Midlife Mamma is a blog by Teffani Johnson who writes about her adventure of starting motherhood at 45. This blog is for all of those mother who are thinking of planning to start or has already started motherhood in their mid-forties.
Hey Folks!!!! Welcome to another Weight Loss Wednesday update!!! If you are new to the party, I have been following the Weight Watchers Freestyle program for 6 weeks now. Catch up on the updates over on my YouTube channel! After a fairly disappointing week 5, I headed into week 6 with renewed determination. I stuck to the plan. I guzzled down plenty of water. I exercised. Thursday evening was supposed to be the first day of weight training. But Thursday took a terrifying turn…
I woke early to help my niece with her hair. Nevaeh was up at 7:15 am. We had breakfast. I had coffee. Once everyone was off to school and work. Nevaeh and I headed upstairs to get dressed. It was wash day for her, so I got her dressed and took her braids out. Then I let her go play so I could get dressed. I sat down on the bed to respond to an email and that is the moment I felt pain and pressure in my chest. It radiated to my back and up under my arms. It was the second time this has happened in a week. So I immediately called my Mom and told her I needed to go to ER. She left work right away. While I waited for her, I packed all the things Nevaeh and I would need for a few hours. By the time my Mom got there the pain/pressure had subsided. We headed to a Dignity Health ER.
They wasted no time when I said I had chest pains. I gave her my ID and insurance card and I was whisked to the back. In a matter of minutes, I was talking to a doctor about my symptoms and hooked up to an IV. I was given an EKG, a chest x-ray, and they took blood. A few hours later, the doctor asked if I would be okay to stay overnight. Things seemed normal, but he was keen to figure out what happened. He ran another blood test, then came back and said it was abnormal and I needed to be transferred to the hospital. At this point, I no longer had the choice to stay or go. His exact words were “it would be unwise not to stay.” I was going to be admitted.
30 minutes later I was in an ambulance. On the ride over my blood pressure was checked. It was dangerous high! At the hospital, I was wheeled past triage and straight into my room. When the doctor came to see me I was told that my blood test showed that my Troponin level was .45. Normal is .003. Which meant that there was some damage to my heart and could possibly mean some heart disease. Since I was asymptomatic, I was put on a blood thinner and checked every six hours to see if my Troponin levels dropped. They didn’t.
My mom and Nevaeh kept me in good spirits while they were there, but alone in my room all I could do was cry. My family and friends rallied and prayers began on my behalf. My mom was a rock. I know she was scared, but she never let me see that. She took charge of my baby so I didn’t have to worry. I spent my first night away from my daughter in a hospital bed, crying because I had probably suffered a heart attack and I had no idea what was going to happen. It was horrible.
The next morning the cardiologist came to see me and said that yes there had been a mild attack or mild stress to the heart. He told me he was going to perform a Heart Catheterization to see what was going on. If they found anything wrong they would fix it. If all was well, I could go home. My mom and Nevaeh were back at about lunch time. When they came to take me at 3:30 pm, Nevaeh cried. So she rode on the bed with me holding her until we had to part ways. Thankfully she went calmly to my mom, but she kept her eyes on me while they walked away.
I will spare you the details of the procedure, for which I was wide awake. There was music and talk of the Kardashians as the procedure progressed. At the end…there was good news! My heart was ok. There had been some stress/strain, but there were no blockages. No need for stents. I was clear to go home!!!! The cause of the pressure in my chest was my blood pressure being too high. In the end, I had to stay another night for observation. I was fine with that. I spent the time writing this blog post, and assuring my friends and family that, with some lifestyle changes and renewed dedication to watching my blood pressure, I was going to be just fine.
This was a terrible scare. I am grateful to have so many prayer warriors in my corner. I am so glad I was able to go home to my baby. This weight loss mission has taken on even more urgency and I will be taking steps to reduce my stress levels going forward. If you have high blood pressure, please be diligent about your care. Take your medicine. Monitor your pressure at home. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Protect your life. I know I will be.
Be blessed! Take care of yourself. I’ll see you all next week!
WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE | WEIGHT WATCHERS WK 6 | HEALTH SCARE!!! - YouTube
Hey Folks!!! Welcome to another Weight Loss Wednesday!!
If you are just joining the party, I have been following the Weight Watchers Freestyle plan for the last 5 weeks. Weight loss has been a steady average of about 2 pounds a week. Then…week 5 happened.
