The past month or so I have felt like anything BUT a great mama. We have gone from our typical intense summer schedule right into a non-stop September filled with meetings, moving and random work trips. Normally, I try to keep Elli's schedule fairly routine and balanced, but lately that just hasn't been much of a reality.
I'd like to be one of those mamas that never EVER turns the TV on to occupy their toddler. I'd like to be one of those mamas that doesn't offer a snack as a quick defense against whining. I'd like to never raise my voice or get impatient when Elli has ignores me for the twentieth time. I'd like to be Michele Duggar minus 17 kids or so. I'd like to be like Babywisers with neat little schedules that include four different types of play time and learning. I'd like to offer Tot School and other educational activities. I'd like to do crafts and projects and all the other messy fun things Elli is finally old enough to do.
There is this thing called REALITY, however, that just doesn't allow us much time for all of that right now (or ever). Instead we fill our days with free play and sneak in book time between packing and appointments. The most teaching I've done in the last 3 weeks is showing her how to use the dust mop out of desperation to keep her OUT of the pantry (which has been a GREAT source of entertainment). The only pre-birth ideals I've really been able to hold onto in this transitional season are #1 sleeping routines and #2 super food.
So, this morning I shoved aside the mama guilt and we cuddled in bed watching an hour of cartoons. I then whipped up a batch of super wholesome stick-to-your-ribs-full-of-good-stuff super porridge. I was amazed at how just knowing I fed Elli really well made me feel like a good mom. Today I'm going to hold on to that feeling for as long as I can and ignore the guilt.
This is easy peasy and great for adults too. There are hundreds of different variations (if you have little ones I encourage you to check the book out at the library), but I'll just give you today's recipe.
Place in a food processor 1/3c of each (this doesn't have to be exact at all):
Brown Rice (I did 2 portions of rice)
Process contents two or more minutes until a fine powder (if you'd like more texture don't process as long, but it will take longer to cook). Store in airtight container in fridge and use as needed. Cooking ratio 1/4c grains to 1 c water.
Boil 2 cups of water with a dash of salt. Add 1/2c of processed mixture while whisking. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes (or until all grains are tender), whisking every few minutes to avoid sticking or lumps. The consistency should be fairly thick similar to oatmeal or cream of wheat.
Eat as is or add in pureed or chopped fruit or veggies. We had left over mashed yams from dinner so I put about a 1/4c of those into Elli's portion (vitamin A is vital as we approach sick season). Store the remaining cereal in an airtight container and reheat in microwave as needed (add hot water if consistency is too thick).