Friday, August 31, 2007

Add in a little Apocalypse Anxiety...

...and Chichimama is good to go. Yes, the winter is approaching and that means the fear of a flu pandemic, or even a good old fashioned blizzard, is leading me to rebuild my depleted food stores. Apparently, Amazon figured out that I was stocking for the apocalypse based on my bulk purchases (have you TRIED Amazon grocery? It's fabulous!) and suggested this book to me. I'm tempted, sorely tempted, as we found out last year that I don't in fact have much in my food stores with which I could actually cook a meal...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to School Anxiety

While C has yet to voice a single fear or show any sign of being intimidated by starting kindergarten next week, I have had nightmares every night this week. Clearly, I am not quite ready for this transition to "real school."

Last night I dreamed about C missing the holiday concert, about C forgetting his homework, and about me forgetting to pick C up after school was over. The night before, I spent hours trapped in a dream listening to the kindergarten teacher instructing me on everything I had done wrong in my parenting career to date. The night before that? C went to school in his pajamas. At least he was, well, clothed.

C doesn't have a care in the world. He thinks school is great. He spent an hour on the phone yesterday with Nana, chatting on and on about his backpack, his school supplies, and how excited he was to bring his own snack and make new friends. And I sat there panicked that his backpack was too big (or, perhaps it is too small), that I hadn't found the right black marble composition notebook, and that C wouldn't make any friends.

Next week can't come soon enough, if only for my own anxiety levels.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Retraction

Do you remember that post I wrote at the beginning of the summer about over-programmed children? Ahem. Yeah. About that. It seems that in an effort to spare us the disaster that was our under-programmed summer, I might have gone JUST A TINY bit overboard in the scheduling department this fall.

C has kindergarten every morning, and then is doing an extended day program back at his preschool two afternoons a week to try and get him ready for the rather shocking ramp up to a full day first grade. A has preschool three afternoons a week (two of which overlap with C's long days). Then the kids are doing swimming (because I still insist that everyone must swim, well, as early as possible), gymnastics, and tennis. At least tennis will be over by mid-October. Then A is ALSO taking ballet one morning, and C is begging to do an indoor t-ball league on Saturdays. Can you say "What the frick were you thinking?" all together? I am going to be THAT mom that I complained about in May. Seriously.

In my defense, the kids love each and every activity that they are doing. Well, except maybe for ballet because A has never tried it before, but she is in love with the IDEA of ballet and spends hours a day PLAYING ballet. Quite honestly, it is my fervent hope that eight weeks into ballet she decides that she hates it and we can move on. But still. I have a feeling that come November I might be reconsidering my stance on the necessity of swim lessons...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekend Roundup

  • C learned to ride without training wheels. Which is fabulous, except for the fact that in order to stay up he has to ride so quickly that I can't keep up while pushing A in the stroller or, even worse, helping A on her trike. Thankfully, bike season is almost over, and by next spring we should be able to put A on a bike with training wheels and start the whole process over again.
  • We had a lovely indoor BBQ last night, because it was just. too. hot. to be outdoors. And it was lovely, but stressful. As I said to M about an hour before the family arrived, I love this family. They are lovely, lovely people. But their house is always "just so." And no matter how I try, my house is never "just so." So while I love to spend time with them, I don't generally care to do so in our house...
  • On the upside, she helped us figure out how to furnish the train room once the trains are no longer a daily, or even weekly activity. Which will probably be sooner rather than later because the world of legos has just been discovered.
  • I spent my weekend swearing under my breath because I had stepped on yet another lego that had somehow missed the lego bucket.
  • I also spent much of my weekend stocking the deep freeze for winter. Because what else should one do besides cook when it is pushing 100 degrees?
  • As a result, however, we now have tomato sauce, eggplant parm, and lasagna just waiting for that first fall day. Yumm.
  • Remind me to call the chimney sweep and firewood guy now that we finally have a wood burning fireplace.
  • And the furnace guy. Because if I start thinking about it now, I just might manage to call him before I am forced to turn the heat on in late October.
  • Can you tell I am ready for fall???

Friday, August 24, 2007

I have still not recovered

Elsewhere had a fabulous post a few days ago about the packing and moving experience. And as I read it I was instantly transported back to my life a year ago when we owned two homes and were slowly, very, very slowly, moving box by random box from one home to the other.

