Friday, October 30, 2015

Making Mama's Kitchen with a 3.5 and 1.5 year old

Every couple years, it seems like I'm struck with the realization that my kitchen is once again changing.  Not just the physicality of it, like new appliances, new flooring, or in this case, new house, but also the feeling of it.  When I first revamped my blog from "Ashley's Kitchen" to "Making Mama's Kitchen," Annalyn was only about 5 months old and I was astounded at how our kitchen had been taken over by bottles, drying racks, and baby bathtubs.  I could see that my kitchen would never be "mine" again. (post)

As Annalyn got older, she hit the I-want-to-help-with-everything stage and learned how to push the kitchen chairs up to our island to help me cook.  I embraced the change, and learned valuable lessons like, don't fill the mixer bowl and plug it in without checking first to see if she's pulled the knob all the way to high (see post here).  My mother-in-law made us matching aprons and we even used a sweet baking photoshoot to announce that I was pregnant with Emma.

Another baby meant that my kitchen was (again) taken over by bottles, pump supplies, and baby soap, in addition to sippy cups, kiddie plates, and highchairs.  There was never enough room or enough hands.  Cooking with a baby in a carrier wasn't a novel thing, but a necessary one. 

A year and a half later, Mama's kitchen looks even more different.  Yes, we're in a new house (see kitchen tour post here), and we painted the table, but that's not it.  Now, there are two chairs pushed up to the island every time I cook. Two sets of sticky fingers looking for a taste.  Two sets of tiny toes standing tip-toed to reach for my measuring cups.  Two little ladies demanding an apron (because even my 17-month old knows it's silly to cook without one.  Why waste a good opportunity to wear something that fun?).

sometimes, you guys even take turns and cooperate!

Sounds adorable, right?  (It is.)  Now, add in a hot oven/stove top/slow cooker/etc., a knife and a bunch of veggies to chop, something that splatters/spills easily, and/or *gasp* raw eggs.  Not quite as picturesque, is it?  Don't get me wrong, I love that my girls like to cook with me.  It is so important to me that they learn to cook and appreciate good food and the work that goes into cooking homemade meals.  But some days, it takes all the patience that I have to manage it (disclaimer:  I am not the most patient person to begin with - it is a constant struggle).  That's why, in the journey of making Mama's kitchen and all that I envision for it, I'm currently in the "sticky fingers, tiny toes, and a whole lotta patience" stage.  And love, there's always love that goes into preparing food for the people you love.

Girls, if you're reading this a decade or so later (which I always hope that you will), just remember that you're only good cooks now (again, your mama's assumption/hope for the future), because I took the time to let you make messes, taste everything, test my patience, and enjoy the journey (while occasionally kicking you out of the kitchen for your own safety). 

Love you more than sugar (yes, Annalyn, more than salt, too),


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