Having children has taught me the value in following schedules—especially when it comes to eating and sleeping. That said, summertime activities and a newborn baby tend to throw a wrench in our best-laid plans. It’s true that Jack has never been a “good sleeper.” It takes him a long time to settle in at night and then he’s up at the first light. It’s like he’s afraid the world is going to have fun without him. And during the day he goes about 100 mph, eating, playing and “working” (his work usually consists of a really creative cooking or craft project that takes over a third of the house). At only 4 months, I can already tell that Matthew is a different boy. He’s a little more easygoing, taking life one toy rattle at a time. He enjoys quiet time to himself, which I suppose is a rare commodity for the second born.
But now that school has started up again, we’re more focused on keeping schedules. There are kids to dress, lunches to pack and carpool lines to get into, all of which is an adventure with a 5-year old and a newborn. Jack was so excited about his first day. The whole drive to school he talked nonstop. When I got back to the house, Matthew looked up at me as if to say, “Why are things suddenly so quiet?”
I expected the boys would be different—most siblings are—but they are very much alike in two ways. One, they both have these incredible smiles. The kind of smiles that you can’t help giving back even when you’re more tired than you ever thought possible. And two, they have huge appetites. From birth, Matthew ate as if every meal might be his last. He’s such a big, healthy baby that I have to remind people he’s only a few months old. Jack’s always been a good eater and when he gets in a growth spurt, you’d better cover your plate (and count your fingers).
I thought Jack would be tired when he came home from school, but instead he’s ready to play and ready to eat. I’ve found that cooking together gives us a moment to reconnect after time apart and also gets something relatively healthy into his belly. He loves my chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. The recipe has quite a bit of oatmeal and I use golden raisins. The other day we made those and he ate five in a row. But I didn’t feel too bad about it. It’s not exactly a healthy recipe, but at least there’s not a ton of sugar or butter. Poor Matthew looks as if he wants nothing more than a bite of that cookie, but his time will come (and I’m going to have to get a bigger pantry when it does).
So that’s my life right now—scheduled chaos. At night I fall into bed profoundly tired, but also deeply satisfied. As a parent, you have to prioritize your day in order to accomplish all that needs to be done, which is why I’ve decided to take a brief hiatus from blogging to pursue some exciting endeavors that I hope to share with you in the near future.
As always, thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and support!
Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
yields: 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.
Chill the dough for at least 20 minutes. Scoop the cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, taking them out when golden around the edges. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm