There have been some comments on some recent posts that I wanted to respond to. First, I have loved hearing about everyone's rabbit stories. Thank you for sharing them. Since I have been telling people about our bunnies, I have heard quite a few stories about mother rabbits having babies in ridiculous places. It makes our front yard look like quite a reasonable choice in comparison. For those who are interested, the baby bunnies have all hopped away. The day after we sat and painted them, the boys reported that the bunnies started hopping out of the nest in various directions. A few returned that evening but the next day they were gone, with none of them returning. They must have been about 4 weeks old. We did some research and discovered that baby rabbits get fur and open their eyes by 3 weeks old and the mother then leaves them, returning only to feed them. This is about the time (we think) that we discovered them. We were aware of their presence for about 4 or 5 days. I don't know, seems pretty young to be out and about in the world, but then, I am not a rabbit.
Next, thanks to Law Mommy's comments on my last post, I have been thinking about how I could clarify what I was trying to say. Yes, I agree that being a new mother can be difficult; it's a pretty steep learning curve. But, I think that this is due to several factors, not necessarily due to the parenting of a baby in and of itself. (This is assuming, of course, that post-partum depression is not involved. That changes everything and in no way do I make light of its debilitating affects.) First, if a new mother has been used to interacting with other adults for most of the day, suddenly finding oneself alone with only a baby or a baby and a toddler can be a shock. During this period I found that talking to other mothers to be sanity-saving. And do you know which mothers were the most helpful? It wasn't the other new moms. It was great to talk with them, and I made some wonderful friends in the mothers who were at the same stage as I. But, while we could commiserate together about our lack of sleep and such things, they couldn't offer me the experience that I needed to make this new career work. (And sometimes, a whole bunch of new mothers together is anything but helpful. I'm sure everyone has experienced that whole competitive-mother thing... "Well, my baby can say 10 words already at 8 months and we're starting to teach him French as well." Demoralizing.) No, it was the more experienced mothers who I found the most helpful. It was they who were able to put things in perspective, offer advice, and give support. I was blessed that there were a few experienced mothers in my church who had the time to offer to a young mother. I am afraid, though, that in the past 17 years since I started having babies, that there are fewer and fewer woman in this stage of life who are available to mentor young mothers. Sometimes I think we as a society have so over-valued earning a paycheck that in consequence those pursuits and endeavors that are done by women who choose to keep home instead are correspondingly devalued. As a result, fewer and fewer women are left to do them.
Now, since I am the queen of tangents, I have to work my way back to my original thesis, which is: that it is the newness of being a parent which makes the first one or two babies difficult and not the raising of babies in general. My other supporting point is my own experience and that of my friends who have more than two or three children. Our general consensus is that subsequent babies are just easier. While each baby is different and it takes some figuring-out as to what works, there are fewer surprises. I know how to get a shower with small people around and I also know the world won't end if I don't. And I don't think it is because I have more older people, though that does make things even easier. Even when my big people are all off doing things and I have just littles, it still feels more manageable. There is so much I just do without having to think about it.
I will confess, though, that being left alone with the twins has it's own learning curve. There have been many times in the past year where I feel like a new mom all over again. Perhaps that is why this topic resonates so much with me these days. But twins aside, my steep learning is constantly on the upper end, where my older children are. I've never parented a 17 year old before and I still find myself looking to mothers who are past that stage to learn from their experience and listen to their wisdom.
Now having clarified (Ha!) that point, on to the requested recipe. It is so easy that it hardly qualifies as needing a recipe but here goes...
Carnitas (at least my version of it)
Take one beef roast and put it in a slow cooker. Add salt and pepper. You could also add sliced onion and peppers if you want, but I never do because I like not having to slice anything on a day that is busy... when I'm often making this. Turn to high and cook ~6 hours. If you need to start it earlier, turn to high for an hour, then turn down to low and cook the rest of the day. Shred meat. Serve on soft tortillas with your typical taco toppings: shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, olives, sour cream, avocado, salsa, etc. That's it. It's probably one of the easiest things I fix.
On an entirely different note: Does anyone in my area have an extra baby swing (the kind that hangs from a swing set, not the type that you put an infant in)? We have one in the shape of an airplane, but have two babies who love to swing. I would love to find another.