I think I am still shell shocked from the whole experience. Really. I actually spent a good hour today, before reading that post, reliving the whole experience while staring out at the backyard. Rebecca had always reminded me that it takes me almost exactly a year to adjust to any major change in my life, and we are coming up on that year mark fairly soon. And, true to form, this house is almost feeling, well, like home. So hopefully, come October, I should be back to my normal, verging on neurotic self instead of the full-fledged neurotic self I currently still am.

One can hope anyway...

Overheard from the Couch

Chichimama: "This is amazing! We can all fly to see your parents for Thanksgiving for under $700! I'm totally booking this!"

M: "Ummhmm. Great."

Chichimama: "OK! We're booked!"

M: "Ummhmmm. Great."

Chichimama trots over to the calendar to write the information down, trying to be the highly organized individual she just KNOWS exists inside of her.

Chichimama: "Crap. No wonder it was so cheap. I booked the tickets for the wrong week."

M: "Somehow, I'm not suprised."

Chichimama: "Hush."

Thankfully, I was able to quickly cancel and rebook the tickets for the correct week, at a much higher fare, of course. Highly organized individual, where ARE you????

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Still procrastinating here....

But look! Childrens' fear of new food is genetic! I feel so much better about the fact that my children refuse to try new things (and shh, don't try to point out that it is protein that they shun, not fruits and vegetables. It's genetic, I tell you!).

Overheard from the bedroom

C: "I'm TRYING to pick up, but every time I try I find something interesting and I just HAVE to play with it."

Chichimama: "I understand your pain C, I really do. But come bedtime, you are going to be VERY sorry if at least SOME of these interesting things haven't found a home other than the middle of the floor, I'm just saying."


And while C is procrastinating by playing, I have found myself procrastinating by trolling through the No Impact Man's archives. I'm in serious awe. M will be horrified, and come home concerned about just how green I plan on going. But if you haven't read his blog yet, go check it out. It is truly remarkable.

Monday, August 20, 2007


The downside to coming home (besides the traffic)? All the crap that needs to get done. The house is a wreck, the laundry is stacked up, and of course it is going to rain for the foreseeable future here, so I can't even send the kids to play while I scrub. Plus we need to tackle the back to school shopping. Given the rain, we might even head to the mall (shudder). But at least they now have Starbucks there...

I'll be back in a bit, once I can see the floor again.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Menu - Week of 8/18

*Edited to add link to Raspberry Chipolte Sauce. Or, you can cheat and buy this.

We are back. Don't even ask about the traffic. Just don't. I think I have some sort of post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of being trapped in a car, alone, with two children in stop and go traffic. Think eight plus hours of "But why?" and "What is that?" Shudder.

Anyway, thanks to our CSA and Lovely Friend, who picked up our vegetables for us this week AND cleaned up the cat puke she discovered all over the house when depositing said veggies in the fridge, I have more vegetables than I know what to do with. Which is a very good thing. And without further ado, here is this week's menu. Only through Thursday because that is when the new set of veggies arrive.

Saturday - Raspberry-Chipotle Marinated Grilled Chicken, corn on the cob and salad

Sunday - Feta Stuffed Lamb Burgers, veggie kabobs, roasted rosemary potatoes

Monday - Gazpacho

Tuesday - Penne with Eggplant, Sausage and Feta, salad

Wednesday - Sauteed Striped Bass with Summer Vegetables

Still left to deal with, the heirloom beans. Do y'all think I can freeze them?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How time flies when you're huddling on the beach

Today is the first really warm day here, so of course that means that we will be departing tomorrow. And yet, despite the cold, my children still look like I didn't go through five tubes of sun block this vacation. But on the upside, next week we will hopefully resume some semblance of a regular schedule again and that will be a good thing.

I am not the only one who is looking forward to my own bed, as lovely as it has been to spend so much time with my family. Yesterday C created a presentation (almost complete with powerpoint) entitled "Why I miss home." He announced he had three points to make and then went on to very clearly identify, elaborate upon, and sum up all three points ("In summary, I miss my stuffed animals, I miss my bed, and I can't wait to be alone in my room.").

Think of me, alone, with two children, shelpping down the eastern seaboard tomorrow. And if you see a woman on the side of the road refusing to drive any further until the whining stops, feel free to wave a hello and donate any chocolate you might have in the car to my cause. Thank you.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Packing List

A note to self for the next trip to Maine, based on the last two (or three) trips...

