Monday, September 24, 2012

something Mexican

You know I'm not much for cooking or baking, so I'm sharing another 10-minutes-of-effort meal. Tim requested “something Mexican” for supper this week. I think he was expecting ye ol' ground beef tacos.

I'm bored with that.

Instead, I threw together a recipe I deduced from a frozen meal-share effort my sister organized nearly a year ago. A friend of hers made Mile-High Tortilla Pie. It was yummy and seemed easy enough, so I tried to duplicate it tonight to satisfy Tim's “something Mexican” craving. The only difference between mine and AJ's recipes is the addition of chicken in mine.

Boil and chop 2 chicken breasts.
Preheat oven to 350.
Oil the bottom of a deep pan (I used a 5-quart pan).

Make 4 Layers:
soft flour tortilla (chimichanga tortillas are the best size)
salsa (1 large jar)
black beans (2 10-oz cans)
chicken (2 breasts, chopped)
cheese, divided into 5 even parts (1.5 pounds of cheddar with taco seasoning mixed in)

After 4 layers, top the pie with a flour tortilla and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 45 minutes. Makes 4 BIG servings. Reheat leftovers in the oven to keep it crispy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No-Nap Land

For any parent ever, the results of no nap is not cool sucks. Adam napped for 5 minutes in my arms yesterday around his usual lunchtime/noon nap time. The reason he didn't nap? We were not at home. We were at my aunt and uncle's house, 2.5 miles away from home. He nursed and passed out. Yes, I am still nursing my nearly 1.5-year-old. Maybe I'll blog about that next time. It depends on if I wanna face the freak show our society has turned a natural source of providing nutrients to our babies and toddlers.

*calm down, Kathryn!*

Anyway, you see what happens? Mama gets a little crazy in the 24 hours that follow a toddler who should be napping who, instead, bolts upright in the unfamiliar, noisy play-yard and smiles around repeating, "Hi! Hi!" No nap for Adam meant that I was playing with him, dealing with him, helping him, shaking him off my legs, and tolerating him for about 12 hours yesterday. Be the end of the day, when I sat on the couch immediately after he had supper and climbed on me wanting my chips and apple salsa, I had enough. I bit my tongue and forced myself to tickle him to the point of hysterical laughter.

I threw that kid in the tub and got his bedtime routine going like there was a fire under my butt. He gave me a break and played good in the tub for about 10 minutes. He stood up and signed "all done", and while I dried him off and snuggled him up, I told him that I love him. My patience was waning for about an hour at that point. I told myself, "He doesn't get why I'm frustrated, so get over it and enjoy this sweet boy." And I did. I closed my eyes, stuffed my nose in his hair, and took a whiff of my baby. It's something I have always done when I'm frustrated or upset with him. He went to bed and was sleeping at 7:30. He didn't sleep through the night, but he slept okay. He's healthy and happy, thanks to God's gracious love.

For parents out there with more than one child, I already don't know how you do it. I'll have my turn someday, but when naps don't happen at the same time, I hope you at least make those kiddos rest or sit quietly so you get a break. My mom called it "Silence for Sanity". How in the world did my parents (especially Mom) not destroy us (I'm one of S.E.V.E.N.)? I don't know. I'll never know unless I have 7 kids, so I guess it will remain a mystery. ;o)

God's blessings to moms and dads when your children nap (or don't) that you might find a way to recharge as the madness ensues around you. And God bless your kids that they might give their deserving parents a much-needed chance to return to zero and breath easy. *sigh* :o)

Friday, September 7, 2012

fall-like friday

As far as I'm concerned, fall is here. The wind is blowing leaves off of trees, and relatively chilly rain is falling. Time to dress cozy and bake something with pumpkin! Fall is fast becoming my favorite season, compared with my love of summer a few years ago (before Adam, while I was either in college or teaching).

As fall rolls in and school starts, this seems like the perfect time to create a schedule. As I attempt to find balance in my life, I am facing the things head-on that have been holding me back. I printed a weekly schedule and dedicated each weekday to a couple of chores. I have been researching and learning about student loan repayment options. Adam has been enjoying a tidier house to play in and a happier mama (for the most part). I have a couple of phone calls to make today and some stuff to mail, but other than that I have the reassured feeling of having my ducks in a row.

Next week, Adam and I will have a schedule. It's only going to be rigidly followed when we're home for the whole day. It's so easy to be a slug when you're home day after day after day after day... The walls close in and the mundane daily tasks that are so simple are waved off until "later". You know what that means: insanity and stress are about to set in.

Inevitably, "later" would stumble in like a puking drunk after about 4 days of complacency (yes, the dishes, vacuuming, and laundry sat that long, sometimes longer). Like the puking drunk, it stunk, was ugly, nobody wanted to touch it or approach it, and cleaning up after it was a task full of resentment and unkind words.

Yuck. :o(

It seems so obvious, but if I just keep up, I won't have to play catch up and be overwhelmed. It feels like so many days Tim walks in the door and asks what Adam and I have been up to and I can't even say I've gotten dressed or showered. How does that happen?? Well, I am not going to pretend to enjoy doing the dishes, or find joy in scrubbing the toilets. Ever. But you can bet I'll be reminding myself that I should be thankful for dirty dishes because it means we have food in our house.
Phil 4:6 reads, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Someone please tell me why I should be thankful for scrubbing toilets. Ha!

