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I’m a Parent and I Still Judge
Posted by Jennifer on March 9, 2012 | 5 Comments
Just call me a Judgey McJudgerson because even though I have a kid, I still judge other parents. I judge often and I judge hard. I saw several moms on my Facebook feed share an article on the Huffington Post written by Kara Gebhart Uhl entitled “Apologies to the Parents I Judged Four Years Ago”. It’s a good read; make sure to check it out. To summarize it though, Uhl apologizes to the parents she judged who ignored tantruming children, fed kids McDonalds, and complained publicly about parenting, among other things.
I’m probably in the minority but I will still judge you as a parent for these things.

(photo courtesy of: hark.com)
I can completely understand the need to feed your kids fast food once and a while. As Americans, we are incredibly busy people these days…maybe to a fault and when a kid is hungry s/he needs to eat like NOW. I’ve been known to grab those little pouches of apple sauce from the shelf in Wawa or cut up apples in that watery/syrupy solutation from Gerber to feed to Sophia in the car because we were on the road all day. It’s a necessity. Necessity is not judge worthy, in my opinion. What is judge worthy though are the parents who feed their kids crap day in and day out because it’s the easy answer to loud, impatient mouths. The parents who feed their 8 month old French fries because “they like them” get a big ole side eye from me. We wonder why we have morbidly obese toddlers and it’s because of parents feeding them Happy Meals, Doritos, and soda at every turn. (Note: it’s not the Happy Meal’s, Doritos’, or soda’s fault…it’s the parent’s fault.)
Americans also seem to suffer from verbal social media diarrhea. It’s an epidemic and certainly not limited to parents. I cannot stand reading some of the Facebook updates from fellow moms. Daily they gripe about the decibel level in their home, what looks like the after effects of tornadic activity in the playroom, and the speed at which their 3 year old eats a PB&J sandwich. Wash, rinse, & repeat every day. They’re kids…their slow, loud, and messy. I understand kids can suck the life out of you, I do. And I completely understand the need to let loose a vent when it’s been a particularly soul sucking day but every day? Uh, no. I don’t even know how a parent can find the time to Facebook and tweet about all the soul sucking going on, let alone do it multiple times every.single.day. You’re going to end up developing the “cry wolf” syndrome and no one is going to care or offer you support on your truly shitty day. And if life is really this overwhelming you should get some professional help…it comes in many forms: doctors, child care, play groups, mom groups, church groups, etc. No parent is truly on their own.
And finally, the biggest thing I judge parents on, the public tantrum. I am just now starting to experience the tantrum with Sophia and I will readily admit I’ve only brushed the surface of it. I’m sure what I’ve experienced is just a blip on the radar compared to the DEFCOM 5 I will get to live first hand when she’s 2, 3, and 4 years old. But one thing I won’t do is subject another person (besides Tim) to that shit show. Parents, if your kid is flipping his/her shit in public please leave immediately. Take them outside, to the car, to the bathroom, somewhere so that the rest of society does not have to be subjected to it. While grown adults may try to pretend that the ear drum piercing screams don’t bother them the truth is they do, a lot. I’m not blaming you for your kid’s tantrum…if anything you probably were being an awesome parent which caused the tantrum but everyone else at the supermarket or Target shouldn’t be subjected to the repercussions. I’ve heard the argument that leaving is giving the kid what s/he wants but sometimes you have to “lose” the battle so to speak. After all, isn’t parenting all about picking and choosing your battles? And you don’t always get what you want in life…this is a hard lesson kids need to learn. The items on your shopping list will still be at Target when you go back later in the day or the next day. I’m asking on behalf of parents and non-parents everywhere…have some consideration for the people around you.
Uhl’s main point in her apology is that she had a version of how reality should be with children and now that she has kids it has changed and how no one knows a parent’s circumstance. I disagree. My reality (and the reality Uhl described in her post) hasn’t changed so drastically since birthing Sophia. I still need to eat right, stop whining about decisions I made, and be considerate of other people. The only thing that has changed is that I now need to pass on these tenets to Sophia by feeding her well, accepting that some days are going to be more trying than others, and help her come to the realization that she’s not going to get everything that she wants and the world does not revolve around her. I also don’t think any of these things are going to be effected based on a parent’s circumstances.
Are you a parent? Do you still judge other parents? What situations do you judge?
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Category: Parenthood
Tags: judgment > parenting
Sweet Baby Sutton
Posted by Jennifer on March 5, 2012 | 16 Comments
In keeping with my general “always late to the party” character, I have recently developed a thing for baby leggings. Sure leggings may look absolutely ridiculous on adults but they look absolutely adorable on babies. I mean A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E. Ever the practical person I couldn’t understand why parents were fawning over these things. How could they serve a practical purpose? Then I started trying to wrestle my almost 20 pound baby’s chunky legs into pants after changing diapers. All I can say is what a pain in the ass!
Kelli over at Sweet Baby Sutton sent me a pair of leggings to try out and I was sold in about five seconds of putting them on Sophia. Now obviously I’m not going to take Sophia out in winter weather wearing a onesie and some leggings but for lounging around the house after work or on the weekend these are great. Consider them “longue wear” for babies. And when I want to change her diaper I just need to unsnap the onesie…I don’t have to worry about pants around her ankles getting dirty from the diaper or worse…her squirming out of the pants all together. Fun times I tell you!

