Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things we said we'd never do...and a meatloaf recipe!

Good Evening everyone!

Let's start with the meatloaf recipe. A little background. I didn't like meatloaf as a kid. As most of you know, I rarely ate meat, and loaf form didn't fit the bill. However, as an adult I got to experiment with different flavors and I've come to enjoy it as a weekly staple in our household dinner menu. Always different, always good.

Yesterday's recipe was particularly excellent. Some ideas taken from an Ina Garten recipe. Mostly I just like to mix things up to see how they taste!

1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c Italian style breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 large white onion
5 baby portabella mushrooms, diced
1 tbsp Montreal steak seasoning (I actually have a similar Pampered Chef version, but this is similar- any course steak/meat seasoning will do depending on your taste).
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Sautee the onions in olive oil, with a pinch of Kosher salt until they're translucent, add the mushrooms and the Worcestershire sauce. Add another small pinch of Kosher salt and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Place ground turkey in a large bowl, add beaten egg, bread crumbs and steak seasoning.

3. Add sauteed onions and mushrooms to the bowl and mix with a fork (mixing with a fork is actually important, it keeps the loaf light)

4. With clean hands form the meat in to a loaf and place on to foil on a baking sheet.

5. Put 1/4 c of Ketchup on top (if desired) and spread with a spatula.

6. Cook at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. and enjoy.

**Sooooo....Things we thought we'd never do as parents! What are some things you do, or did, that you thought you'd never do? Or, maybe, some things you don't do, that you thought you might?

1. Bed sharing. We didn't do this at all with Quinn. However, when you have 2 newborns- a whole ton of sh*t goes out the window. While nursing the twins, they weren't waking up at the same time in the middle of the night always....So if I had already been up with Paige at midnight, aiden at 1..Paige at 2, Aiden at 3....Aiden got to nurse while I slept. He then fell asleep and would go back to sleep after Paige ate (a spouse is helpful in this case- to go fetch the crying child hehe).

2. Pacifiers. Quinn used his until my hormones while pregnant with the twins got annoyed when he was 16 months old. I threw them in the trash and that was that. With the twins I HONESTLY DON'T GIVE A DAMN! Why? Here's why. 1. They ONLY use them in their cribs. By only I mean we don't even let them use them in the car for long trips, they don't use them during the day (except once or twice when they've been sick). It's really only at night which is less than thumb suckers. I just don't care and it makes them happy and it's not a battle I choose to fight with now- I like sleep, so do they, win win. They'll be rid of them by the time their 2...or not ;) Again- I don't care. And I wouldn't care if a mom of a 3 year old told me their kid used one at night. Promise.

3. TV. I actually never had a rule for myself about this. Some days they hardly watch TV and some days it babysits them for long periods of time. There. I said it. If people watch responsible programming (like PBS or other age appropriate shows) then theres not a problem for me. But you better be reading to your kids at least 20 minutes a day :)

4. Food. This is actually something I stick to my guns on, with some relaxed days or minutes. They eat good food, junk food is a treat, not a staple, and it's all good.

So, what things do you do, or not do?


Monday, March 21, 2011

Faith...and doubt

This post is strictly about our sermon at church on Sunday (3/20). It affected me so deeply, I wanted to share what was preached, and open it up for discussion. Let me say that this isn't intended to become a theological debate between believers and non-believers. I would, however, appreciate a thoughtful and helpful discussion regarding the huge topic of Faith.....disclaimer over.... ;)

The sermon was based on the book of Joshua, Chapter 2, Verses 1-11. Anyone with a Bible handy, that's in the Old Testament, between Deuteronomy and Judges (ugh, Judges....). This portion of scripture introduces us to a most unlikely "Faith Giant" (discussed again in Hebrews 11 and in the genealogy discussed in Matthew)- Rahab the prostitute. Yep. There she is. An unlikely woman of Faith living among heathens. I won't get in to the whole story because it's best if you read it, but we focused in on Joshua 2:11: Rahab states (and please read the whole story for context) "When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." There, just like that, fact. The spies from Joshua's camp came and Rahab hid them, protecting them from certain death if they were found within the walls of Jericho.

Without "knowing for certain." Rahab lied and hid spies- she "knew" within her soul, that their God was GOD.

