Wednesday, April 23

Dorm Room Spicy Peanut Noodle Soup



I feel a bit stagnant these days in the creativity department. I find myself having little motivation to cook for my family let alone cook and bake for my blog.  I seriously have been feeding my family a lot of take out, frozen veggie burgers and Top Ramen. Life has been a tad messy around here, and I can't seem to keep my head above it all. With the chaos I find that my work and my passions are taking a back burner. During the days I have no time or energy to bake, photograph, and write. At nights after the kids go to bed I just want to shut everything out and not worry about clients, stats, and social media.

When these feelings first hit,  I thought I was just suffering from blogger burn out and that's why I wasn't able to put out a couple blog posts a week. Then I stepped back and really LOOKED at life. I'm not burnt out because of blogging. I still enjoy it, and I love my work and I miss it. I'm burnt out because I'm a parent.

All parents will agree, kids add so much joy to your life but with that comes a new set of stresses and work. This past year has been particularly hard. Issues with our public school and my oldest son who is 7, a 2 year old daughter that makes Dennis the Menace look like an angel, and 5 year old son who has a lot going on inside of his little noggin.

Chase (my 5 year old) is a special boy. He is sweet, cuddly, funny, and smart. But over the last year we have started noticing some strange behaviors.  After a couple of Dr.'s opinions we THINK he has  sensory induced tourettes. He still needs to undergo some more observation before we come up with an action plan that will hopefully reduce the frequency of his tics.

Chase is very sensory oriented, he could play in sand or with play dough for hours and hours he loves the feel of it in his hands. During those moments when he is in the moment playing in his sand pit he is at his best. He doesn't act out, he is easily able to express how he feels with words and he has no visible tics.

But then there are other things and feelings he just can not cope with. My days are filled with battles trying to force him to wear a certain pair of shoes, putting on clothes (at 5 he is still naked and won't wear them unless forced) he obsesses over being itchy. He won't cover up with what was once his favorite fleece blanket because it is too fuzzy. He doesn't like jeans because they are itchy on his legs. He won't let us cut his hair because the feeling of the clippers is just too much for him. Brushing his teeth is an unbearable task. He can't handle the feeling of bristles, they tickle his tongue and gums. He claims all toothpaste (even the fruity fluoride free baby stuff) burns. There are so many little behaviors like this that most people would say "oh that's just normal kid behavior!" Well to those people who doubt me and what I have observed with my own son over the last year.... no these are not normal behaviors. Perhaps if there were just a few, but he has dozens of things that cause disruptions, outbursts and facial tics that he can not control.

He has some days where his tics are so bad (swallowing, eye blinking, neck rolling, nodding, clearing of the throat) he can't get his thoughts across to me. On those days we have tantrums and outbursts. I want to take as much time as I can to spend with him and help him control his behaviors but I'm finding it vary hard to do that while juggling the other two kids, school stuff, taking care of the house, and my work.



As a joke last night I told my husband, "I'm going to post Top Ramen on my blog just so I can get a blog post up." It may have seemed like a joke, but I was dead serious! I have nothing else to share with you folks this week because I seriously eat like a broke college student!

This Dorm Room Spicy Peanut Noodle Soup is made up of some basic staples I always have on hand. Ramen, Sriracha, peanut butter, and whatever veggies I have in the fridge.

And guess what.... it is actually really freaking good. This was the best dinner made in under 5 minutes EVER, and I think 2 servings cost about $.80.


Dorm Room Spicy Peanut Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
One package Oriental flavored ramen noodles
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbs Sriracha (or other brand of Thai chili sauce)
1 1/2 cups of whatever veggies you have on hand I used broccoli, bell pepper and radish
*other add in ideas, cilantro, scallions, carrots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, peanuts...

Directions:
Prepare ramen according to package directions.  When it is time to add the noodles, toss in your veggies as well.

Once the noodles are cooked, mix in peanut butter and sriracha. Serve hot with as much or little broth as you like.

Photobucket

45 comments:

  1. As I was reading this post I was nodding my head, I've raised two very different daughters, and I know the joys and the struggles...you seem like you have a good attitude about it all. This ramen is inspiring, and that shot with the steam rising looks like heaven!

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    1. There will always be ups and downs that's for sure! More ups though :)

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  2. I would inHALE this. Mmmmmm ramen.

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  3. God Bless you. I know exactly how you feel. We have 2 boys on the Autism spectrum and although you are dealing with Tourette's the sensory aspect is pretty much the same. Just know as they age is does get easier and the early the intervention and therapy the better. You are a good mama and everything will be ok. BTW...that soup looks delish!

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    1. Sarah, I don't know how you do it with two! I'm a stress case all the time lately trying to get to the bottom of Chase's behaviors. Luckily I'm learning some little tricks along the way that help us both. Hoping to get him in OT soon and praying it helps him.

