Friday, May 30, 2008

The Final Countdown

I have reached that stage of my pregnancy where, on a given day, I might get an irresistible urge to paint the entire house, plant an herb garden, or sew a complete set of crib bedding from scratch (note: I don't sew); yet I am officially too big to even put on my pants by myself.  Some call this urge the nesting instinct.  I call it panic.

See, at thirty-six weeks and counting, you suddenly realize you only have about three or four weeks left to be an actual human being (albeit one with a rather large, energetic parasite that starts doing water ballet about 11p.m. each night) before being plunged back into the world of feed, spit-up, poop, feed, spit-up, poop, feed, spit-up, poop -- a world where you exist in such an exhaustion-induced stupor that when you finally come to, you realize you haven't showered or brushed your teeth in six weeks.  (Incidentally, this is the part of motherhood you conveniently forgot when you started to consider getting pregnant again).

Yeah, it's beginning to dawn on me that, unless I act quickly, the crayon mural my two-year-old created on the sliding-glass door will still be there in a year and a half, along with the drips of orange juice on the wall behind the kitchen table, and the twenty-some-odd boxes in the basement labeled "Stuff" left from our last move.

So I've written up a nice long list of impossible tasks to complete before the end of June -- things like cleaning out all the cupboards in the kitchen, organizing the storage room, and finishing the novel I started six years ago.  And I'm all geared up to accomplish every last one of them -- something that would seem so much more achievable if only I could see my shoes.

Pumpkin Soup

An easy soup that my kids love to help me make.  They can help with everything except heating it on the stove.

1 tsp. onion powder
3 T. butter (melted)
1 can unsweetened pumpkin
1 can chicken broth
1 C. half-and-half
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 T. brown sugar or honey
1/4 t. yellow curry (if you like curry)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot but not boiling.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

This is a Russian recipe that usually uses "Tvorog" or farmer's cheese.  I can't find any in my area so I just use cottage cheese, and it works fine (though it doesn't taste exactly authentic).  My kids help me mix them up, and I fry them up.

1 C. cottage cheese
2 eggs
3 T. sugar (Jack's favorite part!)
3/4 cup flour
dash of salt

Combine ingredients and drop by spoonfuls into a frying pan coated with oil or cooking spray.  Brown on both sides and serve with butter, jam, or even sour cream on top.

Easy Peach Dessert

Another fun recipe to make with kids -- just toss in ingredients, mix, and stick it in the oven.  

1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
1 can peach slices
1/4 C. brown sugar

In a baking dish, combine flour, sugar, egg, soda, vanilla, and salt.  Mix in peaches.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes.  Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.