Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shepherd's Pie recipe

My sister made a shepherd's pie tonight that was amazing. Well, I think it was. I've never had Shepherd's Pie before, so don't have anything to compare it with, but you should try it. Really. Like, tomorrow.

She found the recipe here, but modified it by using 2 lbs ground turkey (no beef), veggie broth instead of beef broth (we don't really like beef much here), and flour in water to thicken it instead of cornstarch. Oh and I *think* she used butter in the mashed potatoes instead of EVOO. It made 2 (1 13 x 9 and 1 8 x 8) casserole dishes full, all the kids except Izzy asked for 2nds and when I get done here, I am going to go grab another bowlful from the 8 x 8 dish. It is YUMMY and an entire meal in 1 dish.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Crazy Day

Its been a crazy couple of weeks. Sickness, dealing with my husband not wanting to support his kids, headaches, still unpacking and today, KaeKae's birthday party. Its been a lot of long days, doing what needs to be done for the kids all day long and falling asleep on the couch exhausted every night.

Today, I realized the truth about what I've been living. Its motherhood. Good motherhood. I am a good mom. Being a good mom, to me, means sacrificially loving your kids. It means doing what they need when they need it (within reason, obviously you have to prioritize needs when you have more than one kid with needs and if you have more than one kid, you will have more than one kid with needs) and doing what you need when you have time. Sometimes, it means hoping I'll make it to the bathroom because I've just been so busy that I didn't realize I needed to use the bathroom until its almost too late. Its like being a toddler all over again and being so busy playing you don't think about peeing LOL. I've developed a newfound understanding for Izzy's accidents lately due to a couple close calls myself. Sometimes being a mom means making the right decision for your kids and not the one that feels good. It feels good to give our kids what they want when they want it, but its not always what is good for them. Sometimes we have to be the bad guy in a season of our kids' lives to show them the right way to travel. And most of all, being a good mom means being a good example. It means dressing, walking, eating, acting, doing and thinking in the manner we would like our kids to. Being a good mom is hard, especially if you look at it in the long run. Its a lot easier and more doable if you take it moment by moment. Most of all, I am trying to remember to enjoy every moment because now is the only moment I have and I can't even hold that one. As soon as its here, its gone and it will never come back.

Sorry for the rambling blog. Its been a long, tiring day. I'm off to go play outside with the kids to get them good and tired for bedtime. Happy mothering :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What I wish I knew before I had my first child. . .

1. Doctors are NOT all knowing. You don't have to do everything they tell you to do. You should do your own research on everything and make the best informed decision you can. After all, you are Dr. Mom. There's no app for that.

2. When your child is 1 and wants to help, let her. Encourage her. It might take twice as long to do whatever you are doing with her "helping" NOW, but if you encourage that helpfulness, it won't be long before her helping will save you time. And that's a lot easier to get her to do if you encourage it starting when she's interested in doing it. Teaching her to do it right the first time and encouraging her desire to help will pay off big time. It is not fun to argue with a 6 year old about why she "always" has to help. Do yourself a favor and don't let it get to that point.

3. Time goes way too fast. Don't blink. Don't wish it away. Just enjoy it, whatever it is because there is a season for everything and when that season is over, you almost always miss it. Even if its a season of snuggling on the couch and giving breathing treatments while being barfed on. BTDT and missing my 6 year old being little enough to cuddle like that now that she's "too big" to want to cuddle.

4. Your mother was right. And she's still right. Listen to your mother every once in a while. It will save you a lot of heartache and time and pain. Remember, she's the Dr. Mom you learned from. She is the only app for that you've got.

5. Take care of you. Sleep when she sleeps because your first baby is the only one you can do that with, guilt-free. Every other child after that carries with him/her the potential to feel bad that you're neglecting the older ones when you nap with the younger ones, even if the older one(s) is (are) asleep. Take a shower, brush your teeth, make sure you eat right and sleep when you need it. If you don't take care of yourself and you get run down, who is going to take care of you and your baby? Besides, you want to be a good example for him/her and you're definitely going to want your kids to brush their teeth, bathe, eat properly and sleep when they need it.

6. Be a good example. Invariably, your child will copy everything you do or say that you don't want them to copy. Minimizing that saves you a lot of frustration in the long run even if its hard to do in the short run.

