Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Home sweet gone

Who ever said you can't go home hit the nail on the head. You can try, but you won't find who, what or where you're looking for.

"Home" hasn't been the same for me since Dec. 31, 2004. My grandmother was still in the same house I grew up in, but there was a hole where my mother should have been.

No woman in her 90s should be living alone, particularly in a neighborhood that was graying and going downhill. A few years ago, my aunt sold her house and my grandmother's and found a townhouse that would fit both of them - mainly less stairs for Nana to negotiate. But it wasn't in my hometown, so all of our visits "home" wouldn't be to the place I knew for 18 years.

With a "For Sale" sign looming, I went back to the house to say goodbye. It was smaller than I remembered. I stood in the living room and bawled. It hurt that my children would never be able to go back to where Mommy was a little girl. It hurt that I couldn't come back and find Mom and Nana waiting for me; one succumbed to cancer, the other to the creeping shadow of old age. I was mourning Mom all over again.

The house sold quickly to a young couple and I was hopeful that they would fix it up and call it home for a long time to come.

I was wrong. It's on the market again.

From the looks of the pictures online, the owner took down the paneling in the dining room and painted over it in the living room. The shutters are down, replaced with new curtains. I didn't recognize my bedroom because the last I saw it, it had pale pink walls (a leftover from the five minutes when I was 10 that I actually liked pink) and fugly green carpet Nana picked out after I moved out. The other bedrooms got fresh coats of paint as well.

It's one of three houses on the block for sale and there are countless more in the neighborhood. I'd like to think that this time someone will fall in love with the house and make it their forever home.

I doubt it. Call me a cynic.

I call it loss of innocence. A loss of "home."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Overheard at my house: Ignorance is E. coli

This was an actual honest-to-goodness conversation held in my kitchen last night as Hubby and I unloaded the dishwasher. We were debating the merits of our small white plastic cutting board.

Me: This cutting board is gross. Can I just pitch it?

Hubby: No. It's sterile.

Me: Do you want to eat something that was cut on that?

Hubby: Yes. Do you think the black one is better just because you can't see it?

Me: Ignorance is bliss.

Hubby: No it's not. Ignorance is still E. coli.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu plan Monday... Freezer Edition

Once upon a time, a friend from college (who screams uber-organized-on-top-of-things momma) turned me onto freezer cooking. The concept intrigued me: spend one night in the kitchen and take the effort out of cooking for quite a few days during the month. I don't really enjoy cooking, so if that's one chore I can get out of the way, awesomesauce.

There are countless cookbooks and web sites dedicated to how to do it. I tried one, which after our first attempt led to a slight revision. Moral of the story: we can do it "better."

But that was last summer, and we really haven't done more than freezer breakfast burritos since then. I'm not sure if it's the sunshine and warmer weather or the spring fever that makes me want to attempt crazy things in the kitchen, but I'm ready for Round III.

It helps that I'm over the super woman "I can do this, no problem," attitude when it comes to cutting out dairy and I'm back to "Oh woe is me..." I hid in a corner yesterday at our friends' son's birthday party because the food options were pizza (my favorite), Cheetos and Doritos. Hubby scolded me for not eating and commandeered some leftover boneless chicken wings for me. I was talking to someone at the time and had every intention of ducking home for a quick PB&J or something, I swear.

Once a Month Mom has a gluten free/dairy free menu every month, and I've been having trouble finding good comprehensive web sites that can help me plan a month's worth of meals. I need someone to take at least SOME of the effort out of it for me.

So I'm back to where I started, but with one difference: I know better. I'm not going to follow their amounts or instructions to the T. I had Hubby look over the amounts for doubling each recipe last night and helped reign me in and be realistic.

I have three lunch recipes for me and four dinner recipes (that we will eat twice - hopefully). I have a massive grocery list that I will NOT be attempting with both kids because it's spring break and I'm not insane. It may be a run to the store tonight after dinner or bed. We'll see.

I also have no idea when we'll actually be cooking. My thought is to do it in two stages this week: one night for lunches, one night for dinners. All in one night proved to be too much last time. And Baby kinda zaps my energy by the kids' bedtime anyway.

I still have a list of dairy-free meals to fill most of April, but I haven't put pen to paper to know exactly what we're eating when. But it's only 9 a.m. on Monday, so I think I have some time to figure that out today.

But I'll need more coffee.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A short note on school

We went to parent night tonight. It won't be our last (and I think the teachers are equally excited at the prospect of two more), but it's hard to believe Nathaniel is almost done with preschool.

He sang and danced his little heart out... well, at least I'm pretty sure he did. He definitely did for the last two songs, which is when we could see him. My boy is not what you'd call "tall," so you can always find him in the front row.

Except that tonight the 3/4 class stood in front of the 4/5 class. And yes, the little girl in front of him was taller.


His teacher asked us afterward if we could see him. I admitted we could once the little class joined their parents. She laughed and apologized.

"I am so sorry! I tried to make eye contact with him at one point and I was like, 'Where IS Nathaniel?'"

Yup. That's my boy. He already thinks he's big stuff. Never mind that he's barely 3.5 feet tall.

And in a few short months, he'll be off to kindergarten. On a bus. All day. Where I will have no idea what he is doing and learning, but I'm sure I'll hear about lunch and recess.

Where there will probably be lots of little girls taller than him.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Overheard at my house: Potty tales

My darling girl went next door to watch her brother and the neighbor boy play basketball. A few minutes later - when I was on the phone, mind you - she returned.

"Mommy, can I go potty at Bev's house?"

"Honey, do you have to go potty?"


"Okay, you're here. Just use our potty."

"But I want to use their potty."

"Well why didn't you ask Bev to use her potty?"

"But I can't open the door."

"Well next time ask one of the boys to open it. But for now, use our potty."

We went back and forth like that for a minute before I gave her a Look and the wailing began. "But I don't want to!!!"

I was on the phone with my Thirty-One director and she absolutely lost it. I think my children and I both amuse and frighten her.

I feel the same way.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Overheard at my house

All the warm weather means the few flowers I didn't manage to kill last year are starting to come back. In most cases, they're buried under the dead growth from last year (it's on the to-do list, I swear), but my bulbs are coming up for the second year in a row! Score!

Leah noticed the daffodils (and something else... I forget...) were starting to show above the mulch.

"Mommy! Your flowers are growing! They need water and sunshine and wuve"

"Water, sunshine and love?"

"Yup. That what Quincy says on Einsteins."

If she follows that advice, she may have more of a green thumb than her Momma. My plants have hope.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Overheard at my house: Untle Mino

My darling girl is destined for speech therapy. For all my fretting and worrying over my barely-verbal son who could now talk anyone into the ground, she is the stubborn one who I think needs help.

She's willing to work with me for about three tries and then she shuts down. We're getting closer on "l." Next up is "r" but the sounds that you make in the back of her throat - c, g, k - are no go.

She's pretty good at pronouncing words that don't contain any of those. Put a lot of them together and it gets interesting.

"Daddy when awe you donna be done with your Untle Mino?"

Hubby, through snorts of laughter: "My El Camino? Not for a while, Baby Girl."