After a long, stressful morning with Mr. C literally screaming at the top of his lungs for hours on end, he seemed to be feeling better and was enjoying playing with blocks on the floor with Miss M and me. It’s been a challenging few days. Both babes are teething. The rosy cheeks seem to take over their faces out of nowhere and I feel terrible knowing they are in so much pain. At 20 months of age, Miss M is getting her eye teeth and her canine teeth. Nine month old Mr. C has the 2 teeth on the outside of his 2 bottom teeth trying to make their way through. I’m not sure which is worse, when teething pain alternates or when it happens at the same time. Both are hard for different reasons. I had to hold him while he cried and shoved his fist in his mouth all morning. Poor little guy.
Luckily Miss M was very entertained by a green onesie. Yesterday, I was folding laundry when my mom popped by. She offered to help fold a basket of baby clothes for me, saying that she loves folding tiny baby laundry. (I now know what to give her for her birthday!) Miss M obviously was lingering around pulling clothes out of the basket and onto the floor so my mom had playfully put the onesie on her head to keep her entertained. Miss M loved it. She ran around with it all night putting it on her own head, on my head and on her little brother’s head. Today her little green onesie is still her favourite toy. She caught me trying to sneak it out of her play area and grabbed it back. For now, it lives in her toy box.
After an hour or so of no hysterical crying, I was feeling much more energetic and decided to tackle one of my Pinterest recipes for dinner. You know? The ones you pin and plan to make “some day.” Today was going to be “some day.” I needed to make up for a thrown-together lunch of chopped avocado, cucumber, mango, crackers and grated cheese. (Things I could prepare and serve with one hand while holding Mr. C on my hip.) It wasn’t a bad meal. It was still balanced but I wanted to do something a bit more thoughtful for dinner. I decided to try these delicious-looking “Garlic Rubbed Cabbage Steaks” that I had pinned a while back. These would be delicious and baby-friendly with a side of vegetable fried rice. Yum! (Hopefully!)
Both babies were entertaining themselves in their play area so I quietly sneaked into the kitchen to start dinner. The cabbage recipe required a total of 65 minutes. Getting a bit smarter with experience, I figured that if I allowed myself 90 minutes to compensate for interruptions, I would have dinner ready before the babies knew they were hungry (which results in squealing sea gull-like cries!)
I preheated the oven, chopped the garlic, sliced the cabbage, rubbed it down with garlic, oiled and seasoned it and put it in the oven and put the timer on. While it was roasting, I started cooking the rice and put another timer on. (I used to just remember to check on things and just know when I had put them in. Not any more. Sleep deprivation and a million interruptions leaves me putting a timer on to remind myself that I had put the kettle on to make tea.) I peeked in to check on the babies. They were still giggling and playing together wonderfully. I pulled out my wok and started to melt some coconut oil in it while I started chopping vegetables. As I sliced through my first vegetable and tossed it into the pan with some garlic, I heard a frantic shriek coming from the room beside me. I ran over to see Miss M with a mouthful of blood. I picked her up and saw that her lip was split. It looks like she bit it. I don’t know how it happened but I picked her up and tried to comfort her as I blotted her bleeding lip. Mr. C was not impressed by Miss M’s cries or by me holding her and not him so he started crying hysterically too. I sat down on the floor and pulled them both onto my lap and bounced them and sang to comfort them. They both started to smile and giggle. I scooted across the floor with them on my lap and they laughed and look up at me smiling. We were having a great time until I started to smell burning from the kitchen.
I gently put them both down on the floor and tried to explain that I would be right back as they both started crying and grabbing at me. I tried to explain that dinner was burning and that I wasn’t leaving them, I was just trying to make a nice meal for dinner. Miss M quickly moved on and started playing with her toys. Mr. C, on the other hand, was completely hysterical and through his tears, pulled himself over to the baby gate that I had just hopped over and laid there sobbing inconsolably, knowing that I was just on the other side but completely out of reach. I got my kitchen mess under control and then reached over and picked him up. He instantly stopped crying. Instantly. He knows what he wants…and how to get it. I walked over to the high chair to sit him down. He noticed me fiddling with the straps and went into what I call “koala bear mode,” digging his finger nails into me as he latches on with his fingers, legs and toes. Okay. There’s no way that I can put you down. Fine. I decided to put him in my baby carrier so I could wear him on my back while I finished prepping for our veggie stir-fry. Mr. C wanted nothing to do with it. He went into hysterical koala mode again. I compromised and continued to chop what I could with one hand while holding him on my hip with the other. Mandolins (while incredibly dangerous tools…at least for me!) make life much easier when you can only use one hand!
From the other room, I heard Miss M laughing and squealing “Daddy!” over and over. Hubby normally isn’t home until much later but I was excited thinking that perhaps he had come home early. No, no sign of him. I looked over to see Miss M flipping through an album of photo booth photos from our wedding. We had rented a photo booth for our wedding guests to take fun photos during the reception and I finally (after 1.5 years) put them in an album last week. As Miss M watched me put them in, she started pointing out “Daddy!” in all of the photos of him. It is now our own little version of “Where’s Waldo?” but we look for “Daddy” amidst hilarious photos of our family and friends having a good time.