Week 5 was a bit of a disappointment. I played fast and loose with my points this week and slacked off on my tracking. If you want to know what the results are after a week like that…well…here’s the video. It’s also at the bottom of this post, because…well…I want to make it easy for you to watch it. (Insert smiles here)
In the past, I would let a “setback” like this discourage me and I maybe would let myself fall into old habits. I’m not going to do that. I have too much to lose! HA! See what I did there? Seriously though, there is more than just weight loss at stake here. So I’m going keep going! I know this program works if you put in the effort.
Next week is a new week! Onward and upward!! Or should I say downward? Anyway…see y’all next week! Muah!
Greetings!!! Welcome to the next post in this Midlife Mamma the Chef series!!! This recipe was born from a new thing that has begun in my life since we last spoke! I have begun Weight Watchers! That’s right! I am on a quest to finally shed the pounds I gained during pregnancy…21 months later. Better late than never, right? I’m enjoying it so far. It’s going to be fun coming up with some tasty Weight Watcher meals!
Since I have started this program I have learned that coming up with creative ways to take advantage of the 0 pt food items is vital to my success. Eggs…ladies and maybe a few gentlemen…are a 0 pt food on Weight Watchers! I don’t thing you heard me…EGGS ARE ZERO POINTS!!! So I’ve come up with a recipe for deviled eggs that nets…wait for it…2 POINTS!!!
OK! I know! Enough of talk, let’s get into this super easy, super simple recipe.
CURRY DEVILED EGGS
What you need:
2 eggs, hard-boiled
2 TBS Light mayonnaise
1 TSP Dijon Mustard
1/2 TSP Paprika
1/4 TSP Curry Powder
1/4 TSP Dried Dill
1/4 TSP Dried Parsley
Pinch Kosher Salt
How to make it:
Cut eggs in half and separate the yolks.
Put yolks in a bowl with mayonnaise, mustard, and seasonings. Mix until combined.
Add about a teaspoon of the filling back to the egg whites.
Garnish with more paprika
That’s it! Super easy! I like to use an 8 minute egg. To achieve that, I just start the eggs in cold water and bring to a rolling boil. Once it reaches the rolling boil, I set a timer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes I remove the eggs from the eat and put them in ice water to stop the cooking. During my years as a line cook I learned that peeling boiled eggs while they are warm is easier that waiting until they are cool. I also hold them under running water. Try it!
OK! I hope you enjoy this recipe! I love to have these for lunch. Let me know in the comments if you try it. I’d love to hear how you make this recipe your own!
If you would like to follow along with me on my weight loss journey you can check out the Weight Loss Wednesday series here and on YouTube.
Well the last post was wrought with emotion. If you missed that post you can read it here. So this week let’s keep it light and easy. Shall we?
Welcome to the first installment of Weight Loss Wednesday!!! I have begun a new weight loss program…again. I say again because I am what you would call a serial dieter. I have been on a diet off and on since I graduated high school. I’ve tried them all. I know your next question is going to be “well then why start another one?” Because I’m no quitter! Enter the laugh out loud emoji here. I’m kidding, of course. The real reason is that I need to lose weight once and for all. I don’t want a quick fix, I want a cure! I have chronic hypertension. I am turning 48 in two months. I have a 20 month old daughter to raise. Ain’t nobody got no time to be having a health crisis. For these reasons…and because I want to look good in my clothes…
I chose Weight Watchers. You can get the deets on why Weight Watchers was my ultimate choice by watching this week’s Weight Loss Wednesday video. You will also learn how much weight I lost in the first week. You’ll find the video at the end of this post. I’ve been on this diet just over two weeks and so far I am enjoying how easy it has fit into my lifestyle. That’s key for me because I need to be able to maintain this way of eating for…well…ever!
I have to say that I was a tiny bit disappointed with the number for the first weigh in, but, this time it needs to be slow and steady. So I’m going to stick with it, work this program and see what happens. I invite you all to join in with me or root from the sidelines, which ever suits you best.
I’ll see you all next week for another update!! Enjoy the video! Muah!
WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE | WEIGHT WATCHERS WEEK 1 | MOMMY SELF CARE - YouTube
Greetings!!!! I have to say it feels good to be writing and sharing with you all again! This is another post that I’ve paired with a video of the same title. I shared a condensed version in the video to keep it short, but definitely give it a view. There are things I covered in the video that I won’t share here. I wanted to use this blog to touch on some topics that didn’t make the cut. You can view the video at the end of the post.
BUT FIRST, SOME EXCITING NEWS!!!
This blog has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Blogs About Midlife Motherhood by Feedspot!! I am so honored and thrilled to be included in that list!! So a BIG shout out to Feedspot for the feature. THANK YOU!!! If you would like to check out the article you can do so right here!!!