Kelli also sent me a quilted bib to try out. I love it. The print was super cute. I like the string ties better than some of the Velcro tabs that are on other bibs. I can adjust how high the bib came up on Sophia without it looking like she was being choked out. Kelli sews all the products in her shop herself and the quality is fantastic. The materials were incredibly soft, but durable, which is what you want when it comes to baby items and the stitching was strong (no loose threads!).

Kelli has been kind enough to offer two (2) products from her shop to one lucky reader! Read below to find out how you can win and be sure to stop by Kelli’s blog and Etsy shop.
Mandatory entry: Comment below and tell me what two items you would like to win from Sweet Baby Sutton. (She has some super cute styles to choose from!)
Extra entries: (be sure to leave a comment for each)
-Like Also Known As the Wife on Facebook.
– Follow me on Twitter.
– Like Sweet Baby Sutton on Facebook.
– Follow Sweet Baby Sutton on Twitter.
– Tweet: “I just entered the Sweet Baby Sutton #giveaway http://tinyurl.com/737asdu via @SgtMsWife @KelliSutton!”
Giveaway runs from Monday, March 5, 2012 10:00 a.m. EST to Sunday, March 11, 2012 9:00 p.m. EST.
A little bit about Kelli: She resides in Indiana and has a little boy, Reed, who is the same age as Sophia and just as cute. In fact we “met” through a message board for moms of babies born in June 2011.
Disclaimer: Kelli & Sweet Baby Sutton provided a pair of leggings and a bib at no cost to me. The opinions of the products are my own.
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Category: Giveaways, Reviews
Tags: baby legs > bib > giveaway > review > Sweet Baby Sutton
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Tacos
Posted by Jennifer on March 3, 2012 | No Comments
Tim likes to say I reverse engineer recipes a lot. I’ll taste something or imagine the flavors in my head and then I’ll set to work to make those flavors happen in my kitchen. This meal was no exception. I saw a recipe for buffalo shrimp tacos floating around on Pinterest but it wasn’t the exact flavor I was looking for. To me, buffalo sauce is just overkill for the delicate piece of food that shrimp is; the spicy needed something to balance it out. I’ve been on a honey kick as of late and thought it would be the perfect way to compliment the spicy hot sauce and since it’s Lent and I’m Catholic I made these on Friday night. The crisp cabbage and cool, creamy avocado were perfect to round out the flavor and texture instead of the old taco standbys of lettuce and sour cream. I know cheese and fish/seafood is usually a big no-no but every taco needs a little bit of cheese. Queso fresco would also work well in place of the cheddar.
Tim doesn’t eat shrimp (I know!!) so I cut up a chicken breast into thin tenders and prepared them the same way I did the shrimp.
I would have killed for an icy cold Corona with lime to wash these down with but sadly we didn’t have any in the fridge by the time I was ready to serve dinner. Next time though!

Ingredients
¾ cup cooked, tailless shrimp
⅓ cup hot sauce
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp butter
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lime, quartered
1 avocado, diced
6 soft tortillas
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
Vegetable oil
Directions
In a small bowl, mix flour and corn starch together. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted add hot sauce and honey. Whisk to combine, let simmer on low heat until thickened slightly.
While sauce is thickening, pour enough vegetable oil in a skillet to a depth of ¼ inch. Heat oil. Add coated shrimp to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping once. Remove and let drain on paper towel lined plate. (You may have to work in batches depending on how big your skillet is.)
Once all shrimp are fried, place shrimp in container with sealable lid. Add desired amount of hot sauce. Close lid and shake to coat.
To assemble the taco, place 1/6 of the cabbage on tortilla, top with shrimp, avocado, cheese, any extra hot sauce you may like, and the juice from a lime wedge. Fold and enjoy!
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Category: My Kitchen
Tags: recipe > shrimp > spicy > sweet > tacos
Being Paid to Have Sex
Posted by Jennifer on March 2, 2012 | 4 Comments
“It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”
Dear God, did I read that correctly? Did I hear that correctly?
These are the comments of a supposedly educated man talking about a 23 year old woman. The man? Rush Limbaugh. The woman? Sandra Fluke.
Sandra was denied the opportunity to testify in front of a Congressional panel about requiring all employers to provide free contraception under the Obama administration’s nationwide health care plan. While discussing her inability to testify, Rush, in his infinite wisdom, seemed to think it was a good idea to liken a woman receiving contraception through her health benefits to that of a “prostitute” (direct quote) and a “slut” (also a lovely direct quote).
I don’t remember the instructions of my birth control pills saying “taking one pill by mouth daily, have sex; repeat”.

