Tuesday, June 29, 2010
What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
I lean toward 'fairness' in umpiring sibling/cousin/playmate debates. I'm more comfortable with justice then mercy. I tout turns like they're the answer to household woes. I noticed lately that this isn't every mothers go-to strategy. I know a mom who is raising the 3 most exceptionally kind children I've ever met. Recently, on a joint family outing, I noted that when it came to bickering about music or the how to best share the sole water bottle in the vehicle - she promoted peace. While I was busy devising a fair dispute settling strategy she'd already dealt with it by asking one to give in to the other. How does she make this decision? I couldn't quite figure it out.
She is gentle, and they obey her. She has taught them to keep the peace. That sometimes it's okay to give in, fair or not, for the sake of another. In the process she's teaching her children to love, to put another ahead of themselves, to sacrifice what won't really hurt that much. She's a good mom. I could do with adding her peace-making tool to my kit.
After sitting on the question for awhile, how does she decide?, I think I've figured it out. She decides based on who seems to care more. Whoever cares most, wins.
I gravitate toward the justice side, but I've felt God moving me in the direction of gentleness. This means being slower to speak. Choosing my words carefully (difficult for an extrovert), and taking opportunities to sacrifice when it doesn't really matter. Teaching her to stand up for justice will come more naturally to me. Today, I commit to promote peace in our home. To teach a way of sacrifice when the sacrifice means more to someone else.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I bought one like this off etsy about a year ago to see how it was put together. The research cost me $14.99, and I got around to making my own about a year later. Now we have a drawer full of them, at about .50 cents a piece.
Easy to secure with no pulling, pinching or cajoling necessary. Best yet, they stay put through the most rigorous 2 year old activities, car seat rides, birthday parties, the church nursery, you name it. They're so versatile, we can both get away with wearing them. Though I'm prone to leaving the hearts and stripes for her.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Salad: A bed of lettuce topped with cucumber, split cherry tomaotes and avocado and drizzled with a creamy garlic dressing.
Creamy Garlic Dressing:
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons oil
Directions: Combine salt and garlic in small bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour.
This made enough for this evenings salad, with enough left over to store in an air tight container for the rest of the week.
Pan Fried Shrimp
TIP: I buy frozen shrimp when it comes on 2 for 1. It's often not peeled or deveined but a small price to pay for really cheap shrimp. It's ready in my freezer to fanici-fy a salad on a moments notice.
Sprinkle shrimp with coriander, cumin and oregano. Pan fry 3-4 minutes on each side on med in 2tbsp of heated olive oil.
I prepared the chicken, shrimp, salad dressing in the afternoon while she slept. Just before dinner all I had left to do was toss the chicken packets on the grill and throw the salad together. I think I'd made the bread the day before. It was extra delicious because Tim was so impressed with the fanciness of it all, when in fact it was really simple.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Stories like how this morning she sang the abc's at the top of her lungs in the produce department and how later she tried to convince me to put her down for her nap in the car.
People who previously followed ... same address.
Instead of stories like that ... at diy you'll find projects like this instead.
1tbsp baking soda
6tbsp corn starch
apply to clean armpits with a powder brush. Next spray on scent of your choice. I've been using an old body spray over this, but I'm working on perfecting my own scented recipe. I like that it doesn't smell like deodorant. It just smells like whatever I want it to. The only catch is that your pits need to be clean which is problematic on those (numerous) days I'm too lazy to shower. On day two I use baby wipes before powdering up (if I have it I even splash on moisturizing rose water toner before I move ahead- recipe forthcoming). It's just not strong enough to cover up a couple days worth of stink.
It held up during all regular activities and even worked pretty well on a heart rate raising walk. The only miss was under a polyester shirt all day -- but what deodorant works under polyester. So that's my diy for the day.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Cleanliness is unusally important to this 21month old.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
This has become my schedule/menu board:
- Scan cupboards and fridge for food that's in danger of expiring. That can of beans I bought 2 months ago and didn't use turns into next weeks meal project.
- Plan quick meals for rushed nights.
- Remain flexible. To hot to turn the oven on or something else comes up, toss what's in the fridge into the freezer and switch the meals around.
- Plan for the number of meals eaten at home on average. I plan five meals week, we almost always end up somewhere else for 1 or 2 dinners.
- Have a "quickie" meal on stand-by just in case no one invites us over :)
- Write out my plan and include where the recipes are. I can't tell you how many times I have grocery listed with an online source only to find that 3 days later I have no idea where the recipe is.
- Don't give up on planning when it feels like none of it worked. No matter how good the plan is, I'm bound to periodically miss that the recipe was a 2hour bake time not 20min. Oops.
- Schedule time to plan. A good weeks schedule and thoroughly checked grocery list takes about 1hr to complete. It's become one of my favorite Sunday afternoon activities.
- Don't get too ambitious. I challenge myself once (or twice) a week (but I often end up regretting the #2) and I always make sure my challenging meals show up on days I have time to enjoy the process.
- Include baked goods. I never seem to remember my good intentions of baking fresh bread or muffins for a particular day unless I write it down.
