do any revisions. This recipe was AWESOME. The only thing I did different is I fried the eggplant instead of baking it. And I didn’t let it stand for an hour. I just used paper towels and pressed as much of the liquid out of the eggplant as I could. It worked just fine.

Also, MAKE THE SAUCE. The gal on the blog said that canned works just as well, and I disagree. That sauce is one of my favorite tomato sauce recipes in the world right now.

So I made this, a huge 9 x 13 pan of it while my husband was still out of town. I ate it for dinner, lunch, dinner, and lunch. My 2 yr old LOVED it so much that he tried to eat all of mine when I wasn’t looking. Luckily I have one child that will eat just about anything.

I just served it with some whole wheat spaghetti that you can get from Costco. YUM. I am craving it right now. I might have to make it again, just for me. And my 2 yr old. We are the only two people who will eat it. Hubby doesn’t like eggplant and the 4 yr old only eats tortilla chips.

Tonight, I am attempting a Eggplant Parmesan SUB. Doesn’t that sound good?

Hubby and the kids are getting Italian Shredded beef on subs instead. Someday meat will sound good again, but for now I am happy with my eggplant.

Mommy Depressed Days – Potty Training

My tablet broke. And then I helped it into oblivion.

It stopped charging last week, so I saw online that I could jimmy the back off and unplug the battery and then it might charge again.

I cracked the screen in the process.

And it still wouldn’t charge.

SIGH.

Also this week I chose to start potty training my two year old. I won’t go into the details, it is messy and covered in pee. I HATE POTTY TRAINING. It is the MOST stressful part of parenting, or so I think.

My greatest parental accomplishment was potty training my oldest. Seriously.

Yesterday I woke up, utterly depressed. I was so stressed out about potty training that I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to do anything. At all. For all I cared my kids could have run around eating garbage yesterday and I wouldn’t have felt remotely bad. In fact I might have even yelled at them for making a mess.

Luckily I wasn’t so far gone to think that it was okay to have this attitude. I have been struggling off and on with days like this since I became pregnant with my third. My hormones SUCK.

I finally figured out a formula to get me out of this funk. (Yes I have written about this before, but I have to keep reminding myself of what to do. Doesn’t everyone have this problem? No? Maybe? Em you’re nuts??)

1. PRAY. Ask God with every fiber of my being to help me get out of bed and able to deal with my problems. Also the ability to find a solution.

2. READ. God gave us all kinds of answers in the Scriptures, so I put them to good use.

3. ROUTINE. I try to get up and follow my routine (at least in the beginning) as much as possible. Otherwise I end up with a filthy house, feeling more depressed than ever. I get up, make breakfast, do the dishes, move the laundry, shower (eventually). Just the basic stuff. I will avoid anything more time-consuming though. See below for why.

4. NO SOCIAL MEDIA. Yup, you read that right. None at all. (Although I did sneak on Instagram, but that almost always cheers me up). I find the more time I spend on the computer or on social media, the more I ignore the problem, instead of dealing with it. Sometimes causing me to drag out the Mommy Depressed Days for WAAAAYYYY longer than I should. I also have to avoid watching too much TV (like Psych or other shows my kids don’t watch). If we are watching together it tends to be better.

5. HUG. My kids. Excessively. Whatever is stressing me out about being a Mommy is usually cured by loving on my kids harder. I love my kids. They are sweet, rambunctious, curious, lovable kids. When I am depressed, I usually resent them or push them away. Hugging them helps me remember why I had kids in the first place. (And why I am pregnant, when it makes me SO CRABBY).

6. TIME. I spend time with my kids doing none of the things on my checklist. Last night we made nachos (they helped, it was so cute) then we watched Brave and snuggled on the couch. Then I asked them to help me clean up the house (which they willing did) and we got ready for bed. (Although in fairness of full disclosure, my 4yr old pushed the 2yr old off the couch and gave him a bloody nose. We aren’t perfect people!)

When I am depressed, I am usually anxious and crappy and I snap at my kids, driving them away from me. Then they act out more, which causes me to snap at them more, etc, etc, you see the cycle??

Sadly, the hardest part for me is the No Social Media. I WANT to turn away and ignore my problems and hope they solve themselves. They rarely do.

In the end (and after the 2 yr old sat on the toilet for 3 HOURS, then promptly stood up and peed all over the floor) I decided (with Divine Inspiration) my kid wasn’t ready to potty train yet. He need a little more prep work than I had bothered to give him. Basically I had picked a day and plopped him on the toilet with little more than instructions to pee. He was confused and unsure why he needed to pee in toilet, when he was so used to peeing wherever he was.

We are still going to work on potty training, but I am going to do a bit more preliminary stuff. Like sitting him on the toilet several times a day, and letting him watch me and his brother go. I think he’ll get it, and we are going to keep talking about the day when he doesn’t use diapers anymore.

We’ll try again next month.

As I chant my mantra: THIS DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PARENT.

The only way I would be a bad parent is to ignore my son’s needs and force something on him that he just isn’t ready for. In the end I could give the poor kid a pant wetting or urinary tract problem by making him feel ashamed or guilty every time he pees his pants. I just about did that with my older kid!! The whole point of potty training is to help him understand and feel comfortable about peeing in the toilet, not meeting some parenting goal..

Just remember that.