more broken resolutions, Fall beauty, and disappointment in the dinner department

Do you ever resolve to do something and find your resolve tested within the minute of your resolution? This morning during breakfast I vowed to myself that I would speak kindly and gently to my children (with an eye toward Abe’s Sunday lesson and the FHE lesson tonight), but I found my dialogue going something like this.

I will be kind and gentle to my chil–

LYDIA STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!! YOU ARE GOING TO BREAK THAT!!!! IF YOU DON’T START LISTENING I AM GOING TO PUT YOU IN THE CLOSET!!!!

Rinse and repeat five times within five minutes. I felt very discouraged by the end of breakfast.

Actually, I was so discouraged I just gave up and let Lydia go to town messing up the entire downstairs while I prepared tonight’s dinner–ten hours early. We ate it cold.

She did help some, though.

Eying the eggplant.

Eying the eggplant.

And then salting it (liberally).

And then salting it (liberally).

And it was fun to see her imagination at work in the absence of Dora the Explorer. She kept bringing me presents from all around the house until I only had the space of my cutting board to work. Every other square inch of counter kitchen space was occupied.

After she dumped the entire contents of a dining room drawer onto the kitchen floor, I decided Dora did have a place in our lives after all. I stuck Lydia in front of Dora, placed her lunch there too, and ran some of my stress off on the treadmill.

On the floor: the contents of a dining room drawer. Lydia excitedly explained they were gifts for me, and I could use them to wipe: the floor, the counter, and my bottom.

On the floor: the contents of a dining room drawer. Lydia excitedly explained they were gifts for me, and I could use them to wipe: the floor, the counter, and my bottom.

When Mary woke up, I fed her lunch and played with the kids until nap time…

cute shot of them playing

cute shot of them playing

…at which point I took an hour long nap myself. After I woke up, I lay on the bed in a stupor for another twenty minutes, at which point I decided to fold some laundry and call my friend, Candice, who recently moved to St. George. It was great catching up with her.

Then the girls woke up. Actually, Mary woke up first and we did our daily diaper run to the outside garbage can. During that “outing,” I realized it was gorgeous out and resolved to take the girls on a walk. Accordingly, I woke Lydia up.

After her naps, Lydia is normally…sad. That is code for “she wakes up screaming.” Today she screamed for forty-five minutes straight. The premise of her tantrum: I refused to feed her until she went to the bathroom. This made her so mad that she screamed and screamed until thirty minutes later she peed in her pants. When I tried to stick her in the shower to clean her off, she screamed so loudly I figured that if our neighbors are people of conscience, they would dial DCFS right away.

After another ten minutes of screaming, Lydia suddenly sniffled and said, “I feel much better.” Nary a scream or sob issued from her mouth for the rest of the day.

Feeling mighty pleased with this happy change of events, I packed the girls in the jogger and walked them nine blocks straight downhill (read: straight uphill upon return) to the park.

Would you guess that a mere seven minutes prior Lydia was caught deep in the throes of her own fury? She clearly got it all out of her system.

Would you guess that a mere seven minutes prior to this picture, Lydia was caught deep in the throes of her own fury? She clearly got it all out of her system.

It was a gorgeous-beyond-belief walk to the park. This is what large stretches of the sidewalk looked like.

It was a gorgeous-beyond-belief walk to the park. This is what large stretches of the sidewalk looked like.

Like this, too.

Like this, too.

At the park.

At the park.

 

Abe drove past us on his way home from work. He drove home, threw on his running clothes, and ran to meet us.

Abe drove past us on his way home from work. He drove home, threw on his running clothes, and ran to meet us.

At the top of the street, I was still enamored with the colors. They didn't quite come through on the camera, but that spectacular bush in the foreground is multi-colored. A true beauty.

At the top of the street, I was still enamored with the colors. They didn’t quite come through on the camera, but that spectacular bush in the foreground is vibrantly multi-colored. A true beauty.

When we got back, we ate my disappointing dinner (which, incidentally, took me hours of preparation this morning–I hope culinary school will bring me more success in this department!), had Family Home Evening, and put the kiddos to bed.

Eggplant rollatini with cornbread stuffing and tomato sauce. A ridiculous amount of work (make cornbread. salt, rinse, blot innumerable slices of eggplant. Stir up a tomato sauce, roll, bake, and plate.) And for what?! An unsightly dish that, while satisfying, definitely did not knock my socks off.

Eggplant rollatini with cornbread stuffing and tomato sauce. A ridiculous amount of work (make cornbread. Make stuffing. Salt, rinse, blot, bake innumerable slices of eggplant. Make a tomato sauce, stuff, roll, bake, and plate.) And for what?! An unsightly dish that, while satisfying, definitely did not knock my socks off.

I had high hopes for eggplant dish #2, wherein I simply broiled fresh mozzarella, Gorgonzola, and goat cheese on top of baked rounds of eggplant. I'd spent the day gorging on Gorgonzola, so eating this at the end of the day was just too much.

I had high hopes for eggplant dish #2, wherein I simply broiled fresh mozzarella, Gorgonzola, and goat cheese on top of baked rounds of eggplant. I’d spent the day gorging on Gorgonzola, so eating this at the end of the day was just too much.

Tomorrow I am babysitting for a friend, and I am contemplating the possibility of not tidying my house before going to bed tonight. After all, it always gets trashed on play dates, so why bother picking up now? On the other hand, I might not sleep as well knowing there is stuff strewn about in literally every room of my house…

I’ll let you know tomorrow what the verdict was.

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