NOW ON TO THE POST…
I read a quote one day that said, “When you take care of yourself, your loved ones get the best of you, not the rest of you.” That quote resonated with me because at the time I was still harboring some anger, bitterness, and resentment towards my daughter’s father. I was carrying around so much baggage. There were times when I was literally distracted thinking about how angry I was. Needless to say I felt a heaviness in my spirit that, left unchecked, began to manifest itself in other areas of my life.
My main goal in life is to be the very best mother I can to my daughter. To set life examples for her about love, respect, confidence, and, most relevant for this post, forgiveness. The best way for me to demonstrate to her that forgiveness is necessary, is to walk in that truth in my own life. That meant a conversation with myself that said it’s time to forgive her father for abandoning us.
I say us because, obviously, I took this abandonment real personal. How dare he reject my baby! What was wrong with me that he couldn’t bear to acknowledge a child we made together? How could he not want to be a part of her life? Literally, what the hell? I was spitting mad! I was hurt, resentful, and I wanted revenge. In my darkest moments, I formulated ways to make him feel bad or guilty. I wanted him to acknowledge that what he did was wrong. I fantasized about him coming to his senses and stepping up. Every day it didn’t happen, I just got angrier.
The thing about staying angry with someone is that it can consume your life. It can cloud your judgement and cause you physical pain and fatigue. It takes a lot of energy to maintain it. My energy is precious. I have a toddler, a demanding full-time job, a YouTube channel to run, and a blog to write. I can’t afford to spend precious energy trying to stay angry.
In the end, I realized that once I took a look at the things in my life that were most important, the grudge against my daughter’s father was just not important enough to hold on to. It doesn’t bother him. It bothers me. So I sent him one final text. No lie, the moment I sent the text, is the moment I let go. I knew that I would no longer live with the negativity anymore. No more plotting his demise. No more wishing things were different. He’s made his choice. I accept that. And….I forgive him. Not not for him. Not out of some misguided hope that it will change his mind. Not for reconciliation. I forgive him for me, to take care of my heart and spirit. So now I can be best me possible.
Forgiveness is freeing. Bitterness and grudges can bind you and hinder your spiritual growth. So I’m free of it. I can’t tell you how good that feels.
You might be wondering about child support. I spoke to that in the video. You might also be wondering what I’ll do if a miracle happens and he decides to be a father to her. That’s in the video too.
I’ll leave you with a challenge. Are you holding on to anger? Are you resentful? Are you bitter about being hurt by someone? If so, my challenge to you is to let it go. Forgive. Take care of yourself. Be free. Comment below if you accept the challenge.
That’s all. Enjoy the video. Thanks for spending a bit of your time with me.
See you all in the next post! Muah!
FORGIVING MY DAUGHTER'S ABSENT FATHER | MOMMY SELF-CARE - YouTube
Hello again!! Well the time has come for me to transition into sharing what my life is like as a single mom. I’ve decided to kick things off with a brand new series of videos and posts entitled the Single Mom Series. This series will cover the major things I have learned are a necessity in order for me to, not just survive, but to flourish in this new role as single mom to my miracle baby!The first video in this series deals with my most pressing issue, child care. In this video I share how I found and hired a nanny. If you haven’t seen that video yet, you can watch it at the end of this post.
One of the most important things a single mom needs is someone they trust to look after the baby or babies while she brings home the bacon. I am no different. I don’t know about you, but leaving my two month old baby to return to work ripped my heart apart. I’m sure it was months before I could leave my house without crying. In the beginning, I took some comfort in the fact that I was leaving her with her Grammy. That comfort was fleeting, because my mom eventually had to return to work as well. Then it got real. I needed child care.
If you’re a working mom, then you will no doubt understand me when I say that the process of securing child care that doesn’t give you massive anxiety is no small feat. I tried daycare, but I swear every time I picked her up she looked like she’d been crying ALL DAY. Not to mention the inevitable runny nose and separation anxiety on both sides. (I was just as bad as her). In the end though, it came down to practicality. My Mom and I both work weekends. Between her schedule and mine most of the weekdays were covered. We never had to take my daughter to daycare. So I decided to look for someone who could consistently watch her on the weekends in our home. The search for a nanny was on!
It wasn’t easy, but with the help of Care.com I was able to locate a pretty impressive pool of potential nannies. The decision to leave my baby with someone I didn’t know was not easy to make. I felt safer using a service like Care.com because of the precautions they have built into the app/website. I also liked that I could run a background check right from the app!