(photo courtesy of 1×57.com)
What really gets under my skin is the focus on women. We are being told women are sluts if they use birth control and have sex. What if the employer provided condoms to its male employees at the office or covered them under the prescription plan? Would Rush be accusing men of being “sluts” and “prostitutes”?
And! how much sex is too much sex? Should the government send census workers out once a year to take a tally of what’s going on behind closed doors of honest Americans? For a conservative, Rush sure is pushing for a lot of government intervention into the lives of private citizens.
I think it’s well known to my readers that I’m of a conservative mind set. I don’t think religious organizations should be forced to provide health care coverage for a procedure or treatment they oppose on moral grounds. I think most employees of these religious organizations either hold the same or similar set of morals or are fully aware that their employers holds a moral opinion to certain things and does not approve or encourage their use. In my opinion, if you don’t want to be effected by these morals disassociating yourself from the organization or paying for the product or procedure yourself are the best alternatives.
With that said however, do I think secular organizations/companies who provide their female employees with free birth control are effectively paying them to have sex? NO. HELL TO THE NO. Certain forms of birth control treat other types of illnesses or conditions in women and men and it should not be immediately assumed that a prescription for the same means the patient is off having wild sex at every turn. (And if s/he is then that’s his/her choice.)
While birth control may be a health care benefit so is drug addiction treatment. Based on Rush’s logical I guess my employer would encourage me to take up a drug addiction. In that line of thinking, maybe Rush should sue his employer for his former drug addiction. They paid for him to get addicted to drugs.
It all comes down to this: stay the hell out of my bedroom. Regardless if I’m gay, straight, bi-sexual, tri-sexual, or a birth control pill poppin’ sex fiend, it should be no one’s business but my own and my partner’s what goes on between us when we get down to business. And let it be known as a conservative, dare I say Republican, Rush Limbaugh’s views and the views of his supporters do not represent the majority of conservative America. I think I can speak for the majority when I say we don’t all think women who use birth control are sluts and prostitutes.
I applaud Sandra Fluke. In the midst of all this slander, she has remained above it all. Commenting politely and concisely and getting her opinions heard but never uttering a nasty word towards Rush.
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Category: Uncategorized
Tags: birth control > vent
Anger
Posted by Jennifer on March 1, 2012 | 1 Comment
Everyone gets angry. It’s normal, it’s expected but still no one likes being angry or being the focus of someone’s anger.
I feel like I fail in the anger department. I internalize a lot of my anger and frustration. I dream of being the person who can just lay out their anger in the moment. I attribute my failure at expressing my anger to the lesson of “being the bigger person” that was drilled into my head as a kid. All the adults in my life, essentially parents and teachers, told me to let go someone’s fault or offense against me. It wasn’t worth it to get angry at someone. And I did exactly that…I was the bigger person…I just let things slide but I failed to let things go. In fact I still let things slide but don’t let go.
It’s a terrible fault I have. I can be seething on the inside because of someone else’s asshat behavior but on the outside I’m saying “no big deal” with a nonchalant shrug. This itself makes me angry. Angry at whomever for putting me in the position and angry at myself for repeating the same behavior time and time again.
I always tell myself…I’m done being the bigger person and the next person who deserves my anger will receive it but it never happens. Instead I find myself saying “no big deal” and later replaying the situation in my head about what I should have said. I play out the whole argument in my head as I think it would have played out had I actually said something other than “no big deal”. This definitely can’t be healthy.
Even worse is that all this unexpressed angry just builds up inside me. One thing after another after another until I find my blood boiling. And then I explode in essentially a rage. This definitely isn’t healthy.

