Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I'm sure that everyone has had days where it seems like for every step forward you take two or three back.

We had some baking to do today, and that didn't start off so well. I assigned my oldest son to make muffins, and one of the twins to make bread. I instructed them, as I always do, NOT to talk or fool around. Every time they do, there are mistakes that are made in the baking. We make our muffins from an "ABC Muffin Mix" recipe I have. The muffin mix is made in a huge bowl and stored for future use. It is 100% whole wheat. There are pages and pages of different muffins to make from this mix. One batch of the mix makes 4 or 5 batches of muffins.

Well, the two bakers were chattering despite my warning. Sure enough, mistakes were made. Soon my son came and said "can I double the recipe? I accidentally doubled the water measurement." I roll my eyes, and point out that he was talking to his sister, and thus, a mistake was made. So, I told him to go ahead and get it all mixed up in a double batch, but then separate the batter into two bowls. One for banana muffins, and one for blueberry muffins. Okay... I figure they are now under control, and the others are doing chores, so I turn to my sewing. Next thing I know my son is back at my elbow saying "there isn't enough mix left" . I tell him to go ahead and make up more. He starts. A few minutes later he is back at my elbow (I have yet to finish one seam by the way). "There isn't any powdered milk." ARGH! Now if I told him once, I told him a hundred times, that when we are ALMOST out of something, to write it on the shopping list on the fridge, or at least tell me so I can do it. The last time we made up the mix was about 2 months ago. All this time we could have picked it up.

By this time I am feeling a little ... unmotherly. The littles were scrapping with each other, the folders of laundry not folding, and now this nonsense in the kitchen. Oh, and that first seam STILL wasn't done! I tell my son to find a substitute in my cookbooks. I then get the littles calmed down, and the folders folding, and sit back down at the sewing machine.

A little while later my son tentatively approaches me saying he can't find any substitute. I tell him to look for some buttermilk powder, which we don't usually keep on hand, but hey, miracles happen, right?

Well, not this time. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I take a deep breath and try not to make a mountain out of a molehill.. but this is getting ridiculous! The folders have finished their task, the dishes are done, and everyone is at a good stopping spot, so I call everyone in the living room for our Proverbs and family Bible reading and prayer time. That went well, and it was good to take a break.

Everyone then disperses for some school work, piano practice, etc. I brainstormed a bit and asked Benjamin if the water was worked into the batter, or just sitting on top. I thought maybe we could drain it off, and just use the equivalent of plain milk instead of the water. He said it was sitting on top, but mixed with the oil he had already added. Hmmm... well, never mind then. He then informs me we are about out of vanilla. NOW he tells me?

I told him to just go ahead and help Caleb with some phonics. Everyone is working along fine now, so I get a little sewing done. Around 11:40 am I went into the kitchen to check and see if the bread was ready to be punched down. Not by a long shot. It hadn't risen at all! I called Elizabeth over and interrogated her. Yup.. she forgot the yeast. Why? Because she was talking. What did I tell her? Don't talk while baking! At this point I am nearly in tears, she IS in tears and Benjamin is very diligently looking down at his math. I gave her the pan of bread dough and told her to throw it out, and start over. What a waste!

I needed some tape for the sewing I was doing. I had to make a one inch seam for a casing, and was marking it on the foot plate with tape since my markings only go up to the standard 6/8 of an inch. I dig around in the junk drawer... no tape. NO TAPE? I just used it the other day. Not only did some child (whose initials are C.P.) use it without permission, but he used it UP and didn't tell me so I could add it to the shopping list. Mind you, the shopping was just done yesterday, so to have all this come up now is irritating me to no end.

By this point my hormones are raging, and I am losing it. I send everyone to their beds until lunch, except Elizabeth, who was working on a new batch of bread. I sit down at the puter just staring at the screen saver. Elizabeth tiptoed in and said "Mama, this is all the yeast we have, is that enough?". Well, what if it isn't? What am I supposed to do? ARGH! It isn't the usual amount we use, but I told her to go ahead and use it. It would still work, just take a little longer.

Nap time didn't go much better. The littles slept, yes, and that is good. I laid down on the couch but was continually interrupted by children who apparently had some sort of death wish today.
"Can I play on the computer?"
"Can I go downstairs to do the rest of my work?"
"Can I write some on my story on the puter?"
Can I.. Can I.. Can I....
Can I take a nap please? Just 15 minutes for crying out loud! I don't say that, but tell them no on all counts and to sit quietly and read for a few minutes. Finally everyone gets the hint and I was just settling down when Jerusha woke up and was crying to get out.

I gave up.

Dale called as he left work and asked if there was anything I needed him to pick up on the way home. As a matter of fact......

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