If you watched the video, then you are probably looking for some questions to ask a potential nanny. I was out of my depth for this one so I used the resources made available to me by, yep you guessed it, Care.com. Click here to view an article with interview questions. I can’t stress enough how helpful it was to have this service to help with my search for a nanny.
Now that I have found my perfect nanny, let me share with you some of the benefits I discovered as I close out this post…
1 on 1 intensive learning time with her nanny has helped my daughter’s language skills tremendously. She’s even learning sign language!
My daughter gets to remain in her own environment.
She gets consistent teaching/care from people she recognizes.
I don’t have to come up with the cash to pay a weekly daycare fee.
I was able to set a pay schedule that works for my budget.
I never need to have cash handy to pay a baby sitter unexpectedly. I just call her nanny.
I come home to a happy chatty toddler, who has learned something new. Most recently, the movements to the Itsy Bitsy Spider!
I’ll stop there! I’m sure there is more. Needless to say, I am very happy with my current child care situation. I can work without distraction or worry and my baby has a great nanny who teaches her, plays with her, and loves her! For the win!!!
I hope the video was helpful to you. If you need a nanny definitely try Care.com. It worked for me! Here’s a link to get you started!
That’s it for this post! See you soon for the next installment of Midlife Mamma the Chef! Thanks for watching and reading!
SINGLE MOM SERIES | HOW TO HIRE A NANNY | TIPS FOR SUCCESS - YouTube
Greetings! Welcome to the second installment of the Midlife Mamma the Chef series! I cannot tell you all how happy I am to finally start sharing this part of my heart with you.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment, which was a spiced banana bread. If you saw the picture, there was a lot of bread made that day. It was pretty much gone in less than two days. So it’s a favorite for us and I really hope you liked it as well.
Since I shared something sweet last week, I thought this next post should give you something savory to sink your teeth into. So tonight, for dinner, I made BBQ Glazed Fried Chicken! In this blog post, I’ll be showing you how to make it too! Don’t worry! It’s super easy! Here we go!
Before I get started I have a confession to make. When I’m cooking a savory dish I really sort of wing it. I do very little measuring so the measurements are approximate and to taste. The good news is that this recipe is hard to ruin as long as you don’t over salt. Ok! Disclaimer done. Let’s talk chicken!
For this recipe I used free range chicken legs. You don’t have to use free range, I just happen to prefer them because they tend to be smaller, less daunting in size. They are also not pumped up with “extra stuff” but that’s another post for another day. The smaller size allows for less cooking time which means you’ll have dinner on the table quicker. I don’t know about your home, but in my household an early dinner is greatly appreciated.
Get your pan heating & Preheat your oven
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and then set a skillet over medium high heat and add about a 1/2 inch of oil to the pan. Again, that’s approximate. This will be a shallow fry, not a deep fry so you don’t need a lot of oil.
Prep the chicken
To prep the chicken legs, rinse them and pat them dry with a paper towel. I go through a lot of paper towel when I’m cooking because it’s more sanitary. It’s important to have safe kitchen habits especially when you are dealing with raw chicken. Paper towels are quick, absorbent, and you can just toss them in the trash after use. Easy.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.
Coat the chicken with seasoned flour
In a large bowl, add a cup of all purpose flour. To that flour you will add about a tablespoon each of paprika and garlic powder, a generous pinch of salt, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir the mixture with a whisk or a fork to combine. Remember that the measurements are approximate, so don’t be afraid to taste before you add the chicken. Once you add the chicken it’ll be too late.
When your flour is seasoned to your satisfaction, add the chicken. You want to be sure the chicken is completely coated but not excessively so. Shake off any excess coating before adding it to the skillet to fry.
Fry the chicken
By this time, your oil should be nice and hot. You should see small wisps of smoke coming from the oil. You can also sprinkle a bit of the flour into the oil. If it sizzles, you are good to go! All you have to do now is add your chicken to the skillet to fry.
For this step, you are just looking to fry the chicken long enough to get a good crispy crust on the outside. About 5 minutes on each side should do the trick. It’s ok if the chicken is not cooked all the way through, because you will be finishing them in the oven.
As soon as you have a nice crust, remove the chicken from the pan and place on paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
Glaze the chicken
Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray and place the fried chicken inside. Brush both sides of each chicken leg with barbecue sauce. The kind of sauce you use is completely up to you. Sometimes I make my own sauce, but in a pinch, my family loves Sweet Baby Ray’s. There are endless variations possible at this step. So use your imagination. Just be sure not to over saturate the chicken with the sauce. A thin layer of sauce will allow the sugars to caramelize, creating so much goodness that you will be compelled to come back and leave your “thank yous” in the comments below!