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  4. My sister gave me a plaque last year for Mother's Day that says "Being a Mom is like running a marathon. Every. Single. Freaking. Day." Only parents can understand how truly exhausting it is...you just can't explain it. Tack on kids with issues like Chase and some days are just unbearable. You just keep making your Top Ramen. No apologies necessary. (FWIW, looks awesome.)

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    1. That's the best saying ever.... and I'll keep on keeping on with my ramen ;)

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  5. Girlfriend, I so appreciate your honesty.
    Carrie, I so admire you and have wondered so many times how you do it with three young kids. I had three young kids once and many times wanted to pull my hair out and I wasn't blogging or working outside the home.
    It's ok to be burned out as a parent and if anyone tells you they haven't been I would think they're lying. It happens to all of us.
    Those little ones are going to be your most important mark on this world and you're doing a WONDERFUL job as a mother.
    Hang in there, Carrie. There is that light at the end of the tunnel.
    I believe in you and I know a lot of other people do, too.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Lynne!

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  6. Ramen never looked so good. I would loooove this. I hope you'll will find some good treatment options for your son soon. I know that must be incredibly hard and draining. Just know we're always here whenever you do post, and we'll gladly read all about ramen! :)

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    1. I hope we find some help soon too! Thanks so much Courtney.

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  7. Life is a battle between serenity and insanity. You do the best you can with any given moment and know that no matter what way the wind blows on that given day, I'll be right here waiting for the outcome. <3

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  8. Hey Carrie, i work with kids that have sensory issues and may be able to help with soe suggestions. I´m not an expert and not everythong works with every child. It is really trial and error. And can be quite frustrating.

    Pleasr email me and we can chat about it. Amberleeowens@gmail.com

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    1. Hey! I will shoot you an email later, thanks Amber!

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  9. Carrie I feel for you. I also have a son with toretts. He is 10 now. He was diagnosed a year ago. But he has the motion one. He has a lot of motion tics and facial tics. He has special class in school. Along with this comes social skills and he has none. So for a while he didn't have friends. He is starting now to make friends but it don't last long. But we just encourage him in every way we can to let him know we are on his side. When your child has stuff like this it makes it more stressful and tiresome. But hang in there and it will all be ok. God Bless.

    Christina

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    1. Oh Christina that must be hard for both you and your son. Will be thinking of him, and hope he gets the help he needs to succeed! I'm hoping that we are catching these behaviors early and with the help of an occupational therapist and his new teachers we can help reduce the frequency of his tics so he doesn't struggle in school.

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  10. Big hugs Carrie! I love your honesty. I also have three young children and work full time and there are many days where I just don't have energy left for anything. Sometimes we just need to take a break and a big exhale. Your kids are lucky to have a wonderful mama like you! And that dish looks freaking awesome.

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  11. Hugs and love to you Carrie. Being a parent is so hard, especially when there are troubles. My heart goes out to you and I know you're an amazing mom. And, BTW, I eat top ramen (without all the add-ins) like it's going out of style. Hugs to you, and to those amazing kids of yours!

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  12. Big hugs to you. Our oldest has been in the wishy washy area of 'developmental delay' for years and our pediatrician is now pursuing an ADHD/ ODD diagnosis. He has such a wonderful spirit but struggles everyday with his impulse control to the point that he was in the ER two weeks ago with a severe concussion, because he ran off. I want so badly for him to just have "good" days, and it's so hard to hear people who suggest that he is "just being a kid" or he "needs discipline" when they only have the tiniest glimpse into the behaviors we live with day in and day out. While its not the same as Tourette's, we deal with a lot of sensory issues, etc. I hope what you receive from writing this post is the outpouring of support from all of "us", your readers. Its never easy to face the challenges parenting can bring us, and then exposing those challenges all over the Internet only magnifies the chances of being judged or criticized. I hope you are able to continue making progress for your son and family, we'll all be here, slurping ramen noodles happily in support. ♡

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    1. Tourettes/OCD/ADD/ADHD and all those diagnosis go hand in hand overlapping with the similar sensory disorders/issues. At first we thought he just needed discipline... but after time it was clear that he was not pulling our strings and he has no control over these behaviors and impulses. I'm actually hoping that by posting this I will get more comments like yours. I am glad to see other's are struggling just the same and my kid isn't the only one! (not that I'm glad you are struggling lol... that sounds awful!)

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  13. Carrie I wouldn't be surprised if this post goes viral. People love easy, tasty food. Sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time cooking more elaborate stuff when really people just want glorified ramen...because that's what everyone really eats! :)

    Thanks for sharing about your son. This must have been a roller coaster of a year. Parenting always has it's ups and downs, but I have always had particular admiration for parents with kids who have special needs. In the end, no matter how hard it is, you will always do what you have to do, because it's your kid and you love them. But that doesn't mean it doesn't suck the life out of you sometimes. Pour yourself a drink, put your feet up, and take a night off. (or 5!)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Karen!! And seriously people love ramen.

