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About Me

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I have been married for 6 years now, stay at home with my two wonderful boys (2 1/2 and 5 mo). I also watch 5 other children in their home part time. I cloth diaper both of my boys, using hand knit, by me, wool covers and prefolds. I try and make a lot of our food from scratch and hopelessly fail at keeping house, but I try.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two recipes to get some calories into a scrawny toddler :)

Long story short: Bought bacon that didn't make into the house. 7 hours after sitting in the trunk of my car, it's now in the trash (had it been winter I would have saved that pack of $3 bacon!) and I had to come up with something fast and kid friendly to make for dinner.

Thus the nut butter and yogurt sandwich was invented! Dizzy needs extra calories, is allergic to pb and will eat a sandwich, provided it's on a tortilla instead of bread. I don't like putting such a high-sugar filling in his sandwiches so replacing the jelly with blueberry yogurt was a splendid idea. . . I hope. He's eating it now . . . I hope ;)

Kid Friendly Nut Butter and blueberry sandwich:
(serves one toddler)
1/2 a tortilla
1 tbl nut butter (we like home made almond butter, recipe to follow)
1 tbl blueberry yogurt (even better: add smashed blueberries to plain/greek yogurt for less added sugar)

I think we all know what to do here, but just in case: spread the butter and yogurt on your tortilla half, and fold. Cut into triangles, and put more yogurt on the side for dipping ;)

Nut Butter:

1 cup nuts (toasted/roasted gives extra flavor
Pinch of salt
1tbl oil

Process nuts and salt until almost fine in food processor. Add oil, process further until desired consistency. For crunchy effect add a handfull of chopped nuts at end. Refridgerate!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm a failure

I'm starting to realize just how much I fail at being a house wife. My neighbor was talking to Hubs the other day and mentioned that I could water the grass (something I"ve offered to do on many occasions and did a lot last year) that he just put in. He found a truck load or more of fresh sod for free! Anyway I guess his response was that I can't even take care of my own garden.

I know I haven't done much to it, this year. Really nothing other than plant and harvest. He's done all the weeding. But to be fair, I had a baby only 2 months ago. In retrospect I shouldn't have done a garden at all this year. I was really just trying to please my dad who bought me seeds and two raised beds. He bought me several packs of lettuce seeds, which I discovered are pretty bitter tasting, and I planted four varieties, along with some carrots. I had meant to plant corn, but was delivering a baby the day I had set aside for that ;)

Anyway, I'm no longer sitting on my bum all day. With my migraine that I had last night, I finished up diaper laundry (well kind of, stripping diapers is a long process), turned down help in the kitchen and cleaned. I scrubbed the toilet too. Tonight I'm pulling everything, and I do mean everything out of the garden.

I think for gardening I'll take it slow next year. Just add a bit more soil to my beds, and add some weed killer and then just keep it weeded. If I can manage that, then maybe the following year I"ll add some plants.

I've been using the baby excuse for a lot lately and I need to stop it. I've been sleeping too much, well considering I'm an insomniac that is. After all, I go to bed at 10, wake up only 3 times a night for the baby and have to be up no later than 8 every morning. I should be able to handle that right? I only work 6 hours, three days a week, watching 5 children in addition to my own two. I'm only trying to manage the two kids I have for the time they're both awake. Usually I have at least an hour that I could be up scouring floors or doing laundry or something right?

Why am I such a failure at this? Why is this so hard for me? All I've ever wanted was to be a stay at home mom and keep a household like on leave it to beaver. But I loose my temper at my kids too often, scream too loudly at them, don't get any housework done some days.

I'd like to be able to find some time to exercise too, if that's even possible. I want to look my best for Hubs, but if I can't afford good healthy food, I need to be exercising. Where's that time going to come from?

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Bump In The Night

Isn't it funny how, as a parent, you can go from out cold asleep to sitting on the floor in the next room rocking a toddler who fell out of bed before you actually wake up? This is what happened last night, one of the reasons I'm running on empty today ;). After a long night of trying to sleep so I could rid my head of the massive swelling migraine I heard a bump in the night. As if Dizzy may have fallen out of the top bunk I fly to his room so fast that I don't really recall doing it. I just know I"m on the floor rocking him and checking his head. I don't normally react this way to him falling down or even out of bed. But when you have kids it changes something inside you. Had I heard that bump a few years ago I would have listened hard for a few minutes and gone back to sleep, not even moving. Now I somehow go from bed to the next room in a flash because all I know is that Dizzy hit the floor.

Of course he was just fine, but that groggy-just-heard-a-bump-what-happened-to-my-baby feeling had prevented me from thinking. It took quite a while for him to get back to sleep, because Hubs either didn't hear me suggest leaving the bathroom light on, or chose not to. So I turned it back on for him and out he went. But what about me? I stayed awake the rest of the night. First off, Hubs turned the tv on so that he could go back to sleep, so I couldn't fall asleep and picked up my knitting instead. Then when he finally turned the tv off I turned out my light and closed my eyes. I laid there like that for two hours thinking of this and that and trying to go back to sleep. Breathing slowly and counting something (I can't remember what) didn't help. G woke and I fed him, though not for long. I don't think he needed to eat, he was just used to waking up at 3-4am and eating. Then I continued to 'sleep' with my eyes closed and my mind open until about 5 when I finally nodded back off. G slept in bed with us, because that guarantees he wont wake again for several hours. Between is 3am feeding and 8 or 9 he wakes 3-6 times to suckle and go back to sleep. but if he's in our bed he stays asleep, usually.