(picture courtesy of blog.bigcheesymovienight.com)
Recently I’ve vowed that this needs to stop. This behavior has been so engrained in me that I have no idea how I can change it and raging definitely isn’t a behavior I want to continue. I need to start putting myself first at times like this.
How do you handle anger? Do you internalize and explode like I do or do you let someone know you’re angry right then in the moment?
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Category: Uncategorized
Tags: anger > vent
Mini Chimis
Posted by Jennifer on February 29, 2012 | 1 Comment
I’m about a month late with this recipe but I think they’re well worth the wait. Chimichangas are probably my favorite Mexican meal. There’s a place here in South Jersey called The Mexican Food Factory that makes the best chimichangas (along with a lot of other delicious food). Since my first visit there almost ten years ago I’ve been hooked on chimis. I made these for our neighbor’s Super Bowl party and they were a hit.

Ingredients
2 lbs ground beef
2 yellow onions, diced
1 package of egg roll wrappers
8 oz of Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
Water
Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large skillet, add olive oil and onions. Cook over medium high heat until golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Add ground beef to skillet and brown. Drain, mix in seasonings, and set aside.
Take one egg roll wrapper and place on counter with a corner pointing you.
Add a tablespoon or two of ground beef horizontally across the wrapper. Top with onions and then cheese.
To wrap, bring the corner nearest to you up and over the beef tightly. Fold in the left and right corners. Wet the remaining exposed edges of the wrapper with water and tightly roll the bundle towards the further corner. Press firmly on the top flap to ensure a seal. Repeat for remaining wrappers.
When all wrappers are filled, place on a non-stick cookie sheet and brush tops and sides with vegetable oil. Baked for 15-20 minutes or until wrappers are golden brown.
Cut chimis in half on a diagonal and serve immediately with Spicy Cilantro Dipping Sauce (below).
Spicy Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Ingredients
¾ cup Greek yogurt
2-4 tablespoons hot sauce
¼ fresh cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Directions
Mix all ingredients together and chill for 2 hours or overnight. Stir before serving. Garnish with additional springs of cilantro when ready to serve.
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Category: My Kitchen
Tags: appetizers > chimichangas > Mexican food
8 Months
Posted by Jennifer on February 28, 2012 | 5 Comments
Dear Sophia,
Today you are eight months old…four months from now you’ll officially be a toddler although you’re already embracing some of the defiance that comes along with toddlerhood.
You have really been enjoying yourself at the sitter’s house during the weekdays. You love your friend Makayla and she loves you…it’s very sweet to watch you two together. Being with another kid during the day has really encouraged you to get moving. You’re rolling all over the place and even scooting forward on your belly a bit. You still much prefer holding my or daddy’s hands and walking around though you’ll settle for just holding on to the couch or coffee table and slowly walking along that. You’re starting to pull up on things besides daddy or me.
You’ve become a complete chatterbox the past month. You can say “baba” “dada” “lala” “ooh” and “yiyi”. I think I’ve heard you say “mama” but only when you’re in the midst of a full blown hissy fit so I’m not counting it. You’re also able to understand simple directions like “hands up” or “high five” or the dreaded “no” which usually causes the aforementioned hissy fits. You love to give the “baby in the mirror” kisses and will occasionally give daddy or me kisses if we ask nicely.
I also can’t get over just how big you are. I’m starting to pack away the nine month sized clothes because they’re getting too tight. The bathroom scale is way off so I’m not exactly sure how much you weigh but I’d guess it’s around eighteen and a half to nineteen pounds and you’re somewhere around twenty-eight inches tall. You’ll be bigger than me soon!
This next month is shaping up to be another busy one. Your Aunt Katie is getting married and your great-grandmother is coming out from Colorado again along with your great-aunts and great-uncle that you haven’t met you. They’ll love you because let’s face everyone loves you. The weather is also starting to warm up so hopefully we’ll have more days playing outside instead of being stuck in the house.
As always I can’t wait to see what this month has in store for you.
Love always,
Mommy

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Category: Parenthood
Tags: Letters to Sophia
The Mighty Macs: Review & Giveaway
Posted by Jennifer on February 27, 2012 | 12 Comments
I’m originally from Philadelphia and even though I haven’t lived there in almost fifteen years I still consider it my hometown and I’m a hometown girl. With that said, I get giddy when my town is featured in a movie or TV show. The Philadelphia area is featured prominently in The Mighty Macs which is based on the true story of the 1972 Immaculata College (an all girls school at the time) basketball team. Add in the I.H.M. nuns that run the college and also taught me in elementary school and I was in full reminiscent mode.