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  14. Oh, gosh Carrie. Can I tell you that I will be praying for you and your family? And being a parent is hard enough without one of them having "issues" (for lack of knowing what else to call it). I think you will believe me when I say that I really do understand in a way. The constant worry, but also trying to keep things normal...there have been days in the past three years where I just couldn't take it, and broke down. But, things are looking up, and they will for you, too. I have a good friend who's youngest had similar issues. He would tell Janet that he could hear the electricity running through the lines as they were driving down the road and would just go nuts. He's much better now (I think he's about 20 or so). There is help for your baby. Hang in there and know that we all care. And, it's ok to let some things go. Your family and children come first before ANYTHING. You might consider talking to the doctor if you aren't sleeping (which was a huge problem for me at first). Anyway, I'm keeping you in prayer. xoxo

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    1. You are seriously the best. Thanks so much for your support Julie.

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  15. I'm not a parent so I can't imagine how hard this must be for you and your family. You're a wonderful and kind person and your son is fortunate to have you in his life. Keeping you guys in our prayers and thoughts! By the way the ramen looks delicious and I love the styling!

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    1. Thanks so much Nik! I'm glad it looks styley since I seriously took two shots and called it good with out staging anything haha.

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  16. Carrie, We just "met" on IG, and we are both going to BlogHer in a few weeks where we can talk if you would like. I've raised two boys with special needs and girl, I've done and felt it all. It's a challenging job , but you will get through it. Sensory Integration therapy really helped both my boys who are now 24 and 27. Cheers, Barbara

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    1. So glad we connected! Can wait to meet you at BlogHer! We are talking about some OT so hopefully with the right form of therapy we can get him the help he needs to succeed and minimize his tics.

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    2. OT is a good place to start!

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  17. One more thing, an integrative pediatrician , Dr Steve Donnelly is giving a talk at Whole Foods in Portland, ME on Wed, April 30 on natural strategies to deal with ADD/ADHD, which does overlap with Tourette's, autism and a bunch of other Dxs.

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    1. OH my goodness I wish I was free... I'm only 1.5 hrs from Portland!

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    2. If your plans change, let me know, there is 1 ticket left. He is a popular speaker at the store (I'm the marketing team leader there in addition to my fledgling of a blog).

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  18. I'm so sorry to hear about the struggle to find answers to help Chase. As a mom of two boys (both at completely different age spectrums:preteen and one is soon-to-be 2), I know how taxing parenting can be. Just this past weekend Kyle, my older one, knocked out two of his permanent teeth trying to climb over a chest-high fence to retrieve a ball his younger brother, Ethan threw. Did I mention we were only able to find one of the knocked out teeth? Life as a parent can be extremely difficult, but the love we have for our children superceeds the difficulties. You have will find the best possible way for your family to cope. Take all the time you need.

    And might I add that the photos in this post are absolutely gorgeous!

    Hang tough mama! ❤

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    1. OH MY GOSH! What are you going to do about his teeth? I assume they are grownup ones. EEEK. Hope he is alright despite that mishap!!!

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    2. After many dental appointments, my son now has a temporary replacement (kind of like a denture clip in) tooth. He won't be able to get a permanent implant until he's at least 18 and his jaw has matured. He's back to his sometimes smiley preteen self. The things we parents endure...haha!

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  19. I honestly have no idea how most parents balance work, blogging, life, etc. Throw in a few new challenges and I can't imagine how hard that is some days. I hope you are able to carve out a little more time for what you love soon!

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  20. I totally understand about being tired. I love my three monkeys to pieces but boy, do they make me exhausted!! I have days when I want to pull my hair out - so much to do, not enough time and energy. I hope you will get answers about your little one soon. Hugs!!!

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  21. Awww, sweetie. Your story seems so familiar. Both my now-grown children had chronic, severe health issues and it often just made getting through the day a nightmare. I know how exhausted and overwhelmed you must feel a lot of the time. It it weren't for Ramen, my kids might have starved. They loved leftover chicken and green beans floating in a bowl of noodles. It was a life saver - over and over. Wish I had known about Sriracha back in Ye Olden Days.

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  22. Carrie, it sounds like you have A lot of stuff going on, it's a full time job being a parent and hard when more thing are requiring even more attention. Your kids are your life and of course you can't focus on the blog....life gets in the way! I think it's amazingly candid and real to let your readers know because a lot of us get it and will be back no matter how often you are here! Don't beat yourself up too much, it's so hard finding the balance!!!! Still, you manage to make a tasty recipe that's economical and good! Your pics rock and so do you my dear! Hang in there! You will get through it and the most important thing is that you and your kids are navigating though these bumps together. XO

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  23. Oh, honey! I'm sorry that you are going through all of this right now. One of my boys had a ton of sensory issues. I understand how stressful it can be either not knowing what may trigger a meltdown, or trying to be on guard so that you can be understanding and patient to make life less stressful for him. Even though some days I just want the kid to get dressed! ;) I commend you for being persistent in advocating for Chase. I felt that getting a diagnosis helped in that at least we had a name for what we were dealing with, and not just that my kid was being unreasonable or pushing buttons for negative attention for no apparent reason. Hang in there, Sister!

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