Archive for the ‘Mommyhood’ Category

Savoring

June 15, 2009

It’s 2:30 and guess where I’m not? I’m not headed out to do school pick up. Oh yeah, summer is here. The leap from 2nd to 3rd has been made …

Klastday2nd

… the kitchen has been cleaned of all remnants of last week’s flour flying, butter mixing, bear cookie decorating marathon (I only did 90 … Donna, how the heck did you do over 300?)

… the fabric bits and packaging detritus that resulted from 3 baseball coach gifts, 1 teacher gift and 2 principal/secretary gifts has been removed

… the piles of schoolwork have been sorted and filed; the backpack tucked away

… the first day of camp is underway, right along with the celebration of no lunches to pack

… the sun is peaking out and warmer weather around the corner

Time already seems to be going slower. I’ll take it. Every last, long minute.

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner

May 22, 2009

Every since I decided to do the little giveaway, that rhyme has been on a continual loop inside my head. And while we have no chicken dinner, we do have two apron winners who can make chicken dinner in style!

:: Miss Paper Doll

:: The second H

These girls are practically family and the only ones to leave a comment. And if you have only 2, it’s hard to pick 1. So 2 winners it is! And quite the interesting wrap-up to my giveaway experiment.

In other news …

We’re headed into the last weeks of school. Since K began grade school, it’s been quite a surprise to experience the near insane level of activities and to-dos that come along with the last few weeks. Even though this is my 3rd year, I’m still surprised.

On the flip side, the waning days of the school year means that I’m that much closer to the annual reprieve from making lunch at 6:30 a.m. Speaking of lunches (not that we really were but I am now) … it often happens that some of the carefully and lovingly packed lunch comes home uneaten with claims of being too busy or not hungry. I prefer not to throw usable leftovers out but apple slices after sitting in tupperware for hours are not the freshest.

The other day, I decided to try reusing them and borrowed an idea I got from my friends Donna and Carrie. I took those leftover slides and sauteed them in a teeny bit of butter and brown sugar until they were super soft, and then ate them with some non-fat vanilla yogurt. Absolutely delicious! And the house smelled yummy too. Another fine thing to make in a cute apron.

apples

Fashionista spring report

May 15, 2009

fashion

Oversize T-shirt (preferably decorated with fabric paint so everyone knows your favorite expression is “I like pie”)

+ Pair of Dad’s boxer shorts

+ Snow boots

+ Snow gloves

+ A huge LOL expression

… It’s what all the girls are wearing for Spring.

Respite

May 14, 2009

beachmosaic

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it many more times. School field trips take superhero levels of energy and patience. Except, it turns out, when you take 40 2nd graders on a hike to the beach. A hike that is nearly 2 miles one way but quite easy with a wide trail. You see, they can’t go anywhere but the trail. No where to get lost. Very few opportunities to get into mischief. And they get out all their pent-up scooty juice on the way.

Then they get to the beach and the surf, sand and sun do their magic. Of course, the teachers are anxious about rogue waves and a few kids end up drenched. But there are plenty of parents around and, after a line in the sand is drawn (literally) to create a safe boundary, much to the kids’ dismay, everyone relaxes. Picnic lunches are opened, sandwiches get some extra crunch from the sand, which you tell the kids is the best way to have a sandwich. And all too soon it’s time to pack up and hike back.

It takes longer going back. It’s hotter. You marvel at how much sand lands in the cars, in the classrooms and even back at the house.  Faces are flushed, feet are tired. But you can’t wait to do it again, and feel ever so lucky that this place is practically in your backyard.

Snacks for 20 (aka the way I roll)

May 6, 2009

It’s state-mandated test week at all the schools in our district. Sounds like, in 2nd grade at least, the first goal is to keep the kids energized and feeling positive about marathon sessions with their #2 pencil. Doling out snacks during the test seems to do the trick. Kinda like a fuel source on IV drip with the added fun of being able to eat at your desk.

The snacks are, of course, brought by parent volunteers. I signed up for Tuesday, which meant Cinco de Mayo, which meant I was making cheese quesadillas at 6:30 a.m. Carrot sticks and a shiny apple rounded out the snack.

The food was the easy part. The packaging was a whole other story. Sure, the snacks didn’t really need to be packaged. But they presented a packaging opportunity and, as you may know already, or may have guessed, I [heart] packaging stuff.

