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Our Daily Bread

"...Progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path." -Barack Obama

No, no...don't's not that kind of post.

I want to talk about personal progress. Routine. Creating positive routine. Something I felt slipping out of reach in the last few months. I see that here on the blog, with my (lack of) posts. In the extra pounds that have creeped back onto my waistline. My irritable children. The stabbing pains in my chest and underarms, from scar tissue setting up camp when I was snuggling instead of stretching.

I don't regret those cuddles. I don't regret the extra carbs. To do so would be futile.

It always starts innocently enough. Baking mini pumpkin pies for Bunco...a long Thanksgiving weekend away from home...Christmas with friends followed by Christmas with family...and before you know it you're rounding the bend on the New Year, eating coffee cake for breakfast and lunch. I mean, not me of course. I've just heard stories....

At the end of December I had my oophorectomy (the laparoscopic removal of my ovaries and tubes).

It was a quick procedure. There was barely any pain. Nevertheless... I. Was. Tired. Like napping-daily-for-over-a-week tired (thank you for making that possible, Dad!). Perhaps the anesthesia? The procedure itself or a holdover from the holidays? Or, letsbehonest, maybe it was all of the snow Spokane got buried in............

This month, winter has been something of a show-off. We had more snow on the ground in Moses Lake than I've seen in our three years living here. Temperatures held fast in the single digits--and colder--for well over a week. And the grand finale, Ice Storm 2017. So that now, heading into the fourth week of January, the girls will *hopefully* be returning to preschool for the first time since before Christmas.

There's cabin fever, and there's cabin fever.

We have the second kind.

When life starts feeling out of whack, baking bread for my family helps me find my center.

I started doing this sometime last year, as a simple way to cut some of the processed food from our diet. And I haven't turned back. At first I was intimidated. I mean, Yeast!! The rising and the waiting, and especially the timing. But I found as long as I set an alarm on my phone, I'm managing it well.

Oh, and it helps that I found this. This recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread is straightforward, unfussy, and delicious.

I make it twice a week.

Often with Eli's "help."

This week we also tried something different...prepping all of our dinners during one of Jason's days off. Since he works swings, Mama is a one woman evening performance. And the moment I step into the kitchen is the moment my offspring realize they are Dying of thirst....all Need to play with the Same Toy....require a Personal Audience to poop....and start running into walls.

Ah, the Witching Hour.

I have a theory that it's on a continuum with dropping temperatures...............

One dinner this weekend was my favorite crock pot chicken. The chicken is good. But the stock is even better. After eating the meat and root vegetables, and picking any leftovers off the carcass, everything....bones, skin, the onions and celery, lemons....all of it goes into my biggest stock pot that I fill to the top with water. Tap water. Because that's how we roll. #Risktaker. I simmer it. For a full day. A full night. If I'm feeling crazy, maybe both. Then strain out any solids, cool it, and skim the fat. Usually I freeze the stock (two cups portions in a quart size freezer bag).

But if there's ever a time for homemade chicken soup, it's when you are snowed (iced) in.

Progress will come in fits and starts.

School is cancelled again today due to black ice.

Yoga has been hit and miss since the studio cancels morning classes when schools are closed.

My physical therapist is on vacation.

And Jazzercise...well...motivation. *Sigh*

But we tried our hand at reviewing letters.

I've painted with the kids, and even managed to work on a few of my own art projects. I'm writing (obviously). Physical therapy starts up again next week.

I'll never be the mom who has a late morning snack prepared at 10:30 sharp every day. Eli's nap time is 1:30ish. Laundry Day is sometime Monday-Sunday.

I know routine is good for the kids. I've read the science behind how it makes them more confident and content and cuts back on melt downs.

Perhaps somewhere, there's science about the magic of spontaneity. I can hope.

Fits and Starts.

At least they'll never doubt they were loved. After all, we always have bread...

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