Smoke alarms, screaming babies & shiitake mushrooms….

  I am so tired today. 

 So so so tired. 

I was up all night with a puker and saw the clock every hour.  Nap time didn’t pan out, as each kid alternated being awake, so when I set out to prep supper, much later than I intended to start…..I still had visions in my sleep deprived brain, of peaceful and easy supper preparation.

  You know, getting each item done ahead of time to allow for a leisurely baking time, setting the table as we listened to Christmas music.  The children, playing quietly in the other room, are waiting patiently for their meal.  Daddy comes home just as the food comes out of the oven, and we all greet him with a kiss and sit down to a delightful meal, all as a family!

  Welcome to Tonya-land, where the sun is always shining, and lemons always come in the form of lemonade, where children drape their little arms around each others shoulders, and sing Kumbaya all the day long. 


Oh no! What is that I hear?  Is it…. could it be???

Why yes, it’s REALITY!!!!!!

  Or the fire alarm. 

Which I set off twice during supper prep, while pan searing Pork Chops in olive oil.  There were no flames, just smoke. Apparently, more smoke than I knew, since I was shocked when it set off the smoke detector in the laundry room.


  Yeah, it was one of those nights, and not my finest mommy hour for sure.  I lost my cool, yelled at my kids, made my baby cry it out in his bouncy seat for over 20 minutes, all while frantically baking the whole wheat rolls I had made in one oven, and throwing together the Potato & Shiitake Mushroom Gratin for the other oven. I knew I couldn’t stop to nurse my now-purple, screaming child, because this lovely dish takes 1 hour and 40 minutes in the oven, AFTER 28 minutes of mushroom sautéing. (don’t let this scare you, it was DELISH and is a must-make, just learn from my mistake and start earlier in the day….)   

  At this point, stopping to nurse for a half hour, would set supper back so close to bedtime, it wasn’t even funny. 

  So on we went, all set to the backdrop of the phone ringing, the baby screaming, the smoke alarm detecting – LOUDLY.  And inside, mommy was doing a slow boil. 

Enter Avery.

“Put my jammies on momma?” 

“Fine, this will save me time later,” I am thinking to myself, as I hurriedly dress her.

   Mad baby- still crying, smoke alarm- alarming again, phone ringing-  it’s Daddy, on his way home, dog barking- at what? No one knows!  And boy, is the clock ticking!  

Uh oh, time to get the pork chops in, but both ovens are full!!!! 

 Enter Avery again.

Butt.   Naked.

“WHY ARE YOU NAKED?” I half roar to her.

Shoulders shrug, ” I dunno.”

“WHERE ARE YOUR JAMMIES?” I shriek, as I frantically work.

Again with the shrugging shoulders.


“I tant find ’em.”

  Stop everything to dress Avery in pj’s.  Again.  But this time, new ones. Who has time to find the discarded ones? Not me.  Oh, and where is Ty? No time to look, surely he is fine, or I’d hear him.  Lord knows we all can hear Paxton bawling!

  Back to the kitchen, to quickly pull out the now-done rolls, (which by the way, turned out the softest and fluffiest YET!) and slide in pork chops.  Pull potatoes from the top oven after reading recipe again and realizing they need to be covered in foil the first hour and 15 minutes.  And as I look for the roll of foil, I am throwing dishes in the sink rather than my normal “clean up as I go so I have less to do later” method.  What a mess! 

Enter Tylan.

Wearing undies. 

He is wearing ONLY undies.


Hands on half-naked hips: “But Avery got to be naked……”


<HUGE sigh> Ty exits.

  After a quick peach slicing session, and letting Destiny (who is just arriving home from a fun after school date at Nana’s) make the crumb topping for the Peach Crisp with maple cream sauce, I finally am at a stopping point, and will just have to deal with the sink full of dishes later.

    I sit to nurse the now-sniveling 4 month old baby, who latches desperately to my breast, gulping as if his life depended on it…..

Oh wait.  It does. 

Never mind.

 As I finally relax, I start to glance around the living room and play room. 

You have GOT to be kidding me….. 

  There in the play closet are Avery’s original jammies and socks…..and underneath that? About 100 puzzle pieces to about 7 different puzzles that she had dumped out. And on the floor below those?  Blue highlighter scribbles on the carpet. 

Oh Avery, you better run for your life.

  I will stop my story here, but needless to say, Avery got in BIG trouble.  I never did figure out where Tylan was all that time.  The house was trashed from living room to play room, and Dale just walked in the door, gave me a kiss, shook his head and laughed at the chaos around him.  God knew I needed someone layed back like him.  He can always make me smile. 

And on we went…..

  Dinner was fantastic, (even though I forgot to steam some veggies to go with it), the conversation light- hearted and fun, the dessert delicious, and all was well once again in the Ferguson household. 

(Huge sigh of relief)  I am much happier when life goes according to my little agenda and schedule that I set for myself, but I am learning more and more, that God is asking me (requiring me?) to learn to roll with it.  Whatever “it” is at the moment. 

   So, you will have to try the Potato & Shiitake Mushroom Gratin.  Its my new favorite side!  Bumped to second place is PW’s Sesame noodles and 3rd place on my “Favorite Sides” list, is her Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce . 

   Someday I’ll type out this side dish for you~ it’s DIVINE!  Very unique, looks creamy and is so pretty (despite how it looks in the photo, sorry!) and would be a FANTASTIC Holiday side dish!!!!!! 

A word to the wise, don’t start making this dish at 5. 

 Here’s to a bright and sushiney day, with happy, non-vomiting children and no chaotic moments in the kitchen or messes in the play room.

Please, God?!

 <fingers crossed>


4 thoughts on “Smoke alarms, screaming babies & shiitake mushrooms….

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Tonya-land «

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