Here's what my weekdays will consist of:
Monday: floors (sweep, mop, vacuum)
Tuesday: bathrooms and laundry
Wednesday: the big 3 (because of how our house is laid out): kitchen, dining room, and living room; next week's menu
Thursday: grocery shopping and rotate toys
Friday: groom Sophie (bathe and brush) and vacuum
If When I get off-schedule, I'll catch up the next day. Each morning has time set aside for walks with Sophie and Adam. Adam's naps are dedicated to reading the Bible and Internet time (blogging and playing). My work for my insurance job (approximately 10-12 hours/week) will be done after Adam is in bed each night except on weekends. Bible studies are Wednesday night, and Sunday mornings (with church service to follow on Sundays). That should keep us adhered to a decent routine, which makes for happy Mommy and Adam.

As I proofread this post, I realize how lame my life sounds. I can't really argue with that, but we manage to stay busy and with some guidance our hearts are kept full and happy. :) Here's to a happy weekend, and looking forward to a new take on being a work-at-home mom. Now to print off that pumpkin recipe and get baking to really get me in the fall spirit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

getting on track

Following up on last night's tired and overwhelmed post, I've had a cup of coffee and I've gotten a couple of things done. I'm feeling a teensy bit accomplished and feeling purposeful brings a great deal of joy to me (anyone, really).

I am a financial fool (just ask my patient husband) and am drowning in my numbers: school loans are sitting stale, starting to rot and stink. The looming cloud of student debt is a huge factor in my attitude these days. I feel the cultural pull of work, and the personal and family push of paying off my decade-old decisions. Part of my agenda today is to assess the decision to go back to work. I haven't talked to Tim about this yet, and that discussion usually goes the same direction every time we have it. (It's nothing new around here). Tim supports me staying home with Adam, financially and otherwise. I need to keep addressing this, though, because I won't stay home forever.

With my energy and better outlook this morning, I am facing the source of my discouragement and I'm asking God for grace as I make calls to my lenders and sort things out. I worked on my budget this morning, and I made a schedule of times to spend blogging, budgeting, working, READING THE WORD, and with family (including church). One day at a time! ;)

I need to draw nearer to God. The reasons are boundless and it's easy to do. With the new church calendar is a new Sunday School calendar, and classes start on Sunday. Worship services are Wednesday nights. I will surround myself with those who love God, and the pieces will fall into place. I need to busy myself with positive things, and get back to the basics: purpose-filled people are happy.

It's 11:30, and blogging time is done! :D Happy Wednesday, and thank you for the thoughts and prayers!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

constantly seeking balance

I'm not sure I even want to publish this, but I need to write to get this crud outta my head.

When I started blogging it was to give G's mama a glimpse into her day to help her feel like she could be with her baby girl, even at full-time work. I can see why some parents wouldn't care, but I would love that if it was my situation, and her parents enjoyed it. Then I started another blog because it occurred to me how unfair it is for my own kid that I'm journaling about G's days but not Adam's.

Then, like a fool, I started a blog (after I read a dad's blog regarding the fact that his journal wasn't to exploit his family, or to journal about his kids' days; it was for himself as a husband and dad) I thought it would be cool to start a blog for myself. I don't do daycare for G anymore, so that's done. I very sporadically blog on Adam's Day, mostly when I have the energy after an emotional day that I feel is important to get in his "book". Do I spend any time on my own blog? Nope. I don't even check other blogs anymore. The honeymoon's over.

Why do I do this to myself?? I drive myself crazy!!!! I read something today that described exactly what I am doing, and it scared me. It was me to a frickin' T, in a bad way. I don't want to be this way because it's like I'm sinking my own boat, on purpose, and like a psychotic maniac, can't get enough and refuse to stop. Why wouldn't I stop my own personal crazy cycle (like the one I learned about in Eggerichs' Love & Respect)? Why can't I get this under control?

Because as much as I know how, I don't remember how. I NEED TO RETURN TO GOD.

I feel like a hamster who hopped on a wheel to go for a walk and is now running like mad, and I want so badly to get off of this damned wheel because it's spinning out of control, but I don't know how to stop myself, and I'm exhausted and don't get anything done! Then I think about it from an outsider's view. Anyone can see that I just need to slow down a little bit at a time until the wheel's stopped and I can just step off and back into the world.

All weekend (full of family time, spousal frustrations, and toddler sleeping like junk as he cuts his 3rd and 4th molars) I realized that this is all in my own hands. The thoughts keep ringing in my head:

Find balance. (with God)
Go back to the Lord and walk the straight and narrow. (return to God)
Quit asking questions and look for simple answers. (focus on God)
These choices are in my hands. (make God-centered choices)

I recognize consciously that I don't want to go out and do anything. I'm holing myself up, and I don't want to socialize. I've been really negative and it's been hard not to make emotional choices. Why? I know I need balance and I need to be reminded how to find it.

I read an article tonight that connected my thoughts and my actions. I am a WAHM, and that is no reason to feel like I shouldn't still have a schedule. The lack of structure I have for myself is unnerving because I function best on routine, as most of us do. Being home all the time has led me to become complacent and depressed.

First thing in the morning (because it's after midnight now, and I'm not dealing with anything but sleep tonight!) I'm printing a weekly schedule and filling it in, starting with church events, work, time with The Program, and dates with and away from Adam with others who I miss so much. I need to get on track and get my life in order for Tim and Adam. I want to be the wise wife who builds her home, not the foolish one who tears her own home down by her own folly. I need to stay Christ-centered, and I need Christ to find balance. I feel like a failure and it's time to change that. I want to be the wise wife who builds up my family, starting with God, then Tim and Adam.

When the hamster on the wheel realizes it's spinning outta control, it has to slow down gradually or it will be tossed about like a rag doll.With God's grace I won't get tossed about when I stop the crazy cycle, rather I'll fall in step with my boys and those around me.

I need to find joy and hope around me so my boys have fuller lives. Starting with sweet dreams... Good night.