“Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath.”

~Michael Caine

Friday, September 25, 2009

Horses and Hugs

Emma crawled into our bed in the middle of the night which doesn’t happen very often. Granted she was sick with a fever, but in the morning, she looked so peaceful and sweet I couldn’t help but lift her into my arms and hold her for just a few minutes. As any mother knows, there is nothing more beautiful than her sleeping child. She sleeps like a bear in hibernation, so I figured she wouldn’t wake up. Another thing that Miss Emma is known for is talking in her sleep. So I wasn’t surprised when she started mumbling when I picked her up. I held her for a minute and before putting her back down I gave her one last squeeze. She started to grumble again and as I laid her back down with her eyes still shut she holds up her hands and says “Woah, take it easy girl!”. If only I knew what she was dreaming. Horses?

As for Tommy, he’s a light sleeper just like Ty. If he wakes up on his terms, he generally wakes up happy (not always). If he is woken up by anything else, he’s a monster. And when he’s grouchy, look out. He cannot be consoled, spoken to, or touched. It’s as if something is causing him physical pain. He yells in his bed “MOMMY!!!”. I go in his room and say “Yes, Tommy?”. The only thing that he can seem to do is lay in his bed and yell at me. So I tell him, in my sweetest, mommy voice “If you need me Tommy, you have to tell me what you want. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me. What do you need?” He just lays there and looks at me with his sad eyes and yells “NO!” So I say, “Ok, when you are ready to tell me what you need, you can come out of your room and tell me.” I close the door and of course he proceeds to scream some more. “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOOOOMMMMMMYYYY!!!” I let it go for a minute or two and go back in his room and proceed to ask him if he wants a drink, a popsicle, something to eat, anything to try and figure out what he needs. With each calm question I ask, he responds with a resounding “NO!”. So I finally ask him if he wants me to hold him. He looks at me with his sad eyes and nods his head. FINALLY! So I pick him up and take him into my room. I sit him on my lap facing me and he puts his little arms around my neck and held on tight. After a few minutes, he pulls away and looks at me in the eyes and gives me a big kiss before going back to holding on to me for dear life. I sat there with him for a few minutes with him kind of whimpering the whole time. Finally, he sits up and says “Mommy, can I pay you done, peas?” Translation: He wanted to play on my phone. Seeing that he finally snapped out of it I said “There you are my sweet boy! Where did you go? I’m so glad you’re back.” Sometimes, all they need is a mommy hug.

It’s so strange and wonderful how the two of them are so different. Emma wakes up happy each and every day. Tommy is the wild card. I love them both so much that sometimes it hurts. Each of them has their own quirks, and I love every single one. They change so much that it’s hard to remember how they little they were. I do remember how perfectly their little heads fit in the palm of my hand when they were first born. Who knew that something so little could create something so big. It’s invisible, but you can see it. It takes no shape, but you can feel it. It’s powerful enough to take your breath away but gentle enough to make you feel secure. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them. In my very biased opinion, I believe that Ty and I have created the two most wonderful children in the world.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fresh Baked Memories

As most of you know I just got back from a trip to Edmond, Oklahoma, Grapevine, Texas and Lafayette, Louisiana. While visiting Carol in Oklahoma, she made the most delicious bread. She told the story of the sourdough starter that she has kept alive for 13 years. Every Saturday, she feeds it potato flakes and sugar it's always ready for her when she needs to make bread. She said that when the kids were young, she would make bread every Sunday. This struck a chord with me. I instantly began thinking about something that I could make every weekend for my family. She offered to make me a starter but I declined for fear that I would somehow forget to feed it.

All throughout my trip I pondered on what I could make for my family. I tried a french bread recipe and ended up with 4 hard bricks. Then I found an old Amish sandwich bread recipe and decided to try it. I made the recipe as directed. Well, sort of, I substituted some of the white flour for whole wheat flour. After the first rise, I divided the dough in half, formed one and dropped in in a loaf pan. With the other half I rolled it out, lightly buttered the dough and sprinkled cinnamon sugar over the top. Rolled it up, jelly roll style and dropped it into a loaf pan. After letting the loaves rise one last time in the oven, I baked them. The result was stupendous! All I can say is YUM! I sliced the plain loaf and will use it for Emma's lunch sandwiches. The cinnamon loaf sadly didn't make it to the end of the day. I have never worked with yeast dough before and I am hooked. My next endeavor is to find the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I'm babbling about my kitchen escapades. Well, I want my family to remember me in the kitchen. I want them to look forward to my weekend baking. I want them to say, "Oooo, Tomorrow's Saturday, Mommy's making Cinnamon Bread." or, "Let's go to my house, my mom is making homemade Cinnamon Rolls!". Our society is becoming more about instant gratification and fast food and less about patience and slow food. I want my kids to think back when they are older to the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven every Saturday morning when they were children. I want to pass down a memorized recipe to my kids that they can pass on to theirs and so on. I want them to appreciate the time that it takes to make something from scratch and appreciate it when it's finally done.

I've found the perfect bread recipe, now all I have to do is find the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.

PS: I calculated out the cost of making the bread and it's only 97 cents per loaf. What a deal!

I'm Leaving!

Last night, I was in the kitchen cleaning up the mess that seems to multiply anytime I use the kitchen. I was wiping down my stand mixer when Tommy walks into the kitchen sporting only a diaper and my car keys and says, "Bye Mommy! I'm leaving!" I said, "Where are you going?" stifling my laughter. He said "Work." Of course, I didn't want him to leave (not that he could drive off on a whim anyway) so I was able to distract him with a cinnamon roll. I love the way they try an imitate us. It surely is the greatest form of admiration.