This is the second time that this Sleepy Sheep hasn't been able to sleep this week. I am a Sleepy Sheep for many reasons and you'll learn them all if you choose to keep reading my boring posts. One reason though is my bouts of insomnia. I"m not diagnosed with insomnia, but I'm sure I would be if I saw a doctor who gave a darn about it. The boys' new doctor is one of those, and if this is the beginning of one of those bouts, I shall be calling on him soon. Oh boy am I sleepy. I hope the darn kiddos sleep well for me tonight!

BTW: Dizzy, being two, is not in a bunk bed. He's in a toddler bed with bed rails like this. I share this because I think different rails would have prevented a fall, but I could be wrong. This is not the bed we have, just an example.

Friday, July 23, 2010

some days it takes a Black Widow to have a 'Come to Jesus Moment'

I realized for the first time today that black widows are much more menacing looking in person than in a photograph. After a long morning of writing out my grocery list, adding it up, rewriting it and then spending about an hour trying to get to the store (don't ask, too long and too boring!) this is what happens.

I show up at our favorite grocery store and Dizzy climbs into 'My Tar!' as he likes to call it. His car is really just the car on the end of the shopping cart. I put G in the Moby and we start walking. One of the first things I grab is green grapes. Dizzy sees them immediately and is not only trying to climb through his back car window into the shopping cart to get them but is loudly proclaiming he wants them and NOW!. I love shopping with two year olds, don't you? I hand him a snack from my bag and plow forward, politely smiling at people who find baby's wrapped up to mommy adorable. I also return the stink eye I get from a few people who seem to think it's inhumane to keep baby so close, and gawk at the gawkers.

After an entire hour we've made it through the line and I start sacking my groceries. I drop my bag of green grapes into a shopping bag and start to put it in the cart, when my brain catches up with my eyes. I had seen something black, clinging. . . possibly moving, on the main stem of my grapes. Ignoring the instinct that tells me it was alive, I double check it for mold. . . thinking that had to have been what I saw and I want 'not moldy' grapes, thank you very much! I let out a startled yelp and hand the bag to the nearest employee. I tell her I'll keep the same bag of grapes, but I want that spider out of it.

This confuses me, because normally I love spiders. As a teen I actually kept two tarantulas (at different times), one was a Mexican Red Knee, and one was a Rose Hair (Rosie was my favorite). Then I realize the horror. As the lady is sticking her hand in the bag to pick it up with a tissue, I realize that I was scared because that spider just looked like death itself, with it's black cape and skull hands. The black body, glistening exoskeleton, and spindly legs. . . the very telling shaped abdomen. I hadn't seen the only hard evidence I needed, but I knew already that I would see an hourglass if I looked. I asked her if it was a black widow, and she said "I certainly hope not!" I leaned in for a closer look and there it was, the red hour glass. I said "It is! Don't touch it, it's a black widow." They eventually got me a new sack of grapes (even bigger than the one I paid for) and hopefully killed the spider before anyone got bit.

As I"m leaving the store I suddenly realize Isaiah could have easily been bitten. How tempted I was to just let him keep grabbing at the grapes (it's a lot easier to let children be unruly than actually follow through with rules/guidelines). Even though I occupied him with cereal and then a book, that spider could have crawled up the cart and into his car. . . . what if it had actually been in the car the whole time, and just took refuge in my grapes? I realized I was standing in the middle of the parking lot, and ready to do. . . . I'm not sure what. I was terrified at what could have happened, angry at the idea that the stupid spider was anywhere near a grocery store (I mean how dare it, really? I shop here!)

On the way home I realize that this was God's way of saying to me "I'm still here, protecting you and your family, though you've wandered a bit too far lately." By protecting I don't mean that nothing bad will ever happen to me because I'm Christian or because God's in charge. . . we all know that's not true. The world is fallen and broken, and mankind has free will, so there will always be sickness, pain and suffering on this Earth. I just mean that He has a plan for me, and that He will never let anything change those plans, even a tiny black widow.

Come to Jesus Moment: when God Himself uses every day circumstances to remind you of who He is vs who you are. Ex: Hubs and I needed $1700 for a new car a few years ago. We didn't have that anywhere. I was stressing to the point of making myself ill over finances one day, and Hubs came home, that day, to tell me he got bonus for $1700. Mind you this was from an employer who was not known for giving out bonuses. All my stressing did was manage to make me sick, but God can do anything.

Monday, July 19, 2010

So long freedom. . .

