Tag Archives: chaos

Kids in the Kitchen

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Kids in the Kitchen

Several years ago (before twins), my first two children enjoyed helping me cook, and I enjoyed teaching them. I took pictures of them and created a digital scrapbook with some of our favorite recipes at the time. I gave these to all the grandparents and great-grandparents for Christmas that year. We use this as a cookbook frequently in our home.

I had intended to create a new scrapbook each year, but life got busy, and we had more kids, and sometimes it was hard to cook at all. I had my son take this photo so I could look back on it one day and smile. It was so exasperating at the time to have two toddlers crying and clinging to me while I tried to cook dinner, but I knew it wouldn’t always be that way.

Once all four of the little people started asking to help in the kitchen with me, I was quickly overwhelmed. They all started doing different things, and I wasn’t ready! Oh, the messes! I was also stressed about not being able to keep an eye on each one for safety reasons. A wise friend told me she has her boys take turns helping her on different nights of the week. I need to work out a calendar for my children to take turns helping.

This evening, we had breakfast for dinner, and I decided to delegate some tasks to the kids. The twins went to the barn to get more eggs, and then they took turns whisking the eggs. Big brother wanted sausage, egg, and cheese burritos. The twins wanted pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs. (Big sister is staying the night with a friend.) Then the girls took turns mixing up the pancake batter and posing for some silly photos.

While the bacon cooked in the oven, I had the girls help cook the eggs in each pan. They swapped pans when the eggs were almost set. Silly girls! Big brother kept an eye on the bacon and removed it from the oven when it was done.

Once the girls had bacon and eggs, I started on the pancakes and let them start eating. It’s a little chaotic having two five year olds help with dinner, but their smiles make it worthwhile. Maybe I’ll start on volume two of our Kids in the Kitchen scrapbook series, but don’t look for it to be completed any time soon. At the rate I’m going, I won’t have enough photos for a cooking scrapbook for a few years! I need to get that cooking schedule for the kids figured out first.

Click here for a pancake recipe. We still use this basic recipe. Unfortunately, the girls prefer white flour and no flax seed in their pancakes, so we just use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in place of the whole wheat flour and ground flax seed.

For the breakfast burritos, we use one pound of pork sausage, crumbled and browned on medium heat. Then we lower the heat and add a dozen scrambled eggs. Once the eggs are set, we add about 1 1/2 cups of freshly shredded cheese and stir until it starts to melt. Don’t cook it too long, or the cheese will melt completely, and you won’t be able to tell it’s in there. My son hates that. Enjoy!

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Children, Children Everywhere

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It seems like I never get a moment alone anymore. The big kids have been out of school since December 12th, and the little ones are always home. I have heard about other mothers of preschoolers hiding in the bathroom to have a moment alone, but I can’t even manage that. As soon as I mention to anyone that I’m going to the restroom, the twins run ahead of me and stand against the wall right in front of the toilet. They have “assigned” places too. It’s quite comical.

Evenings are difficult with the younger ones wanting to eat early and wanting to be held while I’m trying to prepare dinner. The older ones usually choose this time to watch TV or start arguing, both of which add more noise to the toddlers’ fussing. Noise stresses me out. I hate to have the TV just on. I don’t even care about having music playing in the background. Silence is golden.  Whining, crying, fussing, arguing, noise, noise, NOISE!  (I’m starting to sound like the Grinch.)

A couple nights ago, I was working on dinner when I realized it was relatively quiet, and I was the only one in the kitchen. I could hear the twins playing nicely together in the game room, and the big kids were down at their grandparents’ house. I almost missed the little ones hanging on my clothes, trying to get me to pick them up. I almost missed the big kids underfoot, trying to help prepare dinner and set the table. Almost. Instead, I relished the peace and quiet for the few short moments that it lasted.

One day they will all grow up and move out, and then I will miss them being in the kitchen. I love my children and cherish our quality time together. Sometimes there is just too much quantity time together (too many children and too many hours with all of them). They wear me out mentally and physically.

One of the twins fell asleep in my lap thirty minutes ago, so the others walked down to their grandparents’ house. I’ve been sitting here in relative silence, rocking my youngest while the fire burns in the fireplace. I think I’m ready to face the chaos of preparing dinner now.

We’re all about chaos this morning!

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I should have taken more pictures to show you the chaos, but there was no time for pictures earlier this morning. Hubby and I woke up at 5:00 am as usual to work out and get ready before the kids woke up. Big Sister woke up at 6:40 while Hubby was still working out and just before I hopped in the shower. Not a big deal, but it did slow me down a bit, and I just found several pictures of my shirt that Big Sister took with my phone while I was in the shower, and I thought I wouldn’t have enough photos for this post!

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I had dressed and just started on my makeup when I heard a baby fussing. They usually sleep until 7:45 or 8:00, so I usually have plenty of time to get the older two fed and packed for school before needing to feed the babies. It was only 7:10, and Big Sister was eating breakfast, but nothing else was done. Big Sister was supposed to take a plant (fruit or vegetable) to school today to share with her class because they have been studying about plants and seeds this week. She wanted to take corn. I tried to talk her into taking something that didn’t need to be cooked, but she was set on corn. I put the pot on the stove to cook while I got the babies and started feeding them some milk in the game room and forgot about the corn. Hubby got finished getting ready and asked what was burning. Oops. He cooked some more corn for her to take. Meanwhile, lunches are being packed, babies’ diapers and clothes are being changed, and a little rock/glass stone from Big Brother’s collection ended up on the kitchen floor broken into two pieces.

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The big kids went out to the truck, and I was telling Hubby goodbye when I looked down and saw blood smeared on the floor and found the small pieces of rock/glass in Little Sister’s hand. I washed her hands and found a cut on her thumb. Do you know hard it is to stop bleeding on a wiggling toddler? I thought I had it stopped after holding a paper towel on it while distracting her with my phone and walking around with her, but she started using her thumb, and it started bleeding again. I finally resorted to using half of a bandaid, but she kept putting it in her mouth, and I’m pretty sure blood soaked through the bandaid, but it did stop the bleeding after a few minutes. I finally ate my breakfast while holding a fussy baby, changed another dirty diaper, and then went to the restroom. When I came out, this is what I found.

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I had thrown our sheets in the washer before my shower, so our bed wasn't made, and the pillow shams were on the chest at the foot of the bed. They had pulled the pillows into the floor, Sissy was climbing on the chest to get on the bed, and Little Sister was having a ball crawling all over the pillows on the floor. I may have to start locking them out of our bedroom when I go to the restroom. A couple of days ago, I came out and found Sissy dancing around on top of our bed. She was so happy, but I don't want her to fall off and get hurt. After taking photos of this chaos, I folded a load of clothes that I had washed last night while the babies ran off with the laundry basket. I found them in the kitchen having a great time playing in the basket together.

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One nice thing about twins is the basket won't turn over as easily, since the weight is distributed more equally than when Big Brother used to play in the basket by himself. It's a good thing he's so tough. This all happened before 9:00 this morning, and somehow I managed to write this post on my phone while feeding the babies and then holding them until they were happy enough to play for a few minutes. I’m ready for a nap!

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