Busy Day

Busy Day

I’ve been busy. Partly because my brother hit my panic button yesterday when he counted up that I only have 18 days left until D-Day (of should that be B-Day?).

I’ve been writing, just not here. Writing lists. All the things I keep in my head but that exist only in my head. They need to be where other people can see them: A rough outline of the girls’ daily routine, suggestions for meals and snacks, hints about making things run as smoothly as possible for them in my absence. A master grocery list, detailing the basics of what should be in stock in pantry, fridge and freezer, including brand preferences where I have strong ones. My daily checklist of the most basic housekeeping tasks that keep the house running smoothly and prevent the place from looking like a complete disaster area. And a long-term project that I’ve been working on for a while but am finally motivated to dust off and finish: a Master housekeeping list detailing all the tasks that could possibly need to be done for every room in the house. It’s a place to start when someone (especially my sister) wants to help out with house cleaning but has no idea where to start. Also I’m trying to put together a list of my most frequently made recipes and to make sure copies of those recipes are easily accessible. My goal is to get all of these into a binder with pretty tabs and neat labels. Won’t that be handy?

Today I was also cooking. I’ve got a few things I want to make up to freeze. Today’s task was sausage and cheese muffins, a quick, protein-packed on-the-go breakfast I’ve made before. I baked a double batch, 3 dozen muffins. The girls and I ate about four or five of them but there were plenty to stick in the freezer.

I also made a big pot of rice pudding. I’ve been thinking about rice pudding for weeks now; but today’s endeavor was very spur of the moments, inspired by a near-disaster of a burst milk jug. My sister dropped said jug right outside the front door. I ran outside and scooped the leaking container into my biggest mixing bowl (fortunately to hand as I’d just finished washing out the muffin batter). I was able to pour half the gallon into a glass bottle that was sitting on the counter. The rest poured out the bottom into my bowl. I lined a sieve with cheesecloth and strained out the few blades of grass, then plotted to make something cooked with the rescued milk: Rice pudding with brown rice, currants, golden raisins, a hint of cinnamon and lemon.

Finally, I made a pan of my favorite chicken enchiladas with green sauce. It took forever and we didn’t eat till late. Partly because the rice pudding needed tending. Partly because I forgot to turn off a burner, grabbed a skillet I didn’t know was hot, and singed my thumb and forefinger. I ran plenty of lukewarm water over it and then slathered on the aloe vera and fortunately no big blisters.

The girls have been cranky with all the rain. Cooped up in the house and wanting to get out. Tomorrow I need to take them out.

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  • I am with you 100%. I grieve in the same way especially for those who feel this is the attitude they are supposed to have when they clearly don’t feel that way in their heart. Too many people I know have surgically limited the size of their families, with obvious grief behind their eyes, rationalizing by saying the same sorts of things about money, stress of having lots of kids, transparently focusing on any negative they could to avoid the truth they seemed to feel.

    although I suppose that there are people who truly believe that there is irresponsibility inherent to large families that is the most tragic. These are the individuals that perpetuate the false societal mores against children, and make so many of us feel like pariahs just for daring to take children into “polite” society.

    I asked one of the moms in our mommy and me group who is pregnant with twins, how many children she has. She visibly cringed after saying the twins makes 5, obviously waiting for my negative reaction. I unintentionally made her day I think when I said “wonderful” and told her how I hoped for such bounty in our family.

  • “especially for those who feel this is the attitude they are supposed to have when they clearly don’t feel that way in their heart.”

    Exactly. I remember one woman especially one day at the grocery store who looked at my two girls and was obviously entranced with sweet baby Sophie and then said something about: but were done. There was something so sada bout the way she said it, like she was trying to convince herself.  Maybe her husband and family were set against it and had persuaded her. This attitude that one is supposed to limit one’s family size has caused so much grief in women who long for another baby but are told that is a wrong desire.

  • I remember all too well the very nice, very lowbrow minder of the laundromat, who greeted my son (second child) with the comment, “A boy and a girl, honey, now you’re all done!”  She had a peculiar voice and a thick Boston accent which still rings in my head from time to time as I look at my five kids. 

    And then there was the boss who was shocked when I told him I was quitting because I was expecting my third child and my husband was (finally) finishing school.  “I never would have expected that,” was what he said.  He had called me in to discuss my part-time status, and I think he had expected me to jump on board the full-time train.

    Not to mention all the people who say “God bless you!” when I tell them I have five kids… as though I sneezed and the kids appeared!  Although “God bless you” beats the ones who say “Better you than me”, not to mention the comments you overheard.

    Well, these comments will come along with each child.  You can handle them.  And I hope that someday one of your children will lecture another on the blessings and benefits of being toward the back end of a large family, as I heard my fourth address his younger brother.

  • I love the Jane Austen beginning. From the book with five girls no less!

    I have 4 girls and 1 boy and we get a lot of comments.  If my kids aren’t with me and people question me about my family they always assume my boy is #5.  I am still working on how to tell them he is #2 without the sinful satisfaction I get from watching them rearrange their ideas.

    Also, just yesterday when shopping with all five I had a man ask me if I was done. Such a personal question! I just smiled and said “we’ll see!”. He was not amused.

  • Truly could have written this myself!

    I had Sophie first, then Bella.  People acually expressed disappointment on my behalf, and asked if we would “try again” as if we’d failed in having a second girl. When I got pregnant with Ben, so many said things like, “Now you can be done!” I actually got asked “why?” when I announced my fourth pregnancy with Lucy.

    Adam and I have no inetntion of using any birth control, including NFP, in the forseeable future.  We are completely open to life, and are overjoyed at each new baby.  It’s too bad that not everyone feels the same way.

    I’m going to have to write about it soon… the deacon at the parish we visited yesterday made a comment IN THE HOMILY about a woman who “kicked her husband out of bed because 10 kids was enough.”  The parishioners laughed… I didn’t.  ๐Ÿ™

    So sad!

  • So very sad. Just yesterday I had a mom at our parish admiring my little Ben. Then she put her hands on the heads of her two children and proudly proclaimed: “One of each!” Think I’m going to start telling people I want half a dozen of each at least.