It’s been a rough 2 days.  We dropped our little one off at daycare for the first time on Monday, which also happened to be her 5 month birthday so basically it was all, “Happy Birthday Siona! For your birthday, we’ll be dropping you off at daycare to spend the day with strangers, which basically means we’ve dropped you off to get pink-eye and to hang with strangers. Happy birthday! YAY!”  UGH.

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You’re taking me where? Oh crap.

It was hard.  It was the hardest thing I’ve done in a very long time.  I felt a sense of loss all day long that I hadn’t felt since I lost my grandfather two years ago.  If you’ve never dropped off your tiny one at daycare before then I get that it’s possible you’re thinking I’m being a drama queen but I’m telling you, it was the pits.  The worst.  After the hubby and I somewhat regained our composure after having a complete emotional break down shedding some tears, he went to work and I went to work and then I proceeded to cry every hour until roughly 2PM, when I think I just got too dang tired to cry.  I know on my previous post I got all deep on your tushies with my, ‘we found peace in daycare’ but Lord have mercy, I had no idea it would be this hard.  And you know what? You just have to feel it.  I let it all out.  I mean I’m sure some of my students saw me crying (even though I tried really really hard to only cry in the privacy of my friends’ offices or the bathroom or my own office) and even my boss offered to give me the rest of the day off and I almost went for it.  I pictured walking over to the JCC (it’s also our first foray into ‘organized’Jewish education–I can’t wait for the popsicle stick “baby Moses basket” for Pesach art projects and the finger painted challah covers), picking Siona up and running for the hills foot-loose and fancy free but alas, I said no.  I just had to rip the band aid.  I spent weeks and weeks dreading yesterday that there was something of a relief in just getting through the dang thing already.  Like, OK, we did it. We dropped off this tiny person who is the love of our life to complete strangers and then we went about our day.  It sucked so hard but we did it. Yay for us . . . I guess?

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Ahhh The Berenstein Bears—-everyone’s favorite Jewish bear family.

I gotta tell ya though, picking her up is amazing.  I get giddy. I can only liken it to the feeling you get when you’re first falling in love and you can’t wait to see that person and every time you do your heart beats a little faster and your adrenaline is pumping? You know what I mean? It’s like that. It’s this amazing little present that’s purely mine at the end of a crazy work day.  I’m gonna try extra super hard to focus on the positives of all of this.  Unsolicited advice from me to you—do not focus on the hours you don’t get to spend with your little one or any loved one.  Instead, focus on when you do get to see them.  One of the things that was so heart-breaking at first was counting the hours I could actually get to spend with her (and no, not because I had to do math and “add”) because what the hell did that get me but sadness.  You just can’t go there.  So instead, the hubby and I made an agreement when we got home yesterday afternoon that we weren’t going to focus on that kind of stuff but instead on how we spend the time when we are together.  This is life people.  We are not independently wealthy (damn it!), we still haven’t won the lottery (damn it!) so this is our new reality.  We better shape up and deal with it or our family time is going to be spent wallowing and who wants to be around that? Certainly not me.

On top of everything else I’m trying to cut back on sugar and carbs.  I mean, what the hell? I’m having one the most emotional weeks of my life and I decide to cut back on sugar and carbs. What the h*#& was I thinking? At one point on Monday afternoon I was this close to offering up grade changes for my students in exchange for any and all of their contraband candy.  I’m a pretty ethical school counselor, yes indeedy.

As a result of this ban on carbs I made pasta with spaghetti squash.  It was my first time delving into spaghetti squash and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to cook with.  See below.

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Inside the spaghetti squash

Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” with Garden Vegetable Sauce

What?

1 Spaghetti squash
1 Zucchini, coarsely chopped
1/4 C Olive oil
1 C Onion, coarsely chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
5 Carrots, coarsely chopped
1 Green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 Cans crushed tomatoes (or prepared marinara sauce)
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme

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How’s That Now?

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Cut spaghetti squash in half, brush tops with olive oil and place cut-side down on baking sheet.  Place in over for 45 minutes.

3.  While spaghetti squash cooks, in a large saucepan or medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat for two minutes. Add in the onion, garlic, peppers, carrots and zucchini. Cook until onions turn translucent and vegetables start to soften, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Increase temperature to medium-high. Add tomatoes and spices. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil stirring occasionally. When sauce reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for the rest of the time the spaghetti squash cooks. The longer you let it simmer the fewer chunks there will be.  Season with spices to your taste. Stir occasionally to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pan.

5. Once spaghetti squash is finished, let cool for a few minutes and then fork out onto plate. Top  with sauce.  I also recommend adding some feta to top it all off.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti squash--looks like pasta but doesn't taste like pasta

Spaghetti squash–looks like pasta but doesn’t taste like pasta

I have to be honest, this does not taste like pasta.  Do not be fooled. It only LOOKs like pasta.  Do not go in thinking this will taste like pasta cause it just won’t.  Also, just a heads up, this is a GREAT way to get your pasta fill during Pesach without having to pretend you like potato pasta.

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