It was a productive day here. The sun was shining, it was a rare warm-ish sort of day and it seems warm sunny days are the best in my life to get things moving.
I began by cleaning out my oven at 8am. This poor oven that takes abuse most days and is relied upon to feed a small army on a regular basis, doesn’t get the care it deserves. The top gets nasty quickly and since that’s the visible part, it gets cleaned regularly. But the inside? Oy. Yeah, maybe twice a year I get to that. Self clean button? What’s that?
So that got done, in addition to breaking in my new 8 qt Instapot (!) which I was able to purchase during a great black Friday sale. I stuck in a beef roast and called it lunch and dinner (90 minutes to tender shredded beef, y’all)! Having an intense craving for chocolate and being that it’s been a full two days since I baked something, I whipped up a batch of zucchini brownies (best use ever for that veggie). Although now that I say that I’m thinking zucchini fritters and zucchini lasagna…
Next I mopped the kitchen floor, did laundry (of course), mailed out three soap orders (thanks Kelly, Terry, and Melissa!), did sit down lessons on Spanish speaking Central American countries with the girls and supervised tortilla making to go along with those lessons (because, Mexico).
Those tortillas tasted really good with the beef.
It was feeling so good to get it all done, but somewhere in between oven elbow grease and picking up my 10th grader from school, I started feeling guilty.
I hadn’t spent enough time with my littlest ones today.
And quality time is so much more important than a clean oven, right?
Sometimes it occurs to me that this life of parenting teens and homeschooling elementary and junior high-ers, of running a business and writing a blog, of breathing new life into an old farm, and changing diapers and nursing babies, etc etc etc, just sometimes, someone gets overlooked.
I used to be such a FUN mom of preschoolers! Back when all I had was preschoolers it was easier to make so much more of an effort. So, feeling guilty today, with the little time I had left of the afternoon, I pulled out an old favorite from the recipe box, pulled my three year old (Lucas) alongside of me, and we made playdough together.
Yellow. Because that’s what he chose.
He giggled and blushed when I praised him for his stellar stirring abilities, and was thrilled at the feel of the warm, soft dough in his hands when we were finished. We proceeded to make many (many) snakes (yellow ones), and snowmen (also yellow).
The laundry didn’t get put away, but it was time well spent. Preschoolers are so fun.
As I was sitting there with him, I thought that perhaps I should share this time tested recipe with you in the next blog I write. There’s a million recipes for homemade playdough out there. Perhaps you have an even better one. But since this is the one I’ve used for all eight of my babies, this is the one that’s special to me.
So here’s the recipe I’ve used for many years. It takes 5 minutes and turns out perfect. It makes quite a bit, so I often halve it and make two separate batches so I can make two different colors. Stored in a baggie, it tends to last a long time (if it doesn’t end up drying up in little balls all over the house first -please tell me I’m not the only one).
2 cups of flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups water with a few drops of food coloring added
2 Tbsp oil
Mix all in a pan and cook over medium heat until it forms a hard ball. Knead. (It will be quite hot initially, so wait until it cools a bit if the kids want to help with this step)
*optional add ins:
Glitter, for glitter dough!
This was popular with my three girls when they were younger. I even made some for birthday gifts a time or two.
A couple drops of lavender essential oil for a calming experience! (hey, a mom’s gotta try)
There’s just something a little extra special about playing with playdough that’s been made with love.
Tomorrow may be a much less productive day. I’m just not that good all the time. But I’m certainly going to make time to enjoy the wonder of a preschooler.
Because blink, and it’s …