Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bedtime Routine

Bedtime at our house goes something like this...

Me: "Oh Ruffle Bum darling, sweet, perfect angel, it's time for bed."
RB: "Ok mommy!"

RB runs to bathroom, brushes her teeth, then skips to her room and calmly waits for me to change her diaper and put her pajamas on. From there she quickly chooses 3-4 books for me to read to her in an uninterrupted fashion. We thank Jesus for our day and pray for someone we know who is sad/hurting/sick/etc. and she willingly lays down in her bed and closes her eyes while I sing a song and turn out the light. And I don't hear a peep until the next morning.

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Now pardon me while I go wipe the tears from my eyes... I'm laughing too hard.

If our bedtime routine looked like the above, I don't think you'd be my friend anymore. In fact I wouldn't be my friend any more.

Technically our routine has all the components listed above: declaration of bedtime, teeth brushing, diaper changing, book reading, praying etc. but that's about where the similarities end.

In reality is looks more like this:

Me: Ruffle Bum, it's bed time!
RB: Cup?
Me: You can have one more sip, then you're done. Great, now let's go brush your teeth.
RB: (Takes toothbrush and runs around the house)
Me: Girl! Why do you have so much energy!? I'm exhausted! Get back here and let me finish brushing your teeth. (Either Mr. San Antonio or I tackle RB and finish the teeth brushing)
RB: (Runs around the house again)
Me: (Captures RB and hauls her cute butt to the changing table)
RB: Cup?
Me: No, you already had a cup.
RB: Car?
Me: No, we're not going in the car, it's bed time.
RB: Woof woof?
Me: No, we're not going to see the dogs, it's bed time.
RB: Cup?
Me: NO CUP!


We move to the chair to read stories. RB takes her precious time picking one out. So I pick one out and she screams. I give her a few more seconds to choose...

Me: Is that the book you want?
RB: No. (as she hands it to me and climbs in my lap)
Me: Oh ok. That's totally logical.

I start to read the story and am interrupted every sentence while she asks me what every single thing is in every single picture. Then she starts naming the letters she sees in the words.

This is repeated 2-3 more times depending on the length of the book and my patience level.

After we read, we pray. That is the only part that goes as planned. She loves when we pray.

Then I put her in her crib, turn on her music and fan and start to sing a song.

Me: Jesus loves me...
RB: Cup?
Me: This I know...
RB: Purple cup?
Me: For the Bible...
RB: Mimi? Woof Woof? Car?
Me: Tells me so...
RB: Up? Cup? Purple cup?
Me: Little ones to Him belong...
RB: Woof Woof? Daddy's car? Baby Doll?
Me: They are weak but He is strong...
RB: Baby Doll's cart? Cup? Daddy? Purple cup? Daddy? Mommy?
Me: Yes, Jesus loves me...
RB: Apple? Cup? Daddy? Baby Doll? Daddy?
Me: Yes, Jesus loves me...
RB: Woof Woof? Car? Mommy's car? Daddy's car? Baby Doll's cart?
Me: Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.
RB: I POO-POO!

I give her a kiss and say good night.


Love,
The Pampered Bird

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Little Poem

Sometimes feelings are best expressed through poetry. 

And if you'll let me, I'd like to share my feelings with you through a little poem I've called:

"I Hate Pregnancy Hormones"
by, The Pampered Bird

I hate pregnancy hormones....

I do not like them in the car,
I do not like them at the bar,
I do not like them near or far,
They make me feel very bizarre.

I cry and cry and cry some more,
At little things like dirty floors,
And especially when I lock the door,
But don't have my keys on me any more.

A missed nap is no joke,
Some one's eyes I will poke,
My fury I can't revoke,
Out my ears you'll see smoke.

And then I cry and cry and cry some more,
Tissues cover the dirty floor,
Hurry, quick go to the store,
I NEED A STEAK!!!

Now I'm cleaning and organizing to no end,
Can I scrub that baseboard again?
I MUST clean that corner, but I can't bend,
So I cry and cry and cry again.

