Thursday, September 29, 2016

Whole Grain Pumpkin Muffins

2 C whole wheat flour
2 C oats
1 1/2 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 C brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger

2 eggs
1 1/2 C milk
2 cans (15 oz) pumpkin
2 C chocolate chips

Mix using muffin method.  Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Raising Mom

I read an article on self care yesterday and it reminded me of "aha moments" I experienced in the dentist's chair.  A few years ago as I sat beginning a cleaning and checkup appointment I wanted to give myself a big high five for making it there.  I had made the appointment, over the noise din that always erupted when knowledge among the toddler folk spread that my attention was directed elsewhere.  I made the appointment, and I KEPT the appointment.  I had arranged childcare that particular time, showered, dressed and made an appointment specifically for the purpose of nurturing MY body.

It didn't happen often and it still doesn't.  I'll call all over town, write notes, prepare my car, and get myself and them ready, and wait in a pharmacy line anytime a need comes up for my little babies.  In fact there've been months that seemed to be constantly filled with medical arrangements, late night pharmacy runs, looking up the nearest urgent care.  That is part of my mom job and I did it with really no thought.

Looking straight at myself is a different story.

My first few days with no kids home, I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time looking for jobs.  It wasn't something my husband and I had really discussed and I wasn't really lacking for things that needed done around here.  I was trying to avoid the realization that there was a person with needs nearby that needed met but I was scared of that person.  A part time job and extra money seemed like a worthy reason to avoid that.  I looked at the babies and toddlers in the neighborhood and thought maybe I should offer to watch them.  Clearly I am slow to adapt to new roles!  :)  When I prayed and pondered about jobs the quiet thought I had was that perhaps I needed to mother myself.

Sometimes those quiet answers are rather painful.  Hiding, numbing, looking away are my ways of avoiding pain.  And it feels a little painful to look at how much I've neglected in my own basic care in order to breathe life into my little ones.  When I'm really alone with myself I can see it.  The self care such as medical appointments, grooming, preparing enjoyable healthful meals -- even if just for myself, might be the direction I need to be looking.  I'm gonna be here with me for the duration, so I guess now is a good time for me to start.

Monday, September 12, 2016

New school year, New life stages

I've started a new stage of life this fall -- my youngest started school.

Somehow I thought there'd be more fanfare, since I'd imagined it being this holy arrival moment every time I had a needy, colicky baby.  I needed to give myself hope to get through the hard days of young mothering and a lot of that hope was pinned on this moment.

Truth is, kids get easier as they get older regardless of how much they are out of the home.  When my older kids would start school it was rather disappointing because they were helpful and a joy to spend the day with and the baby would often struggle without the sibling interaction.  Plus, add in more pick ups and drop offs, and the chaos went up instead of down.

Anyway, the dreamed of day for the last one has finally arrived and it's strange.  It's quiet.  It calls on me to schedule things that really don't need scheduled, just done.  Dishes, laundry, baking, vacuuming, all can be done in any order.  I was actually overwhelmed with the potential on the first day and worried that I might waste the time on pointless pursuits.  I'm not talking about games or relaxation (I'd do better to have more of that actually).  I'm referring to many years of cleaning things that a toddler would unclean, and I didn't want to waste time on useless work.

A few days into it I started exercise classes, and I've continued to do that most days.  Yoga is particularly calming/energizing and makes a great start to the day.  On those first few days I also did a lot of online job hunting.  I even watched a prep video on Fed Ex's sorting process.  It sounds pretty intense.  Considering I have a rough time holding yoga poses with my wrists or shoulders there's a strong (ha!) chance that kind of heavy lifting isn't the best work for me.

I'm getting more comfortable with the decision, again, that I have to make almost every year it seems that I am a full time homemaker, that I make a difference in my children's life, and that's ok.  AND I'm trying to do more writing too, so it's nice to have the time space to do that.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fear Hope Sunday

We moved to the west, we still owned our house, and have been trying to sell it.  We had a contract (for the second time) and it just fell through this morning.  The reality of all the downsides came pouring down--more time paying the mortgage, more time worrying, never knowing if something will eventually come through or if we'll be somehow stuck with it.  We've never had an easy house sale, ever.  Okay, fine, once we did.  You see when I put stuff in writing my memory is jogged and I'm not able to allow myself to wallow.  It was a very small and inexpensive townhome, so I dismissed it's easy sale offhand :).

So many blessings have happened through this process that I know I'll do better to remember.  I'm gonna have faith that its gonna work somehow someway.

I remember thinking yesterday, "this is about the perfect day" for our family.  Moving here was such a risk, and having that house for sale--heck, even buying that one in the first place, RISK.  I had always wanted to try getting a foreclosure and improving it.  So, I got that chance.  And my husband always wanted to work remotely and have a life out here near the mountains.  So I guess we get the bad sides of risk along with the rewards of trying to live it.

Our house is so gorgeous now (in my obviously humble opinion, right?) and it s funny to look at the sales pictures, go through the nitpicking all while living in 1/4 of the size and a very old basement apartment.  It's funny because what it sounds like to me saying it...but it's surprisingly quite comfortable to do.  I don't suppose I am well suited to large house living--nor to trying to make a place pleasing to others.  I nearly did myself in with the mental pressure.  So as much as I think, Ack!  We should move back and give up!, I really am grateful for now that I can be away and have a small household to focus on.  That doesn't mean we wouldn't be forced into that, but for now, I'll be okay.

Can you hear the tension in my typing fingers?  As I say these reassurances and it's obvious I'm not sure whether to believe them?  Oh well.  This is how I cope :).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Still Writing

Dear Letter Receiver,

My high school English teacher suggested we write a letter everyday as practice for our writing skills.  So here I sit, having had a big break from blog posts published, wondering how I get back in.

We moved.  We're actually in the west, so my blog title fits more.  I'm writing