Sunday, October 27, 2013

Not Paying Attention

Last week was a bit of a lost week for me. I had an impromptu trip to Pittsburgh for the funeral of the father of my freshman roommate. He was a great guy and I was pleased to be able to make the trip for him but especially for his daughter, of course. Then we had a long-planned trip to Connecticut to see my niece and our mentee, so that was fun but also exhausting. So I am ready to have a quiet week at home.

Monday: pork roast with cider cream gravy (on sidebar) -- I cannot WAIT for dinner tomorrow. Mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower.

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: WedSpag for the family, Smitten Kitchen's Napa cabbage salad with buttermilk for me (ah, CSA, I won't miss you when you're gone) (which is not a reflection on this salad, which I love, but rather the relentless march of veggies my family doesn't consume)

Thursday: pulled pork (already made!) with the in-laws before trick or treating

Friday: Our niece and nephew, ages 3 and 5, will be here so no idea what happens next but it should be fun no matter what!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

That Was Not A Fast Decade, And Other Thoughts

My oldest turned ten this weekend. TEN! Double digits! I'm so proud and melancholy and satisfied and happy and full of love for him. Someone said to me, "Ten years! That went fast!" and I thought, REALLY? I mean, maybe it did but a lot of those days dragged like the Dickens and so it kinda did feel like a whole decade to me. We got out the book of his baby photos and it really has been a long time since he could take a bath in the sink, and I would wonder at those little hands (well, no, I did that last night while he slept), or he was in a onesie, or his huge smile made my heart sing (well, no, that was today). I used to watch my mother, who was one of the great baby whisperers of all time, and say, "I bet you wish I never grew up." And she would smile a funny smile and say to me, "Oh, no. I do love babies but you get more and more interesting every day and I just find new ways to love you all over again." And I hope my kids understand that this is how I feel about them. I loved them like crazy when they were little, and I know they still are, for as impossibly competent and gangly as they are. But every day, even the ones where I am exhausted or distracted or snappish, every day, I love being their mom and watching them grow.

So with that nostalgia out of the way...I am caked out from the weekend. So this is a clean living kind of week.

Monday: freezer cleanout, and in the parade of life's milestones, the First Communion meeting, so a quickie is necessary. Making the crockpot beef dish I froze ages ago, plus some rice, and hoping it works out.

Tuesday: ah, Taco Tuesday, how I love thee.

Wednesday: Wednesday Spaghetti, but on our own.

Thursday: We didn't finish the turkey shepherd's pie last week, so grownups will have this and kids will probably have chicken nuggets (from Bell and Evans, so it's actual chicken, unlike what they found in that gross study this week) or leftovers of the beef if they like it.

Friday: Fundraiser night so my husband and I are going out...the kids will eat something from the freezer. (I am making the final push to get rid of the behemoth...I keep slipping back in to the habit of popping stuff in there!)

Wishing you a great week!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Oh Fall Where Art Thou?

So after an unusual week (Lego build, Fall Fest, battery dying at a site 22 miles from home), we are settling in to our new normal this week. I know the boys are going to be bummed because it is really going to cut in to playing at home time, but I console myself that the early dark is doing that soon anyway, and this is just preparation for it. But it does make it crucial to have things ready to go for lunches and dinners, so I just spent most of today baking away for the week, so I know for a fact: this is what we're having, for realz. It's in my fridge.

Monday: Rachael Ray turkey shepherd's pie. This was a favorite for a long time but now it's been ages since they had it so the boys might go hungry.

Tuesday: Tacos are in the fridge, ready to go.

Wednesday: Spaghetti.

Thursday: leftovers--shepherd's pie, and also I made Armagnac chicken for Sunday dinner so there are leftovers of that. I finally got smart and something like quintupled the carrots. I love the vegetables in that as much as the chicken, maybe even more.

Friday: Unclear, but probably pizza. It will be after swim practice (which started last week but due to the crazy, we never made it--fortunately the coach was ok with it since the first meet is still far in the future) and it will be the kickoff to my older son's tenth (TENTH!) birthday weekend, so I suspect it will be an all-favorites weekend.

In my kitchen fest (ha ha) today, I also baked off two of the largest sweet potatoes I had ever seen (from the CSA--seriously, the one was about the size of a one-liter bottle of soda) and I will make my favorite miso-sweet potato mash for myself with those. I also have a wilting cabbage from the CSA (and STILL, potatoes aplenty) so I am making the cabbage-white bean dish from 101 Cookbooks; and finally, used the awesome suggestion of the potato gratin, and um, YUM. Also used some of the extra cranberries hanging around with the pears from the CSA to make this pear-cranberry crisp. I am making it for the Mothers & More meeting on Wednesday, though, so I don't know yet how it is. And--finally--I made my sister-in-law's frozen mashed potatoes so those are ready for the holidays.

We are so far relatively unaffected by the government shutdown but not so for our friends. A neighbor works in a federal prosecutorial office (unclear on the details, but we have all cheered as her office has put away several high-profile bad guys), and she's home. Another friend is a labor negotiator, and it strikes me that instead of furloughing him, perhaps they should take him down to DC to work with Congress. Another friend is in foreign service and since is in a language training rotation, is considered non-essential, but that post won't wait. Several friends in DC (of course) are out of work, though the one is a father of a bride-in-a-month, and despite his agitation at not being at work, has delighted his wife by being at home and able to help with the prep. Hoping and praying that sanity and compromise prevail, and soon.

I am completely obsessed with Lorde's Royals. I love her voice, the stripped down sound, the whole thing. Not as thrilled with the video per se but the song itself...I am humming it everywhere.

Busy season here for application prep too so enough blogging for now. Have a great week!