Late to church, Steffan Engaged Part II

6:00- 7:00- I started making dinner. I had planned to go to the grocery store this weekend, but I ended up deciding just to really clear out all the food/leftovers before going to the store, plus I wanted to deep clean the fridge before loading it up again, and at this point on Sunday, I only had half the fridge done. So dinner was a pantry affair of tomato soup, canned peaches and some pepper slices and cherry tomatoes.

Fiona wandered out from her room still a little weepy. I distracted her with the applesauce- it was the end of the jar and before church I had showed her how you upend the jar into a bowl and it will drip down. Earlier she had sat watching it slowly drip out. I had forgotten about it and it was there on the table. I told her “Look! The applesauce all came out!” This brought her back to normal and she finished the applesauce and then helped me with dinner. We didn’t discuss the “incident.” Leif was really hungry at this point so I just had to clear the table a tiny bit and start feeding them.

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Here’s what the kitchen looked like at this point.  Has your kitchen ever looked like this? Please say yes. And comment. So I know I am not alone. I hadn’t had a chance to deal with it since getting home. Let’s take a closer look at what is going on:


1. Dirty dishes placed here because the dishwasher is clean (#13) and positioned far away from sink. I also had mixing bowls soaking in sink so dirty dishes from morning had to go somewhere.

2. Butter packaging. We recycle, but the recycling is in the other room and I was too much in a hurry to run it in there.

3. Tomato soup.

4. Grapefruit I had gotten out this morning for our breakfast, but then decided it would be too time consuming and went with just cold cereal. No, I was too much in a hurry to throw that back in the fridge!

5. The countertop cleaner. Yes, I have faith that at some point the counters will be cleared off enough for this to get used.

6. See #1

7. Shout out to Sara because this is the olive oil dispenser from Italy that she gave me the last time I saw her in Germany when Leif was born. It fit our old kitchen better, but still love it Sara! Although usually it lives on the other side of the oven.

8. Leif had pushed a chair over to the counter- his new favorite pastime and taken kitchen utensils out of that white peacock jar and put them all over the counter and house. Later while brushing teeth in the kids bathroom, he was attempting to peel my legs with the vegetable peeler he had carried in there. I suppose he must have done this while I was in the room with Fiona?

9. Bread flour. No I did NOT have time to put it away this morning!

10. Baking pan for rolls & kitchen cloth/oven mitt I used to take rolls out of oven.

11. Pyrex of water I used to help steam oven during bread rising.

12. Shout out to Steffananpolly- here are the gourmet olive oil and basalmic you sent me for my birthday. They are awesome with this recipe for baguettes.

13. Press-n-Seal that I had gotten out to wrap Fiona’s dough in. You see, when I was shaping the dough balls for the 2nd rise, Fiona wanted to take ownership of some dough, so I gave her a little ball to work with. However I didn’t bake hers so I could save it for later.

14. OK, remember how I ditched cleaning the rest of the fridge in favor of watching Grey’s Anatomy while texting with Aleida while eating Rocky Road Shake delivered by Good Neighbors? I had hand-washed the shelves and the big plastic drawers and white slidy things and then set them on towels on the table and counters overnight to dry. But then when I needed counter space at 6:30 to make the dough,  I didn’t want to take the 10 minutes it always does to remember what shelves go where and how, so I just put the shelves against the wall where the cutting boards are. But no, I usually do not have refrigerator shelves cluttering my kitchen space.

15. This is where our amazing and magical motion sensor trashcan and our crappy broom (broom recommends anyone? something I could buy online from Amazon?) and our swiffer live.

16. Computer showing Life Event “STEFFAN AND POLLY ARE ENGAGED!”

17. Random toys that had migrated to the kitchen during the many comings and goings of the children during the day. I had just grouped them all together on that side of the counter until I have time to distribute them back to their natural habitats.

18. If you look really closely you can see that these are the sparkling clean refrigerator drawers stacked neatly because of #14

19. Pupperdog, the stuffed dog that “Father Christmas” brought Fiona when we met him on a train in Harrogate, England when we were visiting the Osterhouts. Also see #17.

20. Cereal bowls from this morning. Not put in sink or dishwasher yet, see reason #1. Id bet a hundred bucks that my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law have never ever had dirty breakfast dishes still out on the table while their kids were eating dinner.  I’m embarrassed that they are probably looking at this picture in horror, but I know they love me anyway.

21. This is Fiona. In comfy clothes.

22. Pantry Special in two delicious courses!

23.The pot of melted butter, sugar and milk that had to be heated to near-boiling and then cooled (for the rolls). Instead of putting it in the sink to soak, I had forgotten about it when I set it on top of….

24. …Fiona’s “feely box.”  You know, where you cut out two holes in a shoe box so that the child can put hand in one side and adult can put hand in other side and you guide the child to feel an object to see if the child can identify without looking? I made this for Fiona and decorated it, and it was in that music bag I needed for church, but remember how Fiona got into that bag? So the feely box ended up on the kitchen table somehow.

25. Can of peaches. See #2

26.  Pile of kitchen towels used to cover the dough during rising processes. Also here is the oven mitt and a towel I had to use in addition because I melted the smiley froggy oven mitt featured in this post by putting the pizza stone on top of it.

27. One of, if not the most important objects I own, Grandma Trogdon’s hand-carved rolling pin.

28. Can you tell this was the place where I had flour on the table when I rolled out the dough to cut it for crescents? Just…..hadn’t…..gotten….to….wiping…it…up…..yet.

29. Leif’s airplane bib which he ripped off.

3o. Leif

7:00-7:30– So, I fed them dinner in maybe not the tidiest environment ever, but I promise it was sanitary. I used to be able to be less hands-on during dinner, but since Leif is a bit too skinny, we have to monitor and assist his eating a little bit more now. 

