Wednesday, August 29, 2007

WFMW--summer skating

We are having a picture perfect end-of-summer day here. Beautiful morning, spent outside hosing off the outdoor furniture and toys, chasing away the buggies. But now it's getting too hot to be outside but two small boys here still have way too much energy to slow down now. What's a mom to do?
Answer: Summer skating! I didn't even know that ice rinks stayed open in the summertime, but at least one here in our county does. Wednesday is "free skate rental" day, and so we giggle at the novelty of fleecy pants and long sleeves, toss our bike helmets in the back (this rink requires them for skaters under 5), strap on skates, and remember that the passing of summer isn't all bad. And while ice skating in August isn't nearly as exciting as, say, Hawaii in February, the flip-flop of what you "should" be doing or feeling in this season or month still lingers.
Works for me! Check out Shannon's blog, Rocks in my Dryer, for some great tips!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

That's One Thing My House Has Over The Breakers

Check this neat site, courtesy of my friend at DontEatBaby:

How walkable is your neighborhood? Mine not as good as I think, according to Walk Score; my house rated a 46 out of 100. Some of their points I can see; ok, it would truly rock if there were a closer movie theater, as there used to be when I was growing up pre-multiplexes. But overall we do pretty well. We have a downtown area less than a mile from us with a grocery store, playground, library, pizza place, donut shop, coffee house, two hair salons, a flower shop, and two banks, among other things. We are less than half a mile from a church (though we prefer the next one over) and three preschools and three daycares are within a mile radius. All that adds up to a score of 46 out of 100. Given that only the movies are more than .7 miles away, I'm guessing only a Manhattan apartment would score well. What about sidewalks? That does a lot for walkability here. Or support for walking (and biking)? The local elementary school sponsors a "walking school bus" once a week where the kids who usually ride walk the route instead, escorted by parents, picking up friends along the way. (This, by the way, was called "how we got to school" when I was attending this elementary school. Unless, of course, you were late sleeping me, in which case your mother drove you in her green Plymouth Duster to the drop-off circle, which was empty by the time you got there since the on-time kids were inside already. To be fair, I lived as far from the elementary school as possible while still being in the district. But the town is less than 2 miles long.)

Meanwhile, all that pesky land surrounding the Newport mansions apparently really cuts down on walkability. Only a 45. Ha. Take that, billionaires.

Monday, August 27, 2007

And One Last Note on Food

For those of you who (kindly) asked...when my friend who is Kosher was here, we had pizza on Friday, and did tilapia from the Super Suppers amazing day on Saturday. It was fantastic and I realized that with our current eating habits, it was not difficult at all to adapt to her version of Kosher. (I know many are more strict than she.)

Menu Planning Monday, last days of August edition

For those 8 of you who read this blog, forgive me as I wander in to the self-indulgent menu planning side of things. But it's a good discipline tool for me that helps me spend less money and have less panic about dinnertime. So, this week's edition:
grilled pork chops (made with recipe from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman); corn on the cob; grilled zucchini; watermelon and feta salad
chicken roll-ups; broccoli; tomato and mozzarella salad; something with new potatoes
sloppy joes (from Rachael Ray's 2nd 30 Minute Meals cookbook); baked sweet potatoes; baked cherry tomatoes; green beans; probably leftover potatoes and if not, rice
noodles of some kind with pesto; maybe more Trader Joe's turkey meatballs
favorite slow-cooker pork roast; corn; whatever's in the box on Thursday
Any suggestions on what to do with winter squash of unusual shapes would be most appreciated.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thoughts on Shoes

Even though they make me feel like a bad mommy (doesn't everything?), my boys had Cr0cs for their summer shoes this year. Traumatized by Jellies in my formative years, I didn't want to get them for the boys. I had visions of blisters and crunched toes. But then they tried them on and, bless their little triple-E wide soles, loved them. Even the little one, with his smushed up toes, was willing to keep them on his feet--nothing short of a miracle. The shoes I hated to buy turned out to be a great investment; the boys loved them and wore them all summer without fail. And they are young enough that they got away with it in any kind of dress, too, from the beach to church. We got them for the boys at the shoe store with the fancy foot-measuring machine, and after trying on multiple other pairs for each of them, with no success at all. But they both were positively joyful from the first moment of choosing the little size 6 and 10 shoes, in two different shades of blue, both of which thrilled my older blue-loving boy. Their joy was so contagious, they wanted me to get a pair. (R is very, very tribal; he loves it when we all wear the same or similar color or design shirts. Apparently the same goes for footwear.) Again, remembering the Jellies, I wasn't thrilled. But one slow day, we were walking past the Hallmark store and I tried some on. They weren't bad, and I needed beach shoes. So I got my own pair of light blues to join R's aqua and J's royal ones. They were great at the ocean and are easy to slip on and off, and really served me well for the end of the summer after I couldn't wear flip-flops anymore. (I lost a toenail to a gym injury....eeeeuw. Hard enough to read, I know, so I felt compelled to wear closed-toed shoes for the end of the summer so no one would have to see it but me.)

So, they served a purpose, and I am glad to have them, though I think this will be my only pair, ever. But I will always lovingly remember them for the comment from R, when I wore them with the strap flipped up: "Mama! You're clogging your Cr0cs!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to the original point...

This is a problem for me in all parts of my life, so why should my blog be any different? I sometimes get, um...distracted from my original point, hop on to something else, and then have to wander my way back.
So, Meal Planning Monday. On Tuesday. I know. But I actually did it this week, and just back from vacation to boot!
Monday: Orange Sesame Shrimp with broccoli and rice (from my Super Suppers trip, which I adored and will definitely do again)
Tuesday: Chicken satay with asparagus and rice (again from my Super Suppers trip, which I adored and will definitely do again), radish salad
Wednesday: leftovers, augmented if necessary with Trader Joe's chicken cutlets, broccoli, green salad with cherry tomatoes and blue cheese
Thursday: turkey meatballs with some kind of pasta, plus whatever veggies come in the box from my CSA
Friday: salmon, something with potatoes (possibly the recipe I like from The New Basics cookbook with salmon over potatoes, but we'll see how the weather is; grilling might be preferable), plus veggies from the CSA share
And we'll see over the weekend. My fabulous friend is visiting and she keeps Kosher; once upon a time I could keep the rules in my brain but those days are looooong past.
Boy, do I feel more in control when I know what dinner will be. A nice way to come back.

Meanwhile, we came back from vacation to some developmental leaps from both boys. Son One came downstairs yesterday and opened the Carbo Cabinet (cereal, snacks, etc.) as if he's been doing it all his life. Of course, he has not; it has been childproofed since he was 9 months old. Son Two decided he doesn't need naps. He is mistaken. I am winning this battle but he doesn't know it yet. I may have to resort to the car a bit, but I'm not above that. At all.