Cathy Rush (Carla Gugino) is a newlywed who doesn’t want to just sit around the house waiting for her husband (David Boreanaz) to come home. She takes a paid position at the college and is named coach of the rag tag basketball team. They have one remaining basketball and don’t even have a place to practice or play home games. Kathy quickly enlists a young nun (Marley Shelton), who is reconsidering her calling, as her assistant coach and the two form a friendship and great coaching partnership. The story focuses on Cathy’s coaching and drive to make the girls believe in themselves not just as players but as independent women as well. Cathy and her husband’s relationship is also put to the test as a result of Cathy’s new career. Throughout the movie, the basketball team’s accomplishments are constantly being threatened by the financial status of the college.
This movie has been on my radar for years. I first heard about it when it was being filmed in the area and one of my favorite morning DJ’s landed a small part in the film (she’s the airline employee, in case you were wondering). Then a few months ago friends of mine landed tickets to the premiere and told me how good the movie was; when I heard that I pounced on the opportunity to see and review it myself. It did not disappoint. The story was the typical underdog tale but I quickly found myself cheering for the team and appreciating the struggles they went through to get to their successes. It even offers some bits of humor from unsuspecting characters. The movie would entertain a wide range of audiences from the sports enthusiast to a family looking for a good story with worthwhile lessons.
Want to win a copy of The Mighty Macs? I have one copy to give away. Here’s how you enter:
Mandatory entry: In the comments below tell me did you ever play high school or college sports? Was your team ever the underdog? Any glory stories to share?
Extra entries:
(be sure to leave a separate comment for each)
-Like Also Known As the Wife on Facebook.
-Follow me on Twitter.
– Like The Mighty Macs on Facebook.
-Follow The Mighty Macs on Twitter.
-Tweet: “I just entered The Mighty Macs on DVD #giveaway via @SgtMsWife http://akathewife.com/?p=4434″.
Contest is open from 9:00 a.m. EST Monday, February 27, 2012 until 9:00 p.m. EST Sunday, March 4, 2012. One winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Mighty Macs DVD to review and a copy to giveaway. All opinions are my own.
This contest is now closed. Liz at Yesnofilms.com (comment #4) is the winner!! Congratulations, Liz!
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Category: Giveaways, Reviews
Tags: giveaway > movies > reviews
I’m Going to BlogHer ’12!
Posted by Jennifer on February 24, 2012 | 7 Comments
I’m going, I’m actually going! I purchased my ticket this morning and felt this huge wave of relief wash over me as soon as the confirmation email hit my inbox. I’ve been singing “I’m-going-to-Blog-Her” in my head all afternoon.

I was all gun-ho at the beginning of the year to attend BlogHer ’12 and then a few weeks later I had this huge cloud of anxiety settle in on me. I don’t know anyone going. It’s a lot of money to put out. What if I don’t find a roommate? Blah, blah, blah.
I started reading all the #BlogHer12 tweets on Twitter and started asking questions. Everyone kept telling me they were newbies once and had the same fears but once there they forgot everything they were worried about and enjoyed themselves and learned a lot. Once some of my fears were allayed I decided I would do this.
So yeah, I’m going to BlogHer ’12!!!
Have you gone before? Are you going this year? Any tips for me?
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Category: Uncategorized
Tags: BlogHer’12
I’ve Got a Feeling
Posted by Jennifer on February 23, 2012 | 2 Comments
Do you ever have moments of intuition? You can just sense or feel something is going to happen?
This happens to me a lot actually. It can be big things and it can be small things. I don’t think it has anything to do with my powers of observation because let’s face it…I’m not very observant unless I really put my mind to it.
Yesterday for example I was in the car on my way to pick up Sophia from the sitter’s house and I was flipping through the radio channels. I hesitated on the button designated for the country music station and thought “Red Solo Cup” sure enough I hit the button and what started playing? “Red Solo Cup”. I’ll randomly think of an episode of a TV show and that night it will be playing in re-runs after the nightly news.
Four years ago I had a similar experience with Tim. While he was on his AT I just had this overwhelming feeling that he was going to come home and announce that he was deploying. I even shared my thoughts with my friends because I was so sure of myself. Sure enough Tim came home with the news that he would be getting orders to deploy in less than a year and he did.
Lately I’ve been having those feelings again. I feel like there are all these signs that we need to get our act together because it’s coming. Tim has been asked twice in the last six months if he wanted to volunteer for a deployment. The same thing happened last time. I just have this overwhelming feeling he’s going to be voluntold to pack his bags very soon.
Hopefully I won’t have to take a picture like this in the near future. I think asking that I never take a similar picture again would be completely delusional.

If you’re a military spouse, do you ever get feelings like this? Do they ever prove to be right?

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