First I thought of little bento boxes. How cute. But completely over the top and expensive. OK, so what about takeout containers with handles all tied up with a tag? Possible, but still pricey and wasteful (you know those containers would go right into the trash).

I ended up going basic. Paper lunch bag (recyclable) embellished with a row of stamped owls (cuz owls are smart and so are the kids) + tag (just printed the text onto colored card stock and punched out). The snacks were tucked into the bags, which were stapled shut with the tag. Simple. And the kids were so excited when the snacks arrived, which just goes to show that simple can = special.

snackbags

No ordinary moment

March 11, 2009

Further proof that there is always something remarkable happening somewhere and that you just have to pause to look …

7:20 a.m.

Inky dark just turning to light.

Second cup of coffee. Just about to get into the shower.

Child of mine says, “Mom, I’m all dressed and I’ve brushed my hair so I’m going to do my homework now, OK?”

Pick self off floor. Nod in agreement. Marvel. Cross fingers that this is the beginning of a trend … the desire to finish homework a couple days before it’s actually due and without prodding.

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More magic

February 23, 2009

There I was digging deep for the magic a couple hours ago and there was another magic moment just waiting around the corner. Guess you gotta be patient sometimes.

After a quick grocery run following the afternoon school pick-up, I found myself singing whatever silly Musak song I’d just heard at the store. I interrupted myself to ask K, “Isn’t it great to have such a cool mom?” cuz what’s more cool than singing off key in the car?

She said, “I’m not going to answer that question. Out of order.”

And with that, I got a great belly laugh for the day. Just the perfect magical moment.

The cake

January 25, 2009

From inspiration …

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to reality …

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The artist requested the color change from red to greenish-blue, and the whole thing came together surprisingly quickly once I had the ah-ha moment that the cake could form the body and the goodies in the grocery store aisles could do the rest.

The cake is a rich chocolate Barefoot Contessa recipe that almost tastes like a brownie. It makes a 2-layer cake, which was perfect for this design. We wanted to color the frosting, so I swapped the chocolate buttercream that goes with the recipe for a cream cheese frosting, also from the Contessa book. The frosting uses both almond extract and vanilla extract, and is just delicious.

For the eyes, we used little brownie bites (purchased not made, though if you were hosting a crowd, cupcakes would work well!) + frosting + necco wafters. They are attached using chocolate sticks (made of extra dark chocolate, these are beyond good!). The legs are black licorice and the shoes are Nutter Butter cookies, secured with a bit more frosting. You’ll see there are no arms; a last-minute creative shift by the artist.

The verdict? Best cake ever. Fun to make. Not too time-consuming. And so yummy that the kids each had two pieces. And you know if you’ve ever hosted a kid party, they usually eat a bite or two and leave the rest behind.

Luckily, they didn’t eat it all … I can’t wait for dessert!

The case of the bent tart pan

January 6, 2009

Found in the clutter that was K’s closet:

tart-pan

My tart pan. Why is my tart pan in her closet, jammed together with sweatshirts, bits of toys, empty boxes and all matter of kid detritus? How in the world did a tart pan figure in to whatever project or make-believe session she was doing? And when? One surmises it’s been there for awhile. Interestingly, the tart pan bottom was in a whole other area. Both are rather worse for their adventure in said closet.

So when you come to my house for fruit tart, pretend not to notice the big wave right in the middle.

Celebrating 8

December 30, 2008

k-at-8

It seems like forever. It seems like just yesterday.

Eight years ago, you were just a few days old. I was struggling to figure it all out. A dose of postpartem depression made everything seem impossible. As you grew, I grew into mommyhood. You’ve taught me so much.

At 8, you are no longer little but still small enough to curl into my lap every morning when you wake up. You are athletic and strong, love to draw and make things. Math and science are your favorite subjects, and you could play on the swings all day long. You love describing yourself as a tomboy and you love your long hair. We’re on book 5 of Harry Potter; you relish every page that we read aloud. Reciting Harry trivia is a favorite thing to do during car rides.

You are an excellent negotiator — always thinking up inventive ways to convince people (mostly mom) to do something or other. You have strong opinions and quite the perfectionist streak. You can put together complicated Lego structures without help and are mastering your Ripstick moves. You love to collect little things and display them all over your room. Your closet typically looks like a cyclone blew through it. Green is currently your favorite color and 1 your favorite number, though 7 is your lucky number.

You love old books, going out to dinner, playing Uno, visiting the shops and stuffed animals. And I love everything little thing about you.