Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Elsie

A good friend of mine gave us a screamin deal on professional newborn shots of Elsie, so I had to share some of her work! Thanks, Jessie! I love them because she has already changed so much and I want to remember her tiny!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tick Tock

Time, time, time. I used to have so much of it!

I know I increased my parenting duties by 50% lately by adding Elsie. Still, it is incredible to me how BUSY I seem to be! I don't know why I'm blogging about it, to complain? to ask for advice? to get empathy from others who feel so busy?!

My friend pointed out that with a newborn, 5-6 hours of your day at least are spent just nursing, burping, and changing. I sure notice those 5 hours!

I don't think 3 kids is any harder than 2 really, if you had like 30 hours in a day! I am not pulling out my hair with the chaos, I simply get to the end of the day and am unable to name one solitary thing I accomplished besides "doing the day." Are my expectations too high?

Things I would LIKE to do everyday:

-spend time with God alone (~30 min) and PRAY (any amount of time!)
-exercise (~30 min)
-make Jason's lunch (10 min)
-make breakfast for kids (10 min)
-clean up breakfast (10 min)
-Bible time with kids (30 min)
-get the kids dressed (15 min)
-shower and look presentable (would like ~30 min)
-make phone calls for appts./sisters/friends (~30 min)
-take pictures of kids (5 min)
-do "school" time with kids: crafts, cooking, puzzles, playing, etc. (30 min)
-make lunch (10 min)
-clean up lunch (10 min)
-read to kids (15 min)
-nap the kids and pick up house
-E-mail, facebook, blog, etc. (~30-60 min)
-prepare dinner (30-60 min)
-get kids out for a walk (20 min)
-clean up dinner-sweep (15 min)
-hang out with Jason/family (30-60 min)
-read by myself! (20 min)
-go to bed!

I'd also LIKE to add one or more significant "extra" to each day like:

-extra baking
-cleaning house
-sorting clothes/piles/boxes
-meeting friends for playdates
-Bible study
-having someone over for dinner
-printing pictures/baby books etc.
-serving at the church (60 min)

I am managing ok, and some days feel less guilty than others. It just seems like the minute I think I am done I remember: Elsie is hungry, the laundry just beeped, Jonas needs help putting his shoes on, I need to get meat out to thaw, Caedmon wants me to set up a lego house for him, Elsie needs to eat!, I need to look for a recipe, someone needs a new diaper, Jason's coming home soon and our house is a tornado, someone needs a bandaid, Elsie is STARVING, Elsie wants to be held, I promised Caedmon I'd play a game, I want to talk to my faraway friends, oops someone just talked back and requires immediate attention ETCETERA etcetera etcetera!

I know this is such a short phase in life and I will definitely miss this particular busyness. I love my job! I am trying to shift my focus to serving God in each pan I wash, each and every diaper I change, each disciplining moment, and to treasure the precious memories along the way. I love a challenge but it is harder to pat myself on the back for productivity anymore. haha And I even have a DISHWASHER! Does anyone else feel this way?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chicken Soup

Ok, here I go. Determined to write my Laura Ingalls post. Since I am a big fan, and I like ALLY'S ( idea to pool the crafty-homemade-frontier ideas we use in our families, I will do it. I did always want to be Laura. And make fun of Nellie!

The first problem is, do I do anything original that is clever? I have dabbled in a lot of things, but certainly don't consider myself an expert at many. I do cloth diapers and make my own laundry detergent, I use my clothesline and make bread and dried beans, know the basics of knitting and crocheting, but do I really have any unique idea to share?

The only thing I thought of that I learned just in the last couple years is cooking a chicken. I DO know how to cut off a chicken's head, scald the feathers, pluck the feathers, etc. from growing up in Africa. But what I mean is boiling the leftovers after cooking a whole chicken into the best soup EVER!

My mom always said that whole chickens are way cheaper per pound than say B/S chicken breasts. I don't know HOW much cheaper it is once you consider the bones, the inconvenience, and all the dark meat that isn't devoured as quickly as prime white meat. But a big roasted chicken dinner sure is good! It comes out really good in the crockpot, too. Very moist.

To make an unbeatable chicken soup, though, continue boiling all the bones that have been carved, for at least 12-24 hours! People say the marrow flavor and nutrients are extracted if you boil it for a long time in water. My friend even boils the chicken 3-4 days! Anyway the meat falls off the bones, the broth is rich and yummy, and some simmered veggies give you chicken soup that beats Grandma's.

Best part is the meat is "scavenged" off the part you usually throw away. If only I knew how to skin a buffalo, I could REALLY cook soup for a herd of Ingalls'. Imagine what a person could make out of buffalo pancreas!