I do not like them in the car,
I do not like them at the bar,
I do not like them near or far,
They make me feel very bizarre.

-The Pampered Bird



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tomatillo Enchiladas

As promised, I'm going to share with you a recipe that we've been eating every week for the past several weeks.

Yes, my cooking has become quite monotonous this summer. So has not washing my windows, and having a pile of laundry on my sofa.

But anyway. Here is the inspiration for my enchiladas:
http://mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com/2012/08/dinner-tonight-tomatillo-spinach.html

Hers are really easy.

Mine are even easier.

(Side note: I'm not a "foodie", or a "food blogger", or in anyway qualified to share recipes with you except that Mr. San Antonio loves this meal and I thought I'd share an easy dinner with all the other pressed for time cooks out there. End side note.)

(Second side note: my process might look significantly different than other cooking processes you've read in cook books or more professional food blogs. End second side note.)

Tomatillo Enchiladas:


First of all I (normally) use a 9x9 pan (above picture was an abnormal circumstance). If you're using something bigger, you'll want to increase the quantities below.

Here are my Ingredients:
18 small tortillas (we use corn, but flour is just as good here)
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
2 cups jack cheese
1 jar tomatillo salsa
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all moisture squeezed out.\
sour cream

Here's how I make them:

First I turn on the oven to 350 degrees.

Then I remove my toddler from the oven area while repeating "hot, no touch, hot no touch, hot no touch" until I'm tongue tied and my toddler is sufficiently far away.

Next I spoon out enough salsa on the bottom of the pan to lightly coat it (keeps the tortillas from sticking).

Then I attend to my screaming toddler who is frantically trying to push a chair through the kitchen door so she can watch me cook.

Once the chair is safely in place and toddler is standing on the chair next to me, I continue by layering 6 tortillas on top of the salsa.

Next I remove the cheese from my toddler's hands and give her a spoon to play with.

Then I layer the spinach on the tortillas.

I pause here to remove the spinach from my toddler's hair. And then reflect on how in the world spinach got in her hair.

Moving on, I place dollops (I've never measured here.... so use as much as you like) of sour cream on top of the spinach. And drizzle some salsa over the whole layer.

I quickly place another layer of 6 tortillas on top of the spinach layer while I hear my toddler pass a tremendous amount of gas.

The chicken gets thrown into place while my toddler holds her bottom and repeatedly says "I poo-poo" in a louder and louder voice.

I take a quick thinking pause here and after weighing pros and cons, decide it is better to finish the enchiladas before attending to my toddler.

1 cup of cheese gets sprinkled on top of chicken. More un-measured sour cream dollops, and more drizzles of salsa.

The last 6 tortillas get layered on. The rest of the salsa (about 1/3 of the jar) gets slathered on top. And the final 1 cup of cheese gets sprinkled on somewhat evenly.

Toddler is attended to. Hands are thoroughly washed. Timer beeps telling me oven is hot. Enchiladas go in. And 30ish minutes later you've got dinner.

(Side note: process length is determined by how many children are running circles around you.)

And that is how The Pampered Bird make tomatillo enchiladas.

Hope you enjoy!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Alters

A friend asked me today why I decided to start blogging again, and why for that matter I had stopped in the first place.

I stopped because it had become a chore. And I have too many of those already that I don't accomplish. Just ask my windows. (or my floors. or my laundry. or.....)

I started again because I was (am) seeing God do small and big things in the life of our little family and I wanted to glorify Him by sharing those things with others.

In Joshua 4:20-24 (sorry Mary, I think I told you it was in Deuteronomy!), it says:

"And those 12 stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up... and he said to the people of Israel, 'When your children ask their fathers in times to come, 'what do these stones mean?' then you shall let your children know, 'Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground...' For the Lord your God dried up the waters ... that you may fear Him forever."

