06 February 2015

Seven Quick Takes

I have a wonderful husband. We're all still feeling under the weather from that GI bug, and Little Bear had a rough night; I was up with him almost every hour from midnight on. So when we were woken up by a loud "Mama!" at 7:15, Matt got up with him and let me sleep. When they came in to wake me up an hour later, Little Bear had been changed, dressed, fed, and had heard many stories. (Since he's still pretty clearly contagious, Matt stayed home again today rather than risk spreading this around the office.)

The band Casting Crowns, in cooperation with Focus on the Family, has been putting out a daily devotional for the month of February on "28 Days to a Thriving Marriage," with a Scripture passage, a couple of discussion questions, and a paragraph reflection. Matt and I have been going through them together; our conversations probably don't all go the way the writers anticipated, but we've enjoyed discussing philosophy together again. Nature of wisdom vs knowledge, what it means to trust God, lots of good stuff.

One question yesterday confused me, though: "If money were no object, how would you serve God with your life?" What does money have to do with it? Matt pointed out that some people may feel called to serve in the mission field but have not done so for financial/taking care of their family reasons. That makes sense, but for most of us, we're supposed to serve God where we're put, not up and choose our own path in neglect of the tasks we've been given, right? There's following God's will in our life, and then there's following our own grand vision of serving God instead of serving Him where we are right now, in the position He has put us in. I'm sure there's a Scripture passage that conveys this, but my brain is fuzzy so you'll have to settle for some Gandalf: "But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

I hate buying sandwich bread from the store. I really, really do. There's definitely something unnatural, something inorganic, about how long it lasts without molding! And after baking all of our other breads myself for so long, the texture of pre-sliced store-bought sandwich bread honestly doesn't even feel quite like bread to me. And then you're paying a minimum of $3/loaf for a little bit of flour, yeast, water and sugar? That's just silly. Matt is all in favor of me baking all of our bread, but he wants "real" sandwich bread, something that won't crumble... so I'm in search of a recipe. Of course I have to make things more difficult by insisting on not using straight white flour. ;-) Half white, half wheat/spelt/seven grain/etc is fine with me, but not 100% white. Fiber is important! I'm planning to try this one, which sounds really good by doesn't mention whether it works with wheat flour, and this one, which does say you can use up to half whole wheat. I'd think this 9-grain bread recipe would work equally well with my 7-grain blend--maybe it needs the quinoa added? I wonder if the extra protein keeps the bread from being as crumbly. Have a no-fail wheat sandwich bread recipe, that doesn't require a bread machine? Please share it!

I've seen this post on 5 reasons you shouldn't visit a new mom in the hospital going around recently, and I had to help spread it. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the nurse who wrote it! With Little Bear, I didn't really want visitors at the hospital, but I felt like I was doing something wrong by saying no. We had such problems learning to nurse, both Little Bear and I, and we might have been able to avoid some of the awfulness and/or the extra night's stay with him being under the bilirubin lights if I'd been able to spend more time with the lactation consultant and figuring out what we were doing wrong.. We're still quite a ways away from Kit's due date, but I really appreciated reading this and being reminded that it's not wrong for me to want time just with my husband and kids after a new baby is born.

Pregnancy-brain moment yesterday: I started making a batch of cookies yesterday while Matt and Little Bear assembled supper. All of the wet ingredients were assembled when they told me it was time to eat. By the time supper was cleaned up and I was able to get back to my cookies, I'd forgotten that I was only making a half batch... the baking powder and soda were both in before I remembered! Oops. I went ahead and finished them anyway, using the half-batch quantities of flour and oats (oatmeal chocolate chip cookies), and hoped they'd just be extra puffy. They turned out okay! Definitely puffier than usual, but you can't really taste a difference. Matt and Little Bear both liked them, and Kit didn't, but it's completely possible that she's just reverting to her anti-sugar stance from earlier this pregnancy. I guess I'd better make something else sweet to test that theory, right?

Sometimes it feels like being a mom means being stuck in a cycle of barely (or not even) accomplishing everything necessary in the day, falling asleep exhausted and hoping for half a night's sleep, and then getting up too early in order to start over again. It's hard to find scraps of time to take care of ourselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If this sounds like your life these days, have you heard about the Catholic Conference 4 Moms? From Friday, March 6, through Monday, March 9, this FREE online conference will feature 28 great speakers, including Rachel Balducci, Emily Stimpson, and Susie Lloyd. All you have to do is sign up here, and each day the conference organizers will send out an email with links to the day's (free!) conference talks. And the best part? You can watch or listen to whichever talks you want each day, at any point throughout the day --- I'm so glad that they aren't at set times, or else between the unpredictability of having a 2.5-year-old and our time difference from the rest of the country, I'd probably wind up missing most of them.

"It's hard to haul wood when your eyelashes keep freezing together." -- Matt

It's not that cold outside, only -15 F, but cold enough that spending much time outside is uncomfortable. I'm so grateful that Matt is home today, because even though he isn't feeling wonderful, he went out in the cold to replenish our woodpile when we ran out of wood so that I didn't have to. Did you know that they don't make maternity snowpants? Not one single company. They don't exist. It's ridiculous. And it means that I get cold a lot faster when I have to go outside for long at these temperatures!

Have a good weekend! For more quick takes, head on over to This Ain't the Lyceum.

1 comment:

  1. III - If you find one, do share it! I can get bread pretty cheap here (1.29 is common; 99 cents if it's getting near its sell-by date.) but I don't like eating stuff chock full of preservatives and soy and HFCS. My attempts at my own bread have all been terrible, though.

    IV - I still feel SO guilty about how many visitors we had after J was born and how long I let them stay. I should have either asked them to leave or just nursed in front of them (my MIL nursed 7 babies for a total of 15 years; I doubt she'd be phased), but instead I made him wait and figured that if he wasn't crying he was fine--and then at 1 a.m. we were both overtired and he was super hungry (from doing the hard work of being born and then hardly eating all day!) and things went downhill fast and it took WEEKS to get back on track. But anyway. Next time I have a baby maybe I'll print that article and hang it on the outside of my hospital room door.