If You Don't Laugh, You'll Cry (and my week's menu)

Today was a busy day, filled with church (a 3+ hour affair), a visit from Grandma and Grandpa, and the excitement of Daddy (a.k.a. The Husband) being home all day. The kids were WIRED. On top of that, Oompa Loompa skipped his nap (unless you count the nap in the van on the way home from church) and both of the kids had some ice cream after dinner, a rare sugary treat.


Needless to say, they crashed HARD by bedtime. Munchkin, in particular, became very uncharacteristically unhinged. The solution was simple: we needed to get through the bedtime routine, post haste.

Every night, as part of our kids' bedtime ritual, my husband and I read them a devotion out of the Little Blessings book "The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers." When The Husband opened up the book and started to read (over the hysterical sobbing and flailing of my almost five year old, who was sprawled out in my lap) a devotion entitled something like, "Don't Stay Mad," I nearly lost it. The whole situation was just absurd. I snickered and shook with pent-up laughter while my daughter wailed louder at my seeming lack of concern for her emotional state and my husband read on and on about how it's not okay to stay mad.

If I have to pick between laughing and getting angry, I'm glad to be able to pick laughing. (Being literally seconds away from bedtime doesn't make the choice hard, either, because we all know that after bedtime, it's Mommy Time! Yay!) We got the kids in bed, they fell asleep quickly, and now I'm enjoying a cuppa tea. They'll feel better in the morning. (And even if they aren't, I'm bringing them over to my parents place anyway. Haha!)

The truth is, it isn't productive to get worked up about it. A worked-up and upset parent is usually just as wild as a worked-up and upset child, and the child will just because more hysterical. When I recognized this cycle and learned to separate my emotions from the trivial actions of my young kids, I became a much happier parent, and in turn my kids developed much better attitudes. That doesn't mean I'm not concerned about their bad behavior, but when I get mad, I start behaving in a way that doesn't reflect God. And that's not an appropriate role model for an ever-watchful child. In fact, I truly believe that Satan is immensely satisfied when the Angry Child->Angry Parent cycle perpetuates itself, because it takes all focus off of God and puts it into the sin of anger, and strengthens the habit of falling into that sin for both parent and child.

I'm not saying I never get angry, because I still do. And my kids aren't angels, either (as you can plainly see from our chaotic bedtime scene). But my patience muscle is getting stronger, and it shows in my kids.

What helps me the most is to understand (especially for 25-month-old Oompa Loompa) that they are still young, and at the moment they are misbehaving they are probably tired or hungry or repeatedly harassed by their sibling. When I rectify the physical root cause (food, naps, or separating them), the behavior usually improves.

Another reason they might be misbehaving is that I haven't been making an effort to be a good mommy, which is to say I've been ignoring their pleas for me to play with them or help them with something or to include them in what I am doing. When I remember and cling to the fact that they are still so young and have their whole hearts open to loving me and accepting my leadership and instruction, I recognize the impact my everyday actions have on them. Every time I dismiss them, they are affected by it. Sometimes I need to be alone, and I need them to go play. (Nobody I know enjoys having an audience when they use the bathroom!) But do I really need them to go away when I'm cooking or cleaning or just plain feeling harassed? Or can I use that as an opportunity to not only spend quality time with them, but also to teach them valuable skills, character qualities, and life truths through my words and actions? (Deuteronomy 11:19) Our society today values many deleterious things above what is good and right. Every effort I make now in the fight for good will help to defend the good we value as a family when they are older and in the world.*

Now after I've gone and said all of that, sometimes my kids are just plain mischievous. And that's completely different. ;)

And now for something completely different, here's what we're having for dinner this week:
Tuesday: Loaded Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday: Beef Curry with Rice
Saturday: (Night out with The Husband!)
Sunday: Broiled Tilapia with Roasted Aparagus and Quinoa Pilaf

I like posting what I'm making here because 1.) I like having accountability in making home-cooked meals and not eating out, and 2.) I'm always really interested in what other families do for dinners. Plus I just love to cook and try new recipes, as being a stay at home mom doesn't lend well to most other hobbies.

Another thing regarding the meals I make is that I've switched to a low(ish)-carb diet. Long story short, I have reason to think I may have developed insulin resistance somewhere along the way, and that switching to a lower-carb diet would help with my health issues. I've severely cut back on starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta, and I've almost completely cut out sweets and added sugars. I still eat all the fruits and vegetables I want. I've been eating this way for nearly about a month, and I've seen great things happen for my health! Praise God! I'm not totally convinced that my diet is the reason behind the change, but the only thing I can do is wait and observe and pray I'm on to something. It's working so far.

(You might notice that the meals I make still contain carb-heavy foods, like rice and bread products. I let my family eat most of that part of the meal. I might have a small portion of those, or just omit them altogether on my plate.)

Have a great week!

*I would be remiss to not mention that this parenting commentary may have been partially influenced by a parenting seminar at our church that The Husband and I have been attending called Parenting is Heart Work, which today happened to discuss attitudes as they relate to parenting. Truthfully, though, this has all been swimming around in my head for awhile and is just now getting out through my fingers and onto the keyboard.