Bake the chicken
Now that your chicken is glazed, the last step is to place it uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. You can use this time to prepare side dishes. I served it with twice cooked garlic potatoes.
Remove and enjoy!
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and set aside while you put the finishing touches on your sides dishes. Or…just grab a napkin and a leg and tuck in!
Things to remember
I served this to my 19 month old. I just pulled the chicken off the bone and tore it into bite sized pieces. She loved it! My daughter eats what we eat because preparing two different meals every night is simply not practical for me.
If your chicken legs are larger you will have to compensate for longer cooking time either during the frying or in the oven. Take your pick.
Taste, taste, taste! Have I mentioned that the measurements are approximate?
This dish is finger licking good and you probably won’t have left overs.
Now off you go! Happy cooking!
That’s it for this week! If you’re quick you can catch the demo in my Instagram Stories!! I hope you love this dish as much as my family did.
BBQ GLAZED FRIED CHICKEN
All Purpose Flour
Ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Set a skillet with canola oil over medium high heat
Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray
Rinse and pat dry chicken
Season chicken with salt and pepper
Combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper in a large bowl and mix to combine
Add chicken to flour mixture to coat.
Shake off excess coating and add to skillet.
Fry for 5 minutes on each side. Should have a golden brown crust.
Drain excess oil from chicken
Place chicken in small baking dish
Lightly brush both sides of chicken with barbecue sauce
Bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through
It’s that time of the week again! There’s a brand new video up on my YouTube Channel!!! As my faithful readers, you get it straight to your inbox!! Yay!
Since I began sharing my story I have gotten so many questions. The number of ladies that have commented and shared their stories with me is more than I hoped for. I wanted this project to be about giving hope and inspiration to women who have surpassed the age of 35 and might be feeling discouraged about not becoming a mom…yet. It appears that that is what is happening so I want to be as informative and transparent as possible about what this is like for me as I live it.
I say all that to say that this week’s video provides answers to the commonly asked questions that pop up as I continue to share. It’s 27+ minutes of me providing honest answers and heart-felt confessions. I hope it helps, that you learn something, and that it gives you hope and inspiration. If you or anyone you know is considering motherhood after 40, or even 35, this video is a must watch!
As always, comment below or on the video if you have additional questions! I’ll be happy to answer them.
That’s all for now! I’ll see you in a few days for the next installment of Midlife Mamma the Chef!
Hey!!! Even though I post weekly, it seems like I haven’t made a real post in months! So I’m back to share a part of my life that has been missing from this blog up until now!!!
In addition to being a mommy, blogger, and YouTuber…I’m a culinary school grad and I also work a full-time job as a Pastry Chef de Partie! Cooking and baking have been a long time passion of mine so I’ve decided it’s time to share that with y’all in a brand new Midlife Mamma the Chef series!!! I’m excited about this one! I’ll be sharing some of my favorite dishes here and on Instagram! So make sure you are following me there too! Follow me on Instagram!
Ok! Enough chatter! Let’s get into this recipe for Spiced Banana Bread!
We eat a lot of bananas in our house so an excellent banana bread recipe is must-have. This one is quick and easy! It doesn’t require a mixer. In fact, I use a simple kitchen fork and a rubber spatula. See? Easy! All you have to do is mash your super ripe bananas, add your wet ingredients, mix to combine, add your dry ingredients, mix just until combined, poor it into a bundt pan (or any baking pan you have on hand), and bake! My favorite thing about this recipe is the fast prep, because things can happen if I take too long mixing…
It’s a family favorite here in my home from the 19 month old, to the 10 year old, to the 68 year old!! We love it! I’m sure you will love it too! The recipe is below! If you’re quick, you can catch the process in my Instagram stories! If you try it, be sure to come back and let me know how you liked it in the comments.
Enjoy folks!! See you next time!!! Muah!!
Spiced Banana Bread
3 Ripe Bananas (the riper the better)
1/4 c Milk
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/2 c Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 3/4 c All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Salt
Preheat oven to 325
Mash the bananas
Add milk, oil, sugar, eggs, and extracts
Mix until ingredients are combined
Add flour, spices, baking soda, and salt
Mix just until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
Pour into a prepped bundt pan
Bake for 40 minutes (may need additional time)
Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn it out of the pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Banana bread will spring back when it’s done.
If you use a muffin pan or a mini loaf pan, adjust baking time to 20 minutes.
This bread is great on its own, but also good with a dusting of powdered sugar.