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Not Ready for the Summer to Wind-down

standard August 8, 2012 1 response

The fleeting thought that we were finally getting into the swing of summer crossed my mind this afternoon as I pulled into the driveway after the kids’ swim lessons.

The kids have finally come to grips with the fact that every minute of their every day doesn’t have to be hyper scheduled. They’ve started to get that “being home” is the new norm and that they’re expected to entertain themselves during that time. 

I’ve finally figured out that one scheduled activity per day – be that a playdate or a sports class – is a pretty good average.

Everyone has cottoned on to the fact that I’m going to make them nap every afternoon. Whether that means actual sleep or just reading quietly in bed is going to vary, but quiet time will prevail.

I finally figured out how to get the kids to do their summer worksheets. (10c a page. Not a side. A page. Works two ways, one they do their work, two C stops begging me for ideas on how to earn money.)

And I think we’re all loving this new lower key existence.

So of course on her way to the mailbox C spotted an acorn on the ground and inside the mailbox she found a bunch of catalogs touting backpacks and other back-to-school goodness.

I feel like that kid who just started having fun two seconds before mom says it’s time to go. Think if I start to kick and scream and beg for just five more minutes the fall and the start of school will hold off a bit longer?

Yeah, didn’t think so either.

No, but really, what’s for lunch?

standard January 31, 2012 2 responses

I know we’ve all read the book, or at least heard the maxim, about how no one really cares about what you had for lunch.

I mean, duh, in general that would be a terribly boring thing to write about. Unless you were a food blogger in which case it would be totally appropriate and would probably make me hungry.

But right now, right here, I want to know what you’re having for lunch. Especially if you hang out at home all day, working, not working, whatever. If you’re home between the hours of 11am and 1pm, I want to know what you’re feeding yourself.

See, I have a problem. I’ll find something awesome for lunch and make it, once, twice, three, fifteen times. I’ll stock up, pack the fridge or freezer full of my new favorite meal, and then, overnight, I’ll become overwhelmingly bored with my lunch options.

And that? Is when I start snacking instead of eating.

It is amazing how much crap I can ingest when I’m not sure what I’m craving.

So, since this whole having-lunch-at-home-pretty-much-every-day-instead-of-going-out thing is relatively new and since I’m almost over eating avocado and grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m turning to you for inspiration.

Do you make a big batch of soup every weekend? (That’s what Kelly of TheCentsibleLife.com does.)

Do you always cook enough dinner for lunch left-overs? (That’s what Tonya of www.tonyastaab.com does.)

Do you find ways to jazz up a salad? (That’s what Katja of www.skimbacofood.com does.)

Or do you just forage in the fridge for hummus or an errant yogurt and carrot sticks? (That’s what Julie of Just-precious.com does.)

Help me people! Don’t make me go back to the frozen burritos that have been playing hide and seek with the frozen peas!

Driving all day long

standard January 9, 2012 2 responses

I would have made a terrible chauffeur. I just don’t have the patience and what little patience I do have is being sorely tried this month.

Let’s be clear. I am a great short order cook. Eggs and toast? You got ’em. Last minute order of hot dogs? I’m on it. I also happen to be pretty good at cleaning the laundry, doing the groceries, taking out the trash, loading and unloading the dishwasher and doing whatever other tasks need to be tackled around the house while M is out of commission.

But the driving? The driving is slowly destroying my will to live. (Yes, I’m also really good at over-exaggerating.)

M has been in a full neck brace since his surgery back in December. It was fine while he was home with me. (In fact it was lovely, like a lengthy second honeymoon.) But now that he’s back at work, I’ve found that instead of enjoying time alone with the man of my dreams, I’m spending all my waking hours in the car.

OK, fine, not ALL the waking hours.

It just feels like that.

We leave the house at 8am. At 8:30 we pull into C’s school. At 8:55 I pull into the parking lot next to M’s office and Little L starts to whine about how long we’ve been driving. At 9:25 I pull into the driveway at her daycare and finally release her from the confines of her car seat. And, at long last, at almost 10am I pull back into our driveway.

Five hours later, I get back into the car and do the trip in reverse.

So, on average, I’ve been driving 4 hours every day, not counting errands, trips out to eat, or whatever other compelling reason lures me back into the driver’s seat.

For the last 12 years, M has been the designated driver in our family. He likes to drive. He likes to be in control of the vehicle. And guess what? I like being a passenger. You can read, play on your phone, help the kids pick up the fifteen toys they’ve dropped on the floor, check your make-up in the mirror, futz with the radio. And when you’re out to dinner with friends you can enjoy that extra glass of wine or three.

In two weeks M should be released from the brace. I have a feeling that we’ll both be doing a happy dance in the parking lot as we walk away from the clinic. Him because he’ll be free for the first time in six weeks, me because I’ll be handing him the car keys.

M can’t wait to be free of what Little L calls his Neck Ray.

Ode to Breakfast

standard December 19, 2011 Leave a response

Many years ago, the day after I had met M and we had already spent a considerable amount of time together, he stopped mid-sentence and turned to me with a dead serious look on his face.

Here it comes, I thought, he’s going to ask me something crucial. Couldn’t be about religion, we’d covered that the evening before. Couldn’t be about… Really, I had no clue. All I knew is that it was clearly something monumental for him.

I held my breath.

“Do you…” He started and hesitated, looking me deep in the eye. I squirmed. “Do you like breakfast?” He finished in a rush.

I burst into laughter. Ridiculously relieved that this was the question and, more importantly, that I knew the answer and was pretty sure that it was the right one.

“Of course I like breakfast. What’s not to like?”

Moments later we were headed towards M’s favorite breakfast place, a hole-in-the-wall joint I’d come to love too (and would once stand in line at for an hour in the middle of a Boston snow storm just for one of their very much in demand tables).

From that day on breakfast has played a central role in our lives. We know where to find the best french toast, have perfected breakfast for dinner, and make sure that we always stock the staples for a great start to the day.

Of course, since that day, our routine has changed a lot. No longer will we stand for an hour in the cold just for the promise of warm pancakes and fresh orange juice. Now breakfast is a family affair, kids, daddy, mommy, juice, cereal, yogurt, and the morning paper.

We don’t talk a whole lot, at least the grown-ups don’t, but we start the day all together, enjoying a routine that started the moment C was born and grew to include Little L when she made her way onto the scene.

Moments after breakfast we split up and go our ways. M heads off to work. C and Little L retire to the living room to watch a PBS show. And I bustle around getting everyone’s things together. But that brief interlude (On average 17 minutes for each family according to Kellogg’s.) at the kitchen table, as predictable as M’s eternal love for breakfast, grounds me and gives me the energy I need to get through the day.

All survey statistics come from the Kellogg’s Breakfast in America Survey by The NPD Group (December 29, 2010 – January 24, 2011).

Please note, my love for breakfast is all mine (and M’s) but I was compensated by Kellogg’s and The Motherhood to share it with you.