1) Bring a rain coat for you, not just the kids.

2) Bring a sweatshirt (or two) for you, not just the kids.

3) Bring more than one pair of long pants. Preferably the soft brown sweatpants.

4) Remember the kid's tennis rackets. It is hard for them to take tennis lessons without one (although the Target rackets are nice and inexpensive).

5) The brown flip flops are not so comfortable for long walks, no matter how cute they are. Bring the Merrills for shleping kids to and from camp and tennis.

6) Bring at least three more tubes of sunblock than you think you need. Even if it is raining.

7) Bug spray. Bug spray. Bug spray.

8) Cortisone. Cortisone. Cortisone.

9) See number 2. And then if you decided that it is August and of COURSE it will be warm, remember that if you are wrong, all beach town sweatshirts are so outrageously overpriced that you decide to shiver instead of shelling out for one.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ahh, Rain

I know I shouldn't be complaining. Really. But we are on Day 4 of our "beach vacation" and I have actually seen the beach for a whopping 20 minutes while huddled in a sweatshirt and begging C to just dig a new subway system under the beach another day.

But today my little sister and I (and her nurseling Baby C2) are off to the outlets. Along with Hillary and her entourage, apparently. Do we have good timing or what?

High speed is in the house, but my Mac has chosen to be a picky networker, so I personally still have no access. But hopefully we will eventually overcome the spinning pizza of death, if only so I can register the kids for fall swimming lessons. I'll hopefully be back at some point. With a virtual lobster for y'all.

Friday, August 03, 2007

There is nothing like packing

There is nothing like packing up a household for a two-plus week trip to make one realize all the things one needs to do more regularly. Things like cleaning out the fridge and medicine cabinet. As I was digging through the (high, locked) closet where I stash the medicine to collect the "if I don't bring this stuff someone will develop a fever of 104 on the Mass Pike" kit, I realized that I hadn't cleaned out the cabinet since our last trip to Maine as everything started expiring in September 2006.

By the time I had made my pile of expired medicines that have never even been opened, I had nothing left except three bottles of Children's Benadryl. Which is a good thing as the allergist's receptionist and I have been having quite a go-round about calling in a Zyrtec prescription for A, as she is somewhat insistent that one doesn't give Zyrtec for urinary tract infections. And while she is indeed correct on that point, the one she doesn't get is that I am fairly certain that A's chart reads "urticaria," not "urinary." As of yesterday she had grudgingly agreed to check with him and see if he was indeed willing to prescribe us more of the medicine that he had clearly already given us as it was in her chart, complete with dosing instructions. We'll see. But if not, I have enough Benadryl to dose the whole family if needed, albiet every six hours instead of once a day...

Anyway, once I realized that I was doomed to a child running a high fever during the vacation, we moved onto the fridge. And I was right, there were a few things growing in there. And by the time I had composted or otherwise disposed of everything in there that had expired or was going to expire by the time we returned I was left with two bricks of tofu, one container of hummus, and a thing of mango-chutney. Yummm. We'll eat well upon our return.

Which leads me to my latest proclamation, starting right after vacation I am going back to menu planning. M's travel schedule be damned. And I am menu planning for the kids too, because like the bad parent I am, I generally don't serve them what we eat except on Sunday's to avoid the massive battles that occur. Which is another proclamation in the works, but I haven't quite wrapped my head around how to solve that sticky issue, so you'll just have to wait and see how I try to dig myself out of the rather large hole I've dug surrounding the family dinner table (or lack thereof).

So in case you haven't figured it out, we are off to Maine for a while. There is a rumor on the streets that high speed and wireless internet is being installed at Nana's on Tuesday, so you might get live! vacation! blogging! while I sit outside the kids door at night to keep them from waking my sister's kids with their bedtime antics. But if I don't keep to my every other day posting resolution for a few weeks, I have a good excuse...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My fear of bridges is apparently valid

My grandmother was terrified of bridges. She lived in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I inherited her fear of bridges, although unlike her I do manage to drive myself over them, clutching the steering wheel with a death grip and plotting how I will save my children if the bridge (or tunnel) I am traveling on collapses.

A significant portion of my extended family is still in Minneapolis/St. Paul. My thoughts are with them and their neighbors and friends. And I'm not so sure that I will make it over the bridges I need to travel over next week.