Time ticks, life clicks

"The days are long, but the years are short."


Exhibit A:

Munchkin


Exhibit B:

Oompa Loompa

It's been so long, yet it feels like just yesterday. I've been a mom for almost five years, and with each additional month, the job seems simultaneously more serious and more, well, silly.

We've been blessed beyond anything we could ever deserve. We have a loving home, nourishing food, good health (and good health insurance), and job security. Praise God!

Our days are filled with playing, reading, coloring, and singing (and cleaning, folding, organizing, and cleaning up pee on the floor...again. [And Pinterest.])

And by fall it will be filled with Kindergarden.

How did we end up here? I'm not sure, but all I can do is hang on for the ride.

And make some vaguely witty remarks. ;)

A little bit I've learned about gardening this year...

1. You can plant corn as starters. Might be something to consider, if we decide to plant corn again.

2. Treat peas as if they are the drunkest sorority sister in the house. That is, support them, because they will undoubtedly fall over if they don't have something to hang on to and catch them. They need about five feet of vertical support.

3. Speaking of drunken sorority sisters, beer in tuna cans is awesome for the slugs. Well, awesome for us. Bad for the slugs.

4. Eggshells don't do crap as a slug repellant. I've watched slugs crawl right over them.

5. We need WAY more space dedicated to salad greens. Plus, they don't seem to grow as fast as one would think they should. The spinach, in particular, is being persnickety. It hardly grows, and then it bolts. Why??

I Made Corn Chowder Last Night...

...and now I feel like a cow in a feedlot.

Corn Chowder is too corny.

On an unrelated note, I am totally checking this book out from the library when it comes out: Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity From A Consumer Culture.

Methinks there will be a lot of vindication to be had on the day I read it.

Five Minutes on Bread

I would love to start baking bread.

I buy store-brand whole wheat bread. There's a ton of ingredients that I can't grow or buy from a farmer on it. Fail Bread.

I've tried to bake loaves of bread before but I generally fail. Rolls and pizza crusts are easy, but for the life of me I haven't been able to make good sandwich bread. It's always too moist and crumbly. It doesn't hold up to slicing.

Of course, I don't have any time to make bread. Or, rather, I have lots of time to make bread, but it's hard to make bread while holding and/or nursing a baby. And I have a potty-learner who always seems to need to use the bathroom when it is most inconvenient for me. So no baking bread for a while. Sad.

I almost bought a loaf of Dave's Killer Bread at the store this week. But it was nearly $5, and I can buy FOUR loaves of our usual bread for that. And I know I can make it for a fraction of that.

I Want Bread.

Brain Scrambler

I know I seem extremely disjointed lately, and that's because I am. Or at least I feel that way. I have so much in my brain right now that I need to lay out there to get it cleared, but I can't seem to grab an hour or two to myself and just reboot.

It's 99% good stuff. We are so freakin' blessed, it's not even funny! We're undergoing a kitchen remodel right now (which started out as an easy couple of projects and has turned into a beast, but for the good!), I am trying my hardest to not screw up our garden this year, the kids are changing and growing and I'm trying to give them great opportunities to grow and learn and be happy, we've had huge family changes in the last few months (my father-in-law's passing and we have two new nieces, not to mention Oopma-Loompa!), plus miscellaneous odds and ends projects that for some reason I seem to want to do. Oh, and I have this newfound interest in permaculture. Plus, you know, the dishes need to be washed, the family needs me to cook them dinner, the laundry seems to pile up quicker than I can get to it, and I'm trying to potty-train a three-year-old who hasn't had an accident-free day in the last month (you can just about imagine how my house smells, yuck!).

Haha, I just checked out a book from the library today! What makes me think I'm even going to get to it??

SO, in summary, I love this blog and I love to journal, but damn, it's hard!

I'm making a goal for myself, right here and now. I'm going to be done with half of my "stuff" that's going on in two weeks. That's about June 10. I'm going to clear off my slate before I get into anything else, CAPEESH? Capeesh.

Clearing my Mental Cache

These are things that I have contemplated writing about here, but for various reasons have not. If anybody develops a way to add a few hours to my day, please contact me. ;)

Slug hunting

Baby talks

Growing a Miniature Orchard (Or, Why I love Permaculture Magazine)

Farmville

Why Am I Playing So Much Freakin' Farmville?

Thrips

Aphids

Outdoor Preschools

Radical Homemaking

Hypomania

Recipes, Including Vegetable Pasta Salad and BBQ Chicken Pizza

Oh, And Lemon Curd

The Documentary Entitled "Escape From Suburbia"

Why Won't My Baby Sleep?

What Was That Noise, and Where Is My Preschooler?

The Kitchen Remodel

And much, much more...I want to write. I'm just too busy living life right now!

"What's right isn't always popular. What's popular isn't always right." -Howard Cossell

Followers

Books I've Read and Recommend

  • Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
  • Breastfeeding Your Baby by Sheila Kitzinger
  • Affluenza by John De Graaf
  • The Bible
  • The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
  • Solviva by Anna Edey
  • The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn
  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
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