7:30-8:00- Kids had time just to play on their own and I tidied up some from dinner, and started writing Rijen an email about the day….which ended up being these two posts.

8:00-9:00–  Yes, bedtime ritual takes about an hour, if not more. Once pajamas were on, we took care of the diaper changing, potty going, hands and face washing, teeth brushing bathroom duties. Then we retired to Fiona’s bedroom where we set the evening ambience by adjusting the appropriate lighting accordingly and all clambered up on Fiona’s bed. Next we read 3 books.

We have some illustrated Japanese children’s folktale books on loan, so for the past week we have been reading 3 stories from the books. I am amazed at how similar the Japanese folktales are to many Brother’s Grimm tales.  Basically, if you are nice to small woodland creatures, you will be rewarded by gold coins, and if you are greedy, you will die a horrible death or live a horrible life. And possibly one with two wens

After book we read a scripture and said a prayer. Then I took Leif to his crib where he sweetly said, “Ni ni Mama.”

Then I have to go back to Fiona where I snuggle with her and have talking time, back scratchie time and snuggle time. Ok, she is a little spoiled at bedtime! I did say to her during talking time:

“Fiona I’m a little bit sad about something.”

“I know mom.” 

“What do you think I’m sad about?”

“You’re sad that I hit you.” 

“That’s right.” We then talked a little bit about it and she apologized and we discussed other things she could do when she gets really upset. We’ll see what she does the next time…..

9:30-11:30 I remember it being 9:30 when I started cleaning the kitchen. Perhaps in between leaving Fiona and 9:30 I changed into pajamas myself, probably tidied up the bathroom from the kids, probably checked email & oh yeah, I had to load up my i-shuffle with podcasts so I could be entertained while I attacked the kitchen.

This was achieved with the Dinner Party Download, Grantland  (have to be ready for the new Bachelorette season) and Radio Lab. Please don’t roll your eyes or groan internally, but when I listened to this podcast, when the guy played the clarinet with the White-crested Laughing Thrush -starts at minute 2:20- at minute 3:34 -I got chills. Of course it also could have been that I was halfway inside a refrigerator at 11PM at night.

It usually takes half as long to clean up, but the kitchen isn’t usually this crazy (and you only saw one side, right?) and I still had the rest of the fridge to clean. I also wanted to be really thorough.

11:30- Finally I was done. I assume everyone likes a good before and after, right? I know I do.

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Don’t worry, I’m not diagramming the fridge…unless you want me to!

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Finally I could relax. While watching an old episode of Breaking Bad, I ate my little bowl of leftovers and guess how tired I was, guys. I didn’t even have ice cream. That’s serious!

I guess I should admit though that the 2 hour cleaning session was in part fueled by frequent trips to a mixing bowl of chilled chocolate chip cookie dough.

About 12AM to 1AM I started writing Post I, which I finished up in the morning. Leif woke up during the night and I had the brilliant idea of taking him into bed with me, because it would just be so cuddly to have him there. Most bad ideas seem brilliant at 2AM.  At 6:30AM he woke me up demanding cereal and it started all over again…..


…….So I guess some takeaways I have from this is…

-Steffan’s announcement made a really mundane, forgettable day very memorable. I’m glad I will remember May 19th not as the day I was really late to church and got soaked in the rain, but the day that Steffan and Polly got engaged.

-Things I do regularly with kids just take up a lot of time. I don’t think I ever really timed it out or accounted for exactly how much time certain processes take.  I don’t think I like to think about it too hard, because I feel that if I did, it would seem too regimented or like we were living in a factory. Or possibly I would have a “nervous brakedown“[sic]. However, perhaps being a little more aware of time would help me to manage daily life better.

-Even though Leif is two, and I should know better by now,  it is hard to account for the additional time a second child takes. Plus, it is hard to factor in all the random things that happen which throw off normal routines.

-Upon thinking about Fiona and the several times she acted up- I think she needs some more one-on-one time with just me without Leif around. She probably needs a little more personal attention.

– Just to save you all the trouble of lecturing me,  I do know now how I could have made it to church on time. Made muffins, not rolls. Or just done it the night before. Put all church bags & diaper bag in car the night before. Even if they are packed and ready the night bef0re (as they both were) if they are in reach of kids, you are opening yourself to failure. Set out ALL outfits the night before, but out of reach of children. Remember to do the ironing before Sunday morning…..and on and on and on.

-Miss you Rijen! I know for a fact that if you had been there, there wouldn’t have been #1, #6, #20, #23, #25, #26, #28 and that I wouldn’t have had to clean up the rest of it by myself!


5 responses to “Late to church, Steffan Engaged Part II

  1. Wow! I felt like you were describing my life in every detail: the random toys all over the house that I pile up to return, the length of the bedtime routine, the 4 yr old struggling to figure out how to deal with frustration (and mama, too), the desire to deep clean but the reality that I’m just too tired and I sometimes want to relax, the stress involved in getting anywhere on time with small children, pod casts for big clean ups (This American Life), and on and on…… I loved reading this. Carry on brave soldier!


  2. I love the way you make the mundane of day to day entertaining. I was waiting impatiently for part 2. You are a good mom. I’m taking a picture of my kitchen for you right now. And I don’t even have fridge cleaning and roll making as an excuse for my mess.


  3. Your writing is funny, eloquent, cheeky, and touching…so fun to read, Megan…when are you writing a book?!


  4. Pingback: ╭ ( o‿ o#)ᕗ100th Post Celebration Pt.II ! | RIJ & MEG·

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