7. Cut yourself some slack. You are not perfect and can't hope to be. Do your best, do what you can do when you can do it, and then cut yourself some slack for your failings. Learn from them, do better next time, but don't beat yourself up over something that's done and can't be undone.

8. You can't keep everything. 2 years from now, you will look at that picture in the pile of nearly identical pictures that really amount to huge blobs of scribbles and wonder what it is and why you kept it. You will probably, at the same time, be keeping other drawings that are only slightly more recognizable that you will feel the same way about in another 2 years time. Its a vicious cycle. Keep 1-2 and toss the rest. You'll thank yourself for it later. Trust me.

9. Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason and that reason is not so you can ignore them.

10. Take a break every once in a while. Its hard, but important. When you take a break and come back refreshed, you will be a better mom. And you can get refreshed even if all you do is sit at Starbucks, drink tea and eat a muffin while thinking about your baby and missing her.

11. Everything around your baby will affect him/her. So get informed about everything so you can make informed decisions about what to feed them, what cleaning supplies to use around them, what lotions and soaps to use on them. Its all important. So learn what you can and do the best you can with the knowledge you obtain.

I may add to this from time to time as I think of more things I wish I knew then that it might benefit new moms to know now. Happy parenting :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am a broken record. . . play me again ;)

"You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

"Because I said so."

"Because its good for you."


"Not yet."


These are just a few of the things I say. Repeatedly. Every day. Repetition is boring. But its also a big part of motherhood.

I've heard it said that it takes 30 days to create a habit. And we are to train our children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). We are to train our children, to create good habits that will benefit them when they are older, that will make them more successful, better able to deal with life, better people to share our world with. If it takes 30 days of being consistent to create a habit and on average 10 times a day repeating the same thing over and over again to get them to listen, then it would take on average 300 times saying the same thing consistently without "letting them slide this time" or "cutting them some slack" to create one good habit. Now, if your child is extra stubborn (I think I have 4 of those) or if you aren't consistent or if they have a random relapse and suddenly start doing the bad habit again after months of not doing it (think toilet training for example), you may have to say the same thing many more times than 300 to create a good habit.

Then we get into the fact that you probably want your child to have more than one good habit. What do you think that means? You got it. . . more repeating.

I have, on occasion, had to tell Addy the same thing 3 times within as many minutes, at which time I usually tell her she can ask me a million times in a million slightly different ways and the answer will remain the same. That usually buys me about 5 minutes. Repetition gets old fast. And it gets boring just as fast, maybe even faster. But I would rather be bored and say the same answer a million times and in doing so create a good habit (or stifle a bad one) that will be beneficial to my child in specific and the world in general than give up after the 300th time and hope it sinks in when she gets older. I love her that much.

So I am a broken record, Lord. Play me again and again. And let my child learn to do what is right and bless her all the days of her life. In Jesus' name I pray this over each of my beautiful, stubborn girls. Amen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

You do what you can do

All to often, I get derailed, thinking about what isn't being done by someone else, what someone else needs to do, what I need help with, what I can't do myself and I expect someone else to come along and do. I think Matthew 7:5 answers my derailment best "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

I am a hypocrite? Really? Yup. See, concentrating on what someone else should be doing is not what I should do. So why should I complain (even just in my head/heart) about someone else not doing what they should do when I am doing the same? I shouldn't. Sometimes I do it anyways. And that's human. And that's normal. And that's being a hypocrite. I am a hypocrite. And I don't want to be.

While I do believe God expects us to help others, I don't think he expects us to help others at the expense of us failing to do what we should be doing. He has a plan for all of us. A purpose for all of us. A reason that we are here and a task for us to complete. We all have different tasks and some of our tasks can only be done with others' help, but I'm learning more and more every day that there is always something we can do. Even if its just preparation -- doing what I can do to get ready for what I will need to do when someone else does what only they can do.

Bottom line is, I should never just sit and think about what someone else isn't doing. Letting myself get derailed by someone else will NEVER be my purpose. There is always something I can do, even if it doesn't seem as important as what I could do if someone else did something else. If the path is not clear to do what seems like the most important thing to do, then that's a pretty clear indication that, while that task may be essential, it is not the task at hand at that moment.

So today, I am focusing on the task at hand. There are tasks that have been done and they are done and gone. There are tasks that are to come and they will come when it is their time. All I can do anything about is the task at hand right now and I am determined to live purposefully and do what I can do when I can do it because this might be the only chance I have to do it.