"This is the most gourmet meal home cooked meal I've had in who knows how long. Can I get the marinade recipe?" (lemon thyme)
Basically what I'm trying to say is that I'm getting awesome.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
and yes mom, I make my bed.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Don't even bother asking what I did. I have no tricks. I just have a husband who loves to sleep - and apparently it's genetic.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Pour mix over wings to soak in a sealed container for 4hrs or overnight. Before cooking, mix the following into a large Ziploc bag. Dump in wings a couple at a time and transfer to baking sheet.1/2c cornmeal
Friday, June 4, 2010
1. Things I can't find
2. Things I can't afford (or can make for way less)
And so enters the story of my d.i.y MANGO FROZEN YOGURT, and no it can't just be found at the grocery store. Grocery store varities taste so artifical I don't even think mango is in the ingredients. But once, once when I was pregnant I found two containers of Hagen Daas Mango Frozen yogurt and I've been searching for it ever since.
What's a girl that pines for discontinued hagen daas mango frozen yogurt to do? Make her own.
The recipe implied that all you needed was a freezer. Maybe I heard wrong, but they even seemed to discourage ice cream makers in favor of this more simple method. I'm prone to fighting with contraptions so I was all for simple. Here's how it went:
3c Mango cubed (about 2)
1/3c berry sugar (instantly dissolves so it grainy)
1tbsp lemon juice
1c balkan (or plain) yogurt (Balkan is just a bit creamier)
Blend or process it all together and pour into plastic-wrap lined baking pan
Freeze it for 1.5 hours. Break it into chunks and re blend.
Freeze till firm in an air tight container.
I nailed the flavor. BANG! But it came out of the freezer hard as a rock. I spent the next week chiseling this snack into my mouth. Apparently freezers don't just automatically turn mango yogurt mush into a smooth dessert.
Now I know.
So I posted a query to my facebook friends if anyone had an ice cream maker I could borrow. I figured I'd test the waters to see if this made any difference before I even considered buying one of my own.
I wasn't hopeful as I fought with the contraption I'd borrowed. It looked nothing like the sleek model I'd scoped out at Superstore. I couldn't get the lid on. I couldn't get the spinner to turn. Test 2 wasn't looking hopeful. But despite the 30 year old machine with broken parts ... check out the frozen yogurt that came out of it 20 minutes later!
Yum! Someone tell superstore I'm coming for their ice cream maker!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Every once and awhile hubby calls me permissive in that "I'm 80% kidding" way. I maintain that she does not get whatever she wants. Today she had a mini meltdown because I wouldn't take my pants off. Now, if I'd spent the day in my underwear I'd accept the permissive label. What I am is deliberate. I call it gentle guidance. If it's likely not a big deal - I don't make it one. But I'm not afraid to pull out the "Don't You Dare" face when I need too, it looks like this (it even scares me a little bit):
I deliberately use the word 'no' sparingly, but that doesn't mean I forgo behaviour training all together. It's alot more work to enforce boundaries while not saying no. It's the "how about we do this" instead manner of correction. Instead of "no" or "don't" I try to remain positive:
- How about dig in this dirt rather then in my herb garden, Mommy's herbs need to stay in their ground.
- Here, take one one square of toilet paper (rather then the whole roll.)
- When holding an object she shouldn't have I quickly offer her another rather then grabbing it from her while saying no.
- Grabbing anything from her makes her furious. So even if I have nothing else to offer I bend down and tell her that she needs to give it to me. If she doesn't, then I take it -- the fall out is always less intense when I've given her the choice first.
- Will she fall or break my couch if she jumps on it? Not likely, jump away. (and yes, I think she can figure out the difference between our couch and someone else's).
- If she's doing something she doesn't know she shouldn't be doing, I intervene gently. I may even explain why she can't do that. She might not understand the reason, but she certainly understands the, your-not-in-trouble-but, tone I'm using.
With a little effort there's a way to promote boundaries by creatively redirecting, saving 'no' for more serious discipline issues. Redirecting requires a conscious effort and it doesn't guarantee a happy child anyway, so why bother? Because I want her to feel empowered by choice, not restricted by rules.
The other day she reached into my junk drawer, pulled out 2 packs of cards then proceeded to scatter them around the kitchen. I didn't love that. I stopped and considered my response; I calculated the time it would take to gather, separate and count 2 decks of cards and the chances of them coming back complete. Plus, I didn't want her to feel like she has an all access pass to that drawer, where she'd also find scissors and gift certificates. But disseminating my $1.50 playing cards? Not really that big a deal. So I let her do it, knowing that permitting it may bite me later when I have to set a boundary around that drawer. But I decide "to let tomorrow worry about itself" - and that day, I told her to go nuts, throw my cards around the kitchen to your hearts content.
She never did it again anyways. Unless safety is a consideration I don't react strongly (or at all) to a first offense. I learned as a manager that if somethings is really a problem, there will be lot's of opportunities to address it. Half the time, it's not a problem at all.
When I do have to correct a behavior in a more serious "oh no you don't!" manner, I pick one or two at a time. Currently it's: don't you dare hit and, don't you dare draw on anything but paper. Her "I sorry" sobs are heart breaking and defiant all at once but she's never surprised by my response.
I'm willing to accept the tears to avoid anymore of this:
on my kitchen cabinets.
She was born cautious, so I hope this encourages her to think "I'll try it" more often then "I'd better not."
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Cornmeal, and not the boxed "cornmeal muffin mix" -- the real thing (which is likely not that different. I said I'd keep my eyes peeled for ideas, okay?)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Two. 2 years old. The picture looked like scribbles to me, but I oo'd and ah'd. Inside I was laughing at the proud mom. Silly moms. Carrying around pictures of their kids scribbles.
Then Magdelyn drew a circle, and announced it as one. CIRCLE! More Circles! And I seriously considered signing her up for art class as I took a picture of it. I knew what was happening but I couldn't stop it. MY KID CAN DRAW CIRCLES!