So I start back at work tomorrow after my 2 1/2 month 'vacation' spent giving birth and then caring for G, who is now about 9 weeks old. This means at 10:15 tomorrow morning, I pack up the boys, a bouncy seat or swing, all the cloth diapers my bag can hold (and pray that will be enough!) and head for the house of 5 children ages 5-9. I don't get to escape until 4:30 or 5. I will be in charge of 7 children, including a still very young baby.

I'm afraid of this. . . I've actually been dreading it for over a month now. I love the kids, love the family and enjoy the fact that I don't have to put mine in childcare. BUT. . . . again, that's SEVEN kids, all under the age of 8. SEVEN. I"m having a hard enough time dealing with just the 2 little ones. Now I get to add in 5 older ones. Individually these kids are all great, including mine, but thrown in together they become a collective monster at times. J wants to find time to herself, A can't focus for more than a few minutes at a time, Sea is always getting into trouble over the same things, Core can't sit still, Da is trying to do everything his older siblings are doing, Dizzy is just being two. . . ya know, taking toys, screaming "mine" and being downright belligerent and contradictive. . . and G? He just needs to nurse every hour he's awake, that's all.

At least I'm starting back slowly, with three days a week for now. Eventually it'll be at least 4 if not 5 before school starts. Then it'll be back to 5 days a week, but only after school and non school hours.

Well, hopefully I can get a good nights sleep before the beginning of Chaos.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

To stress or not to stress. . . that's the real question.

So how do you decide when to follow the doctors advice, or all the advice of other parents? I know I don't have any followers yet. . . haven't even told a soul that I'm blogging even, but I just have to work this out anyway.

Dizzy (the 2yo) hasn't gained any weight in over 3 months, possibly even longer, since our new doc didn't have his charts in the computer from our previous doc. He actually jumped down on the percentage scale. He went from the 10th percentile to the 5th, his height on the other hand has been 'normal' on the scale, climbing as it should. The doctor, while not wanting me to stress over this whole deal, did impress upon me to check the scale more often on him, offer plenty of high protein and healthy fats and calories. G, as in "Yo G!" (the 2 mo old) on the other hand is in the 75th percentile. Yes, I have been having weird thoughts about pumping milk for Dizzy's sippy cup. . . .

He looks healthy, acts healthy, and other than almost always having a case of the runs is a pretty healthy boy. He goes from not pooping at all to pooping as much as 6 times in two days. Lots of parents are telling me that kids go through stagnant stages in growth and maybe this is one of them. So do I ignore the doctors orders or them? Maybe there's a compromise here. . . . I could let go of the whole deal and just offer him more protein/calorie filled snacks like yogurt and almond butter (peanut allergy here) and not stress about it until we go back in two months for G's 4 mo shots and Dizzy's weight check. Hmmmmmm......... to be or not to be. Stressed that is. I think I"ll check his weight once a week and chart it. I've been toying with the idea of starting a food diary to see what's bothering his tummy so much. Maybe this would help in deciding if he's getting enough calories for his age and activity level. I think that's what I"ll do. I'll offer more food, and stop letting him snack on cereal all day. . . calories and protein are the key here. . . . and chart what he eats and his weight gain. Is this paranoid? Probably. I can't stand being me sometimes. I know I should probably just leave it be, but it's not who I am. It's not something I know how to do.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Keeping Routines

Since I have a horrible time keeping any kind of a routine, and therefore can't seem to build a habit, I"m making myself accountable to my readers. Each week I hope to post a new routine or habit to make.

This week I will start the habit of clearing clutter every night before bed. As I'm decluttering the whole house right now that will consist of filling up one full kitchen garbage bag a night. Later on that (hopefully) will be minimized to just sorting through this or that area of the house.

A mental breakdown can lead to a breakthrough.

I really wasn't sure what to write about for my first posting, but here goes. Enjoy!

During a mental breakdown the other day I decided that I couldn't stand how stressful the house was. Mind you my breakdown had absolutely nothing to do with the condition of my house, it was the kids, crabby check out clerks, the rising cost of copays, and the fact that it was 100 F outside. And that my 2yr old isn't gaining any weight, as well as other issues. However, I thought if it was more peaceful to look around my house, that maybe I could handle everything else. See how my mind works? No? Don't worry, you're not the only one. Anyways, I decided that if I had to go through and sort things as suggested in the many magazines I have stashed around the house (donate, toss, keep etc) I would NEVER do it. So I grabbed my trash can. My sorting consisted of KEEP and TOSS. I filled the garbage can twice. I now plan on doing this every night before I go to bed.

The less we have, the easier it is to keep clean right? My best friend, who I love dearly, would probably consider this a 'manic state'. She is going through a lot right now, learning about her newly diagnosed manic depression disorder. Anyway, I would not disagree with her. It is a bit extreme, but I've spent 28 years living in chaos and clutter. While I can't get rid of the chaos, I can minimize it by removing the physical clutter in my house. I'm just sick of looking around at all this junk that has no home in my house ;). I"m done putting things on the table waiting for shelves to be purchased (with money we don't have of course) or built (with time we don't have). I'm done putting things away 'just in case'. I'm done holding on to things just because somebody gave it to me.