Thursday, March 15, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

Auntie Leila has been talking about eating dinner together over at Like Mother, Like Daughter.  I've been really enjoying this posts, which, in addition to providing some great ideas and practical advice, make me realize that I'm actually doing rather well in this department.  We have two children, both under the age of two, and we eat dinner together (at the same time!) every night.

Things go better if I have dinner ready at six or just a little after.  Delays result in cranky babies.  Lucy eats the same things we eat most days, and Linus has just started eating a little mush, which requires separate preparation.  I'm trying not to rely on jars of baby food, but that requires some planning.

I have some things I'm working on, too.  Many times, in the mad dash from Daddy getting home, to supper, to bathtime, to bedtime, there's no time to clean up the dinner dishes.  Water running to rinse the dishes in the sink wakes them, so we don't do the dishes after they're in bed either.  There have been far too many nights that last night's dishes have to be removed from the table so that I can put tonight's food on the table.

The table is clean, the floor is swept, and napkins and bibs are ready and waiting.  It was really nice to have the table looking like this when I was ready to put food on it last night.

I also love the picture we have by the table.  It's an image of the walk to Emmaus, where Christ was made known to his disciples in the breaking of the bread.

And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them.  But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.  But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 
Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre, And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive. And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not. Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken.  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him. And they drew nigh to the town, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther. But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight.  --Luke 24:13-31
Part of the trick to getting dinner on the table on time is that I have to get started before my husband gets home, and that means I have to keep the little ones happy at the same time.

This is one of my tricks for making that happen.  Lucy has her own cabinet full of kitchen-themed toys.  She has a plastic tea set in the basket (because baskets make everything better) and play food up on the shelf.  She takes thing out and puts them away again.

It occurs to me suddenly that I should put all of her dishes on the lid of the dishwasher when I need to unload it.  She could be happily occupied putting her dishes away while I put my dishes away.

She asks for water in her teacup, and drinks it.  When she inevitably spill some on the floor she asks for a towel to wipe it up.  And when she start to open cabinets that are not suitable for her to play in, I just direct her back to this one.  Lucy's happy.  Mama's happy.  Linus watches all the commotion and is happy, too.

Somewhere recently I saw a suggestion of having a warm wet cloth on the table ready for wiping little hands and faces, instead of having to go get it when they're done.  I thought it was in Auntie Leila's latest post, but it isn't there, and I don't remember where it was.  At any rate, I thought it was a good idea, but I wondered how to keep it warm?  A warm wet cloth is infinitely nicer than a cold wet one, but the one turns into the other in far less time than it takes us to eat dinner.

Here's my solution.  Before dinner wet a washcloth in HOT water.  Wring it, fold it, roll it up, and put it in a jar.  Put the lid on; the lid prevents the evaporation which is largely responsible for cooling the washcloth.  When the little people are ready to get out of their chairs, there is a nice, warm washcloth ready to wipe their hands and faces.  So ... yes, there was a washcloth in a jar on my table last night.  It worked perfectly.

The real has been sprinkled throughout this post, so here's some more pictures:

round button chicken


  1. Great post! The washcloth jar is a genius idea. Even our 5 year old usually needs a quick swipe after dinner. I'm going to find a jar right now!

  2. I love your washcloth jar! I need to try that out. Your home is lovely. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I'll be trying the washcloth in a jar idea, too! Great idea! It also looks so much more tidy than just a folded, wet washcloth on the dinner table. :)
    -Gwenny @

  4. Thanks for your post -- you really have it together! The jar is a good idea, not mine :) We definitely jumped up to get a nice warm washcloth -- the "crack clean-up team" leaped into action! Your idea is smart :)