Monday, May 28, 2012

Sometimes, You Just Need to be Silly

   You all know those days, we all have them, when things just aren’t going the way they should.  The dogs are chewing up your kid’s toys.  Your kid is beating up the dogs.  Your husband just isn’t being much of a help.  The dishes are piling up, and you can’t seem to get a handle on it all.  Yeah, we all have those days.  
    Just yesterday I was having a day like that.  We had a three-day marathon in which each family member took a turn being sick.  By the end of it everything in the house needed to be cleaned, Monkey was tired of being ignored, and Daddy (being the last to get sick) was just too out-of-it to lend much of a hand.  I remember thinking it’d be a good idea to plug in a movie and relax, but for some reason, that old stand-by wasn’t helping much.  Monkey wasn’t sitting through it like normal.  She kept trying to climb all over her sick daddy or cling to my legs as I attempted to clean up our home.  All-in-all it was just turning into “one of those days”.  
   Thankfully, my sister had pinned this remarkable website the same day, and I remember reading it, thinking it may come in handy one day.  The woman who wrote it has great tips for “resetting your kids’ day”.  It only seemed logical after about the third tantrum of the day, in which Monkey threw her dinner on the floor for the dogs, that I should be desperate enough to give one of these tips a try.  I called a time-out and took a leaf out of this woman’s book by herding my little family (even J, who was feeling better at this point) into the living room, and began handing out their shoes.  J looked a little confused when I announced that everyone should put their shoes on their hands, get down on their knees, and crawl around the room.  At first I felt plain old silly (especially when I chanced a glance back at J who was being a good sport and playing along).  Then I began to laugh, and, seeing Monkey smiling for the first time that day, I began to understand the whole point in all this was to be plain old silly.  Sometimes you have to take a break from being “Mom” and “Dad” and “Kid”, get out of your assigned roles,  and just get down on the same level and enjoy yourselves, together.  You can’t always take yourself so seriously.  It’s okay to be a little silly; your kids need that.
    After about fifteen minutes of fun, I was able to lead my little girl upstairs and into the tub without any protests.  And, after leaving her with J, I was able to go about my chores with a smile on my face because I no longer felt guilty about putting housework before my kid.  I highly recommend checking out the other suggestions on the website as well.  I have a feeling I’ll be giving them all a try sooner or later.

   I must say the whole thing helped me to realize that I can do this whole stay-at-home-mom thing again.  I can handle what my daughter throws at me (literally, even, if that be the case).  It was a very empowering feeling that was still lingering today when I decided to get a jump start on tomorrow's crafts by making the glitter Monkey will be using.  

    It was so easy, and I even had the brilliant idea of putting it in these "up-cycled" seasoning jars.  So here's what you need:

1/2 cup salt (can be sea salt, table salt, or Kosher salt) 
food coloring

Mix salt (I preferred the Kosher salt because it had the bigger granules) and a few drops of your chosen food coloring in a bowl.  Spread over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let cool, and transfer to containers.  (The great thing about using the parchment paper is you can roll it into a funnel so you have less of a mess when transferring the glitter to the containers.)

    Of course, I can't let you go without sharing a recipe, too.  Here's a recipe I recently discovered (on Pinterest, of course) that I just had to try.  It's for Buffalo Chicken Tacos, and they are wonderful!

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour.)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 TBS cornstarch
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup wing sauce (I used Texas Pete Mild Sauce.)
1 TBS oil
10 flour tortillas
Desired toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, avocado, additional wing sauce, ranch or blue cheese, green onions, and/or chopped onions.

Season chicken with black pepper.  In a medium bowl mix flour, cayenne pepper, cornstarch, and garlic powder.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Dredge chicken in flour mixture.  Add to Dutch oven, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  You might want to do this in 2 batches so as to not "crowd the meat" (said in a very Julia Child-esque manner).  Once all your chicken is browned, toss in a medium bowl with the wing sauce, and serve over tortillas with desired toppings.  Makes 10 tacos.

   I love using the mild sauce because it's not too hot for Monkey, but J only has to add a bit more sauce to his to get it just as hot as he wants.  I also like to heat my tortillas up in a skillet over medium heat for about a minute so that it's nice and warm and pliable.  


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