This is basically one example (of many) in the Old Testament where people set up alters as a way of commemorating something big or small that God did in their lives. These alters were for the purpose of sharing with future generations, "Hey! Let me tell you something really cool God did! He was faithful then and he will be faithful now!"

(Yes, the Israelites talked like that.)

A friend made us a box with that verse on it for our wedding gift. Inside are a stack of index cards on which we are to write down God's big and small works in our lives so that we can share them with our children as the years go on.

The box is great! But it only gets shared with our little family. This blog lets me set up "alters" (if you will) that can be shared with more people. Like you!

So that (in long) is why I started blogging again.

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Following in the above theme, God answered three big prayers today. In no particular order:

1. He helped Rufflebum poop!!! (believe me this was a BIG answer to prayer - mamas, you've been there you know what I'm talking about.)

2. We got another great report on Baby #2's health/growth etc. (and consequently no longer have to see the specialist, which leads into #3...)

3. God provided financially for us in a pretty awesome way today. Let's just say, we were a bit short in one bank account when it came time to pay a certain (very big for us) medical bill... and then today, Mr. San Antonio brought home DOUBLE what we needed for that bill. Coincidence.... NO!

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And so, in the theme of setting up alters to the Lord, feel free to share in the comments (at any time, not just this post!) something God is doing in your life. I know it will encourage me and many others!

And later this week I'm going to share a really easy recipe with you. It has nothing to do with alters. Or with the fact that Rufflebum is pooping again. It's just really good and almost makes me stop craving mac'n'cheese and hot-dogs.... almost.

Love,
The Pampered Bird

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Messed Up

Our four year anniversary is next week. When I say "our" I mean Mr. San Antonio and my anniversary of promising to love one another no matter when the last time was that I showered, or whether or not the laundry was finished this week, or if we're eating "tacos" again for dinner. Oh wait, that's just his end of the bargain.

I promised to love him no matter how handsome he got. And love him when he pushes me more toward Jesus. And love him even when I think "gee, this was the best choice I've ever made".

You can see who got the better end of the deal.

But seriously, one of the things I'm most grateful for in our marriage is that I've learned to see my sin on a whole new level. Ever since I was a young girl I knew I was a "sinner" in the big sense, and I knew I messed up here and there. But in these past four years I've learned that I am a sinner in the every day sense too. That my actions (or lack of actions), my words (or lack of words) can hurt people. I've learned the value of a heart felt apology. I'm no longer ashamed to say, "Hey, I'm messed up! Want to hang out with me?"

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(This is going to appear to be a non sequitur, but hang with me.)

Yesterday I took Rufflebum to the mall.

Side note: I hate malls.

Second side note: It was over 100 degrees and I didn't know where else she could run around in air conditioning for free. Minus the grocery store which just seemed like a bad idea....

Back to the story: I had one quick errand to run at Macy's so we completed that first. Things went perfectly. Rufflebum pushed her stroller around, stayed within viewing distance. Came when I called her. Got "ooohs" and "aaaahs" by passer-bys. It was great.


So I thought, I'll take her for a stroll through the rest of the mall and let her run around a bit.

Oops.

Picture for a moment, your local mall. Think about where the central most point would be. I'm talking about the place in the mall where the most people are gathered. Where if, say, your child decided to act up, you'd be most embarrassed.

Now picture Rufflebum and me right in the middle of that area.

And picture me trying to restrain a toddler who is arching her back, screaming at the top of her lungs and hitting and kicking me.

(At this point I imagine you are either nodding your head in sympathy or laughing - either reaction is fine with me, I'll still be your friend.)

In the middle of trying to restrain her I'm thinking two things: 1) WHAT THE HECK IS POSSESSING MY TODDLER? and 2) I'm so mortified right now - everyone is thinking I'm a messed up mom with a messed up kid.

Then I had a self revelation. Cue the floodlight and angel chorus.

Guess what, I AM a messed up mom with a messed up kid.

Oh what a relief that revelation was.