This lengthy background led to our "modern" discussion of Faith in general. And, in light of recent natural and man-made disasters and protests, and uprisings of the last several months, this is really important. I took notes during the sermon so I'll just write down things that were said, that I wrote down, and you can think about them in your own way.

*People choose to blame God when it suits them. How can you blame bad things on God if you don't believe in Him? If there is no God in your life, then you don't know what good/bad are.

*The presence of Evil doesn't NEGATE Good, it is a departure from Good. It PROVES that Goodness exists. If Goodness remains, so does God, and he is still in control. (Yea, Ill get to that in control of the bad stuff in a minute...)

*We (humanity) invited Evil in to the world. WE rejected God. He STILL came in Jesus because he LOVES us. We, again, rejected Him, killing Jesus. He came that he might know human suffering and pain. He knows pain, He gets it, he understands Evil and deals with it every second of every day. He doesn't see highlights of the news- he sees the billions of hurtful things that happen around the world EVERY DAY.

*Suffering is temporary. Goodness exists and always will prevail. It just makes sense to TRUST God because he is in control.

If He is in control- what of suffering? Let's take the almost obvious points first. There is man made suffering. We were given Free Will. We were given the opportunity, the invitation, to listen to God...we are also able to hear Satan as he pushes our buttons and whispers bullying words in to our ears. We make decisions. Satan is not omniscient- he can't pull the trigger, he can only tell us where the gun is.....

Now...if God is in control- what of the "senseless" suffering....Natural Disasters, cancer, illness in children, hunger, disease, etc?
....Folks, there is no answer. It stinks, and it's really hard for me to understand and accept. But he orchestrates it all....There is just no answer on this Earth. Our human brains couldn't process it if there was. The answer, and all other answers, WILL be revealed in grandeur on the Last Day....And, while I don't have all the answers, I know The One who does. I choose to have faith (belief without sight) that all things will work out for good- even if they don't seem good.

I'll take a bad day with Jesus over an eternity without Him.......He has shown his hand at work over and over and over in my life, in both Good and Bad...

People sometimes marvel at my apparent mental stability in having 3 toddlers. I think they think I'm kidding when I say I pray constantly. It's not even a joke..I am praying constantly, giving Thanks where Thanks is due and trying to learn and grow in the word so I can continue to be an example of what his Love can do for us. I'm not just a "mellow" person- anyone who's known me for long enough knows that. And the addition of children doesn't typically calm people down- but the addition of Jesus does...


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


A meaningful naptime has returned to the Randall Household. Let me explain...

At some point during Paige and Aiden's first year, we got to the point where They would nap at 8am and 12pm, and Quinn was napping at 12pm as well. The twins' nap at 12 was of decent length, but never longer than 1.5 hours. Within that 1.5 hours I would scramble to eat lunch, clean the house, and sit for a second, before I had to nursing babies waking up.

A few months ago, Paige and Aiden decided they were old enough to drop a nap, and become a one nap a day team. This nap would be between 2-3 hours long. Usually 2.5. This nap, however, did not magically occur at noon, which would have been a convenient time for me, but they would take it at 9........meaning they would be up just in time for Quinn to go down for his nap. I no longer had any time where everyone was asleep, and the twins would surely melt down in the late afternoon after having been up for so long.

Over the last couple of weeks I've conditioned the twins toward a 12:00 nap and it has finally worked- AMEN, PRAISE GOD! (some of you might think I'm kidding about this praise, but I mean it as sure as I'm sitting here.) This week has been consistent, lunch around 11:00, everyone in bed at noon. Quinn usually sleeps till about 3 (bless his heart). And Paige and Aiden have been getting longer and longer, and they're hovering around 2.5 hours at this point- which is dandy for me.

What does this mean for me? It means I get to CATCH UP ON 18 MONTHS OF SLEEP! Yea, that's right, I'll say it, here's a HUGE FRIGGEN BENEFIT of being a stay at home mom. I can take a damn nap and feel good about it :) So the past few days I've gotten them all down, eaten some lunch, cleaned up a bit, and lay my little head down on a pillow. One day it was about 20 minutes and I felt fine. One day it was over an hour and a half.