I returned to the kitchen to my stove timer going off. I pull my cabbage steaks out of the oven, flip them, season them and put them back in and reset the timer. About 13 minutes later, the timer on my phone goes off. Why is the timer on my phone going off? I suddenly realize that the timer that went off earlier was for the rice and the one on my phone was for the cabbage. Great! Undercooked cabbage and overcooked rice. I take the rice off the stove. It’s all mushy and waterlogged but I’m sure it’s still edible. I don’t have time to start over. I season my stir fry then add the rice which starts to fall apart as I stir-fry it. Gross. I taste it. It’s still edible. I season it and take it off the burner…all with a baby boy bouncing on my hip trying to grab everything.
I put Mr. C in his high chair where he starts to scream hysterically because he doesn’t want to be put down. Miss M sees me put him in the high chair and starts screaming at the baby gate because she wants food too. I strap him in and then lift Miss M off the gate and buckle her into her seat while my timer beeps over and over. I push the high chair and booster away from the stove so I can reach in the oven without anyone touching it. Cabbage is out. I take one “cabbage steak” out of the pan and put it on a plate with a side of fried rice and put it in the fridge to cool quickly so the babies can safely eat it.
Miss M reaches over and grabs Mr. C’s high chair and starts sliding it back and forth into the table making him rock back and forth. I push his highchair out of arm’s reach next to the kitchen table and return to the fridge to check on their food while Miss M starts growling this annoying zombie growl. Mr. C imitates her. It’s a crazy thing. I say “Mama!” to him at least 1000 times a day and he just smiles and doesn’t imitate me at all. Miss M growls, rocks back and forth in her booster seat during meals and throws her food everywhere and he picks all of these things up instantly.
The food seems cool enough. I take it out of the fridge and turn my back to the babies to quickly cut it up into bite-sized pieces. Ugh. It needs more time. The cabbage isn’t soft enough for them to eat without choking. Ugh. On to the fried rice. I start cutting up the carrots, peppers, broccoli and celery into pieces big enough for them to pick up but small enough for them to safely swallow without choking. Miss M screams the whole time because she is angry to have been seated for about 7 minutes without being served any food. I hear the rustle of paper behind me and turn to see Mr. C’s face and hands black with ink. Apparently, when I had pushed him closer to the table so he would be out of his sister’s reach, he was able to reach over and grab the mail I had brought in and left on the table and he had now eaten our gas bill. Does this work the same way as “The dog ate my homework? Gross. I take it away, hang it on the fridge to dry with slobbery holes in it and clean him up.
I return to taste the rice. It’s hot. Not temperature hot. Spicy hot. What the… I guess at some point (or at several points during the 500 distractions) I must have seasoned the rice forgetting I had already seasoned it. It is way too spicy for them. Okay. Cabbage undercooked and rice too spicy. I need a quick Plan B because from the sounds coming out of both babies at this point, they are both obviously starving to death. What can I make in 5 minutes or less? I spin around the kitchen frantically looking in cupboards and the fridge. Omelette! I heat a cast iron skillet on the stove and hand each baby a handful of Goldfish crackers to keep them busy. Ahhh silence. I quickly cook a spinach, mushroom and cheddar omelette in less than 5 minutes and put it in the fridge to cool down. They quickly gobble it up and enjoy every last bite.
The fried rice was too spicy for me to eat and I like spicy food. I must have seasoned it over and over again without remembering it had already been done. This is not surprising. I don’t remember the last time I slept more than 3 hours straight and it’s busy around here! I also ate Goldfish crackers and the abandoned bits of omelette for dinner. Everyone was happy and well fed. I turned around from the table to face my upside down kitchen of dirty pots, pans, cutting boards, mandolin, peeler, knives, etc.
Do you know what sucks? Having to clean up a million dishes when you ended up only using one cast-iron skillet to make dinner. Ugh. I handed Mr. C an arrowroot cookie and Miss M a cup of yogurt with a spoon to keep them occupied while I cleaned up. As I got to the bottom of my soapy sink of dirty dishes, I found my two peeled carrots that I swore I had already washed and peeled but they went missing so I had started all over. Again, not surprising. Maybe someday I will sleep again so I can actually function. The yogurt kept Miss M occupied for a little while until she decided to ditch the spoon in and use her hands to rub the yogurt all over her face and hair. She needs a bath anyway so I let her continue while I finish the last of the dishes. She giggled hysterically while rubbing yogurt everywhere until she gets it in her eyes…and then proceeded to try to get it out of her eyes by rubbing her eyes with her yogurt-covered hands. I quickly rescued her with a face cloth and then brought them both into the living room to play. As I put Mr. C on the floor, bits of mushy egg and cookie tumble to the floor. I thought he threw up until I realized that I hadn’t properly shaken/patted him down after he ate and this was just the detaching of all the dropped food that was still attached to him post-dinner. Yuck.
One hour until bathtime/storytime/bedtime. A Pinterest-meal FAIL. Hubby always jokes about us having enough money some day to hire a live-in nanny to cook, clean and look after the kids. I always respond with “Sure! As long as HE is hot!” but always finish it by saying that if we can afford to hire a live-in nanny, I would rather just not work and continue to stay home and look after the kids myself than go to work while paying someone else to raise my kids. Today I’m thinking that we need to strive to make a big enough income that I can stay home AND hire a nanny so that someone can help with all the chaos and dirty work to free up my time so I can be the kind of mom I want to be…
andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please click “Subscribe to my Blog!” or follow my page on facebook to be the first to know of future posts. Thanks so much for reading! xo