The Joy of Parenting, or Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.

Being a little boy!
The other day my sister said that she was creating a new extreme sport: Letting your Kids Cry Themselves to Sleep.  Yeah . . . .  I was once told (I think during marriage prep) that one of the purposes of marriage was to help your spouse get to heaven; I posit that children are the fail-safe.  I love my boys; I practically adore them.  And there are times when they frustrate me, like now.  I’m dutifully not noticing how Thing One is disobeying me.  I’ve put him in bed four times and carried through with a threatened spanking.  And he’s still up.  This time I’m not going to bother putting him back to bed.  Thing Two had stopped crying, and opening that door would start him up again; and Thing One would just get right back up.  He won’t go to sleep until Nick comes home and says “goodnight” to him-- sometimes not even then.
Not that I’m complaining about my children—alright, I am.  Sometimes it’s just that hard.  I guess I’m what I’m not complaining about is being a parent.  I love being a mother.  It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of being, and doing.  And I’ve realized that just because you’re an adult, or have children, doesn’t mean that you’re done growing up. 
We’ve hit a lot of milestone moments in the past two-and-a-half years with the boys.  First teeth, first steps, first words . . . one of my absolute favorites was the first peanut butter and jelly sandwich!  It was just one of those moments, and all the weight of motherhood, and what it meant to have just one little person looking at me that way, was encapsulated in those two slices of bread with peanut butter and jelly. 
This week has been an interesting one.  Nick surprised me by taking a four day weekend, and we packed it with a lot of fun things—especially not cleaning.  So Tuesday came, and I asked Nick to help me clean a bit before he went back to work.  That started as one of those days where getting the kids into clean clothes was a triumph.  It ended with me doing four loads of dishes, vacuuming, making dinner, making cookies and deviled eggs; in fact, I got everything done except the one thing I wanted to do.  I’d wanted to make another doll.  Oh well, I got that one done the next day. 
Mom, are you talking about  me?
It’s very close to Friday now, and Nick will be home in any minute.  Thing One is still running around, and I pray Thing Two has fallen asleep (although I doubt it).  I’ve done precious little cleaning today, just enough to get by.  We went out to the Playplace so that I could get online and check some things; I made dinner (recipe below!) and I spent the evening making the Gifts of the Magi for my raffle. 
Nick just walked in, so I’ll give you the recipe and go. 
Hawaiian Fried Rice
I fried some chopped onions in oil, and added the leftover rice (it had been cooked with sage and ginger).  When the rice was nearly done, I added a shredded carrot and pineapple chunks.  I made a sweet-n-sour sauce with the pineapple juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, honey and ginger.  I finished the rice off by adding the sweet­-n-sour sauce and letting it cook off. 
It turned out really good, and Thing Two devoured a bowlful for dinner.  The rest went into Nick’s lunch for tomorrow.  Now I must go work out my salvation, and comfort my tired children. 
Ciao! Zizi