Today was sweet. I thought I only had about a half hour till they woke up, so I laid down. Quinn woke up 45 min later. I brought him in to my bed with me (which we never do because he doesn't sit still) and he watched Dora while I dozed a little longer. I wasn't sound asleep, but it gave us some cuddle time we never get anymore.

So, I won't maintain my personal nap schedule, but I feel relieved during the day knowing it's available. And, it makes those days where I wake up at 4:50 to go to the gym less dreadful, knowing I will likely be able to take a quick snooze later if I need to :)


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Resolution Check-In

It's Gut-Check time. Here is my list of resolutions and an update (in a different color).

1. Read "Blue Like Jazz"- Almost near the end. I am LOVING it and suggest you get a copy. I'll do a blog post solely on this book later.
2. Read "The Happiness Project"-This will be my next book.
3. Read something every day-check
4. Scrapbook at least one page a week-Not always. However, when I get a chance to scrap, I've always done MORE than one page to make up for the weeks that I can't.
5. Take more pictures- This is a serious ebb and flow, I need to get back on the take and post horse
6. Take at least one yoga class a month- January, check..February, NO! eek! I'll take 2 this month.
7. Journal every day, include prayers and gratitude-I've done this in one fashion or another. I'm writing more.
8. Continue minimizing the material things-check.
9. Pay off the last of the credit cards this year (we haven't used them in several months!)-HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE CHECK!
10. Read some of the Bible every day. Actual goal is 3 chapters a day, but I just need to read SOME of it EVERY day. period.-This had been ebbing and flowing, but the days I didn't read, I'd read more the next. I'm back to reading some of it every day for the last few days.
11. Make more plans with friends that I don't usually make plans with-This hasn't happened.
12. Increase intake from the Earth. This includes: water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Thanks, God, for making all the stuff I need ;)-Check
13. Less...Is...More (stole this directly from Amy ;) )-Check
14........And this is a tough one........Wake up 30 minutes, at least, before the kids get up, to have some quiet time to ease in to the day with prayer and a cup of tea or coffee.-Big Fail here. I forgot what a benefit this actually is. I did it randomly the other day and it gave me a chance to have coffee and prayer! I said.......
15. Go to bed by 10:00 pm at the LATEST. This will give me 7.5 hours of sleep at the least, if I wake up at 5:30. On nights before my early morning gym sessions I will go to bed earlier.-This has been going well. Except for Tuesdays, because Parenthood is on NBC at 10:00. I DON'T get in bed then because I'm afraid I'll fall asleep! hehe
16. Get at least 4 massages this year. It's necessary in my line of work ;)- Scheduling one this month to fulfill my quarterly quota ;)
17.............start tossing around my book ideas................ ;)
18. Blog at least once a week

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I don't get you...

Quinlan is silly. He has a silly heart, a beautiful, quarky spirit, and is-in general-"spirited." He "lives life with gusto," as his daycare provider calls it. As you can imagine, his silliness confuses me. It's not the silliness of the toddler that confuses me, it's the evident and deeply ingrained silliness of his soul. He is empathetic, which is difficult for a toddler. However, if he were in an adult body, he would be certifiably insane.

I don't remember being silly when I was a child. I had a fantastic and deep imagination (including a long-standing imaginary friend, named Katie) and I could play by myself for hours- I still could. But, I don't ever remember embodying silliness. Paige is like this- I get her.

Aiden has a third personality altogether that is tough for me as well. He plays, relatively quietly, has bursts of silliness (especially around dawn), but is devastatingly sensitive. Mid- laugh he could fall on his butt and cry for 5 minutes. The same fall would have Quinlan rolling on the ground laughing, and Paige would sigh, purse her lips and get up and on her way.

I'm grateful that my children have very distinct personalities. They are all very loving, and while in their silliness they act the same, but they are VERY different.

The fact that I "get" Paige terrifies me to my core, and delights my mom because, well......she will one day be a teenager- and that's frightening if she is anything like I was. :)

So, when people look at Quinn in the midst of his silly explosions and cock their head to the side like a puppy watching a butterfly, I want to nod and say, "I know. I don't get it either...." But, I'm his mom, so I don't think I'm supposed to do that. Instead I smile and nod, shrug my shoulders and say, "that's Quinn."