I stopped worrying about how everyone was judging me (because their judgments were correct), and I put her down on the floor, sat down on a near by bench and let her work out her issues.

Within a minute she was climbing into my lap. So I told her "let's take a time out together, and we'll just sit her for a minute and take some deep breathes".

Once she was composed I strapped her back in her stroller and said, "I think we should go home." And started wheeling her out.

A minute later she started screaming, arching her back and kicking again. But at least she was strapped in. And she was facing away from me so she couldn't see me suppressing a laugh as I boldly marched my messed up self and my messed up toddler back through the mall.

By the time we reached the car I had processed what had happened and realized that my sensitive little girl was probably overly stimulated (she had already napped so I ruled out overly tired, and she had eaten lunch, so I ruled out hungry. And she hadn't done anything blatantly disobedient. She just spontaneously lost it). She did fine in the one store because it was quiet and there weren't a lot of people around. But letting her roam free inside a huge mall with so many sights, and sounds, and smells and people just broke her down.

As I strapped her (now calm self) into the car I apologized. I apologized for taking her somewhere that was too overwhelming, and asked her to forgive me. She's 18 months so she just stared at me. But still, I think it's important that she hear me apologize to her and know that she's got a messed up mom. I think it's important that she know, that I know that she's a messed up little girl. And that I love her anyway. And that more importantly, God loves her anyway.


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Now I'm off to fold laundry. Don't let Mr. San Antonio tell you I'm not holding up my end of our vows.

Love,
The Messed Up Bird




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Changing Perspective

One thing I love about going through hard/difficult seasons (I realize that phrase sounds bizarre), is that it often forces you to reconsider your perspective on certain things. Those seasons have a way of showing you where your deepest fears lie. The things you are foolishly holding on to. And giving you an opportunity to let them go, or let God tweak them a bit.

The day we found out our second little girl might have a chromosome issue that would cause us to lose her during pregnancy, Princess Rufflebum was served ice cream for lunch. 

A month earlier I would have said "NOOOO, she needs vegetables or fruit or something, anything else but ice cream for lunch!!!"

But on that day my perspective dramatically changed. And I simply thought, "oh good, she'll get extra calcium today." And then I thought, "who gives a d** if she eats ice cream for lunch. In fact I'm going to join her."

See what I mean? Opportunity for life-altering-perspective-changes happen when you go through tough times.


(I chose to insert this picture here because for some it may be a life-altering-perspective of Rufflebum's nostrils)

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Coming out of the fog of earlier this summer, I'm loving being able to fully enjoy time with Rufflebum again. For awhile I was so distracted that I couldn't really focus on her even when I was with her all day. But now we're back to our rhythm.

And our rhythm = laughter. 

If you haven't spent much time with Rufflebum, you should. She's hilarious. I mean, split your sides laughing hilarious. She makes up these games and she knows she's tricking you and she starts laughing before she's even done the "trick" she's trying to do because she is anticipating your reaction.


I know writing it down doesn't do it justice at all, but her most recent game she created happens during diaper changes. I give her a green triangle cup-like-thing to hold and she asks me what it is. I answer "it's a green triangle." She gets this mischievous grin and says, "purple!" I say, "nooooooo, it's not purple it's green!! and tickle her. Then we do it again, and again and again. A few rounds in she can't even get "purple" out without cracking up, which leads me to laugh preemptively too and then 10 minutes later I finally finish putting on her diaper. 


She also has wonderful facial expressions. We've been practicing different faces for different emotions. She can hardly make the faces without laughing. Especially the "sad face", that one gets her every time. And her laughter is so contagious that when she laughs, then I laugh, and all of the sudden I'm laughing while making a sad face which is really hard to do so then the sad face becomes a happy face and I've messed up our whole game.


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I don't really have a clear point to this post. Just that I'm glad we've added ice cream as a reasonable lunch item in our house. And that I'm glad God has given me such a cheerful, funny little girl to be my daughter.

Have a great Tuesday!
Love,
The Pampered Bird


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