Tuesday, December 2, 2008

MOMYS Cookbooks

I have people asking for MOMYS Cookbooks... see here for a review of the greatest cookbook ever printed... at least for large families. Anyway - I have three left. I can sell them for $35 ppd. Less if you want more than one. I know it sounds like a lot for a book, but there are 1600 recipes in it, and it is a beautiful book. So head over there to read about them, and my three will go at a first come, first served basis.

Moms of Lots of Littles

Today, I want to write a specific post to the Mama's of Lots of Littles. Or maybe Only Littles. And by Littles I mean the children too small to really be a helpful member of the family. Once I heard an interesting thought... when children are little (under 7 or so?) they are not a productive member of the family... they cost more to feed than they are able to help out. In the middle years they even out... they can help enough to balance the food they eat. By the time they are bigger, they can help enough to be a positive member of the family's society. I think that was from an Amish or Mennonite background, but I think it has value.

OK- we can argue semantics for a while... I know that a person's value is not just dependent on what they can produce, but go with me on this. I now have Older Children, Middle Children, and Little Children. Things are easier than they used to be. When the baby is fussy, I can sleep in a little. I rarely have to do the dishes. I even split the cooking duties, so if I am in a project the children still get fed.

BUT- I remember when I only had little ones. I remember it well. I still get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. My mind flashes back to that 4th story apartment in Okinawa, Japan, where my husband was deployed or working all the time. I remember the loneliness and isolation. I remember pacing the floor with Anna who cried all the time her first 6 months of life. I remember being so tired I was dizzy. I remember crying as I surveyed the laundry piled over my entire sofa, as high as my neck. Oh do I remember.

Here's my encouragement to you... THIS TOO SHALL PASS. You will survive this. And, surprisingly, so will your children. They will grow up. Althugh the days are very, very long, the years are so very short. As hard as it is at times, enjoy your children.

Here are my suggestions for your sanity in these years:

1) Have a routine. Notice I didn't say schedule. Routine. Go from one thing to another in order so they know what to do, where to be, and what is coming next. This will help you. Have each person have a place to be and something to do.

2) Teach them to play alone. This is hard if there are a lot of them, but it is important.

3) GUARD Naptime. If they don't all sleep, make them read on their beds. Give yourself some quiet time. And use the quiet time for YOU - not to catch up on housework.

4) Teach them to help you. When you are emptying the dishwasher, let them do the silverware. When folding laundry, they can fold kitchen towels and washclothes. When cleaning the bathroom, they can wipe down the sink with a cloth while you do the tub. They can empty the garbages into the kitchen garbage can. Work together, room by room. Before long, they will be able to do the simple things on their own. Then it is just a matter of time before they can do bigger things.

5) Snuggle up on the sofa and read to them. Some of our favorite times were reading aloud together. I rarely do it any more. I wish I did.

Someday you will be past the All Littles Stage, and be able to look back and realize that it's easier. I promise. If not, you can come and cry on my shoulder and accuse me of lying. Until then, enjoy your children, and keep doing the next thing. Don't forget to train them well. Things which are cute at 2 are not so cute at 12. I promise you'll survive this. I did!

Monday, December 1, 2008

And the continuing saga....

After all my complaining about our chickens a couple months ago, I thought I should update you on the current egg output. We are now averaging 10 eggs a day. I think that they are enjoying the cooler weather, along with a healthy dose of realism setting in when about 15 of their compatriots ended up in the stew pot. These mamas are laying quite well, thankyouverymuch. They also DON'T HAVE NAMES. This is important, because no matter how well they are laying, they will be in the pot next year this time when next spring's birds get going.

In other news, we had a lovely Thanksgiving complete with turkey, ham, all the fixin's and some seriously good pies. Yum, yum. We had 23 people (including Bethany who doesn't eat yet) around our table... thankfully the weather was good and the 15 children could play outside. This also made it possible for the flight crew to fly the helicopter in and land in our field to join us for dinner. That's always an exciting event. Children young and old love to see it.

After the weekend, and the extra days off school, we are having a rough start to the school week. Hopefully tomorrow will go better. Bethany has a bit of a cold and was fussy this afternoon. Lucky for me, housework is loyal and will still be there tomorrow.