Diapers and Dragons

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Of Food and Family and Fabulousness

I seem to have drifted away from the world of blogging in recent months. I swear to you that it doesn't even enter my mind most days.

This could be, in part, due to the rather alarming number of things for which I am responsible during the course of a day now. I keep looking at my life in astonishment, wondering when I became the SuperWoman that I used to pretend to be back in the Bad Old Days of post-partum depression. The sheer level of logistical planning alone explains why the idea of sitting down and chatting with all my virtual friends doesn't have a chance of occurring.

Today, for example, there is a full day of teaching, after which I shall rush home and cook meat for chili and then rush off for my bi-weekly hour-long tutoring gig, and then I shall battle the horrendous afternoon traffic that turns two-and-a-half miles of driving on one road into a fifteen-minute ordeal so that I can pick up The Widget from daycare. We shall then battle our way home, where he will be shoved off to change clothes while I hurriedly put together the rest of the chili and plop it on the stove to simmer. We shall then rush off to The Widget's new dance class (5:30-6 pm on Thursdays) so that he can learn to shake his booty even more adorably than he did at our wedding (though there may never be anything so adorable as a tux-clad Widget doing the Chicken Dance). Then we can finally return home and collapse in the bosom of my rather large family.

I should confess that when I was planning the menu for this week, I completely forgot that I had tutoring today and would be so rushed. My True Love and I were therefore kerflummoxed about how to feed The Ravening Horde tonight until I realized that I could most likely manage the chili in stages. When I announced my realization to MTL, he (bless him) simply said, Just do what you can without killing yourself.

I think that may become my daily mantra.

Oh! But tonight I also need to pressure can the homemade stock that is chilling in the refrigerator after a long night of simmering into golden glory, and I should probably make some bread or something, since I have nothing to feed The Widget this weekend other than the fabulous and oh-so-simple roast chicken that was our meal last night.

I didn't mention that I've transformed into a Domestic Demi-goddess, did I? I know. I'm as astonished as you are. My only real online interaction with the outer world is on Facebook these days, and I keep posting statuses about all the amazing things I have baked/cooked/canned, partly out of a craving for jealous adulation and partly because seeing it in print makes it suddenly real and explains why I'm so exhausted All The Time.

You see, The Widget has inconveniently developed a host of food sensitivities, much like his older brother DramaBoy did at the young age of one. The Widget's are simultaneously less and more inconvenient than DramaBoy's were: on the one hand, he can have eggs and yeast and tomatoes and citrus fruits and canola; on the other, he cannot have corn or millet or buckwheat or legumes. The rest of the inconvenient items on the (long) list is rather similar. No bovine dairy, no soy, no garlic, no rice, among other things. Oddly enough, watermelon and cantaloupe are high on the reactive side, which makes us feel rather guilty about the enormous quantities of watermelon that disappeared down his throat over the course of the hot summer.

The big No-No, however, is gluten, and unlike the other items (which we should be able to reintroduce to his diet after a period of cleansing and rebooting his system), this will likely remain permanent. One of the tests indicated that if he continues to have gluten in his diet, he is likely to develop Celiac Disease and/or another nasty anti-gluten syndrome.

So. Our new reality. Since we have the boys every other week now, I spend every other weekend baking interesting breads and muffins and cookies, all with Funky Flours like sorghum, tapioca, quinoa, almond, and arrowroot. At least I can MAKE real bread: DramaBoy could not have eggs or yeast, so it was impossible to create anything other than fruit breads for him.

We also are making and canning all sorts of things like spaghetti sauce and stock and apple butter and various delicious jams (though to be fair we had started making our own jam before we had The Widget tested).

And the entire family has begun drinking almond and coconut milk rather than dairy, since MTL and The Padawan are lactose-sensitive anyway, and we discovered (to our surprise) that the Silk brand of both is cheaper than Lactaid, and contains less fat, more calcium, and the same or more vitamins than dairy milk. We're also doing much more gluten-free and homemade food in general, since it's simpler to cook for everyone rather than making two separate meals, and we want to start eating more healthily anyway.

So, much to my surprise, we are becoming alarmingly Crunchy, and I am discovering that I actually rather enjoy being domestic. Mind you, it makes all the difference that MTL does some of the work too, and that I have a horde of children who are all assigned chores and responsibilities. Who would have thought that having four children at home would actually be easier than having only two?

Also, we have a wonderful lady who comes and does all the deep cleaning every other week. I may have transformed quite a bit, but I'm perfectly content to leave the toilet-scrubbing and floor-mopping to someone else, thankyouverymuch.

Well, there you are. MTL is thinking of getting a second Xbox at some point so that he can have his own and play games online with his friends and The Padawan (who monopolizes and technically owns the one we have now), and if that happens, I may find myself with time in the evenings to chat with you all in this space while keeping him company.

All my snarky love in the meantime,
Mrs. MTL

7 bits of love:

Anonymous said...

You ARE amazing! Great job! I have found myself cooking all kinds of new things in the kitchen, too, though not with the crazy constraints of the Widgets diet restrictions. My new cooking self comes mostly from my return to vegetarianism (when I am in control - meaning when I do the cooking) and attempt to eat what's in season (to save money). Oh, and it's nice to take a break from Z while MuttonChopsHubby plays with him while I cook. It's rather fun exploring new foods, I've found. But makes a rather big mess, too. If only Z and Greyhound would help out with the chores!
Anyhow, kudos to you, and good luck, and all that stuff.
- SoccerSister

Betty Herbert said...

Lovely to see you back - it's been aaages! x

PantsWithNames said...

You rock. Sounds like you are are incredibly undeniably shiningly happy and I LOVE to see that. x

GingerB said...

I forgive your hiatus - I have been blogging AWOL myself and don't have domstic goddess status as an excuse so you get no criticism from me. I am impressed with your baking repetoire!

Middle State/MomZombie said...

I am thoroughly impressed!

Mom said...

Thanks for the little sneak-peak into life chez Mr and Mrs MTL and fabulous family -- precious moments in the middle of all the busyness. Love takes us and makes us into new people. :) I'd love to come help, if only . . .

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