Friday, May 20, 2011

5-20-11 Family Days

What's the past tense of sleepwalk? I did that the other night. Talk about a creepy feeling. I woke up frustrated because I was coming to the realization that the box in in my hands was not what I wanted. I can't remember what I wanted; thought that I needed, but I was standing next to my bed holding the box of Q-tips.

We've had a stretch of beautiful weather. It's been so nice that the boys have been putting their clothes straight into the washing machine when they come in from playing --they're just too dirty to leave on for nap time. They were leaving them out to put back on when they would go back outside. . . it just never worked out that way. Hello summer, hello Oxi-Clean bucket, and hello lots of baths!

Caden will stand independently, but is still hesitant to walk. When we go outside, I've been letting him crawl around and explore. He is covered in dirt in mere moments. He doesn't mind the texture of grass or dirt. He explores on his hands and knees. He has a certain confidence as he moves on his own and then comes back to me and crawls up for a hug. No matter what his environment, Caden's a sweetie!!

This is going to be a fun summer because Conrad and Max are able to do so much and Caden enjoys watching. Today the boys helped me clear weeds out of a flower bed and looked for bugs. Max ended up with a lady bug and a beetle. Many roly-poly bugs got away from us. He created a habitat for them in a plastic container. I used a hole-puncher to put holes in each of the boys' lids. I can't believe I never thought of this before. . .

Conrad let out a little scream when he claimed the worm was about to bite him. Apparently he did not retain everything from our in-depth study on worms from last year. I reiterated that worms do not have teeth and we talked about how worms don't have a defense if there is a predator. We determined that is one reason that they burrow into the ground. Conrad created a worm habitat and I believe about six worms occupy it right now.

I really like hanging out with my boys. My other responsibilities in life are not nearly as fun; they are what feels like work. Adventures with Conrad, Max, and Caden are what energize me. I wish we could play all day and dinner would fix itself as the floors cleaned themselves!

Dinner. . . Every week I make a menu and grocery shop. The problem is when naps run late or other things keep me grocery shopping when I'm supposed to. That happened this week -- twice.

On Thursday, I amazed myself when I had everything I needed to make a family favorite -- Creamy Penne and Mushrooms. Yes, three kids under five and this meal makes it into our "Family Favs" section. Conrad doesn't eat the mushrooms. I added a side of steamed edamame and the boys inhaled it. Seriously, you don't even know how much pasta Baby Caden can pack away. This was a quick dinner. The surprising part was that I had regular and cremini mushrooms on hand!

I've started buying organic produce from a co-op. The best part is that my friend picks it up and delivers it to my house. She is awesome! One of these days I'm going to spring for Peapod. Our last three trips to the grocery store have ended horribly. Max should be banned from there. He hates it and works like Houdini to get out of the card. It's a great time. A nice woman commented that the boys were "happy now" as I was pushing the cart out the door and indulging them in cookies. The nice woman also mentioned that she had one three-year-old girl and implied that she had had the same experience. Once we were in the car, I indulged in cookies myself. Emotional eating? I made one key move before leaving the store, I asked the bagger to go and get a rosemary garlic rotisserie chicken for me and immediately took the pressure off of myself to get home and get dinner going. The kind bagger returned within minutes and we were on our way.

Once home, dinner was on the table in no time: rosemary garlic chicken (delicious - huge hit!!), creamy penne and mushrooms on the side, and leftover edamame. Another home run on the dinner front.

I am going to have to go back to the grocery store for a handful of things since we had to make an emergency exit.

We ended the night back outside. Joe set the sand table up and made a fire in the chimenea. The boys even roasted hotdogs tonight. Last night it was gigantic marshmallows. Conrad climbed up on my lap for a while and later Max took a turn. Joe entertained us with a Joseph Michael story and at 9:30 we all forced ourselves inside. Sometimes you just need a little family time around the campfire.

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