Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Taking time

Life with a newborn always surprises me. It's always more physically demanding than I remember. Always more tiring. God is good to give us a reason in breastfeeding to continually have to sit, to rest, to reflect, and to just be. If I didn't have that excuse, I think the need to return everything to order would get the best of me and I wouldn't enjoy this time nearly as much as I do.

Gavin, while as sweet as can be, still reminds me that right now the focus is on him. There is rarely a time when he is not in my arms or in the front pack or breastfeeding. And the few times I find him sleeping and my arms empty, there are two more boys to quickly fill the space.

A couple of weeks ago my niece Meagan offered to spend the week with me since Jeremy was heading back to work. I quickly took her up on it and she spent four days entertaining the older boys, cleaning, and baking. It was wonderful. It allowed me to have just a little bit longer to recover and to spend time curled up on the couch with Gavin. She was amazing with the boys and included them in everything, including baking. It was so special for them to get the extra attention.

Now that Gavin is 5 weeks old and I've had a couple of weeks by myself at home with the boys, I'm slowly getting a rhythm back. Even if I only get one load of laundry done in the day, in addition to keeping the boys fed and all of us dressed, I still feel I'm successfully finding my footing as a mama of 3.

I never think I'm attached to my kitchen until I no longer have control of it. While I've absolutely loved and appreciated all the meals that were brought to us and the ones that were made in my kitchen by friends, I'm happy to be back in that little corner of the house. I think I was more tired the last few months of Gavin's pregnancy than I realized. And now that I feel good enough to cook, I've been really enjoying planning meals and cooking healthy, yummy food again.

This particular meal has become one of my favorites lately, especially with summer coming. It's (my slightly changed version) Dilled Adzuki Bean and Rice Salad. I use quinoa instead of rice though rice is equally as yummy. I love finding new ways to eat quinoa so this was an easy change for me. I buy dry adzuki beans because they only take an hour to cook and don't need to be soaked first and I've found that adding salt to the cooking beans helps deepen the flavor of the finished recipe. Also... the fresh dill is a MUST!

I love Nourishing Meals and her recipes. The cookbook is just as good and full of really great nutritional information. They are mostly gluten-free and vegan but she adds a chicken dish every now and then. I've said it before but I love cooking vegetarian and then adding meat in if I feel like it. There's so much more flavor to this style of cooking and it makes me more creative in the kitchen.

Since we don't eat meat that often at home, I usually saute or grill portobello mushrooms with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper to eat with this salad.

Last weekend I completely reorganized my kitchen. It's amazing how a clean space can energize the soul and give me motivation. Plus I found quite a few recipes that I had forgotten about... I love it when that happens!



Sarah@mommyinjapan said...

After every new baby it took me around six weeks to be able to manage my house again and even then it was very selective. Like, today I'm going to do laundry but tomorrow I'm going to make a balanced dinner and then the next day I'm going to clean the toilets. I just picked one thing everyday to focus on and slowly the house came together.

My mom told me after I had Misaki that it takes a woman's body two years to fully recover from childbirth so I use that as a benchmark and work my way there. It gave me permission to rest when I felt I needed to!

~beautyandjoy~ said...

Oh, I so feel the emotions in this post. This is exactly what I wish I would have recorded when my kids were babies. You say it all so wistfully and beautifully! Plus that meal looks incredible.

Linda said...

I have to look back at a fairly long distance, but I do remember those days:-) I think you're doing wonderfully well. Before you know it, you'll be back into a good rhythm. In the meantime, enjoy these precious (tiring) days.