Thursday, May 28, 2009

And if You Can't Get What You Want, Well it's All Because of Me

Today is the first day of summer break and all I can say is oh my hell.



Now, most people I know love summer vacation. For them, it's lazy days pool side, play dates with friends, catching lightening bugs at dusk.

For me, it conjures up memories of being a latch-key kid who wasn't allowed to do shit and had to sit at home all day by myself. And lest someone call the house and I didn't answer, my ass was grass and you do not want to know the specifics of what my stepmonster considered "ass being grass" detailed.

So yes, for me and my psychosis, I loved school. Still do, I miss it. And my kids love school. So the thought of summer (and fully realizing, yes, my kids aren't in my predicament) brings a lot of anxiety and pressure to give my kids A Life I Didn't Have and then I go and get all overwhelmed and depressed and THAT doesn't help anybody.

So this year I have a Plan. A Grand Master Plan for Summer Vacation to Not Suck it Out the Ying Yang (official title, I'm sure you're impressed). This plan includes free time, academic time (hello, we're nerds and we're not gonna let anyone forget it) and scheduled activities to force me out of the house and not crawl into a corner and suck my thumb and sob.

Today, the boys and I ran errands [side note: that totally rocked ESPECIALLY since yesterday I spent over two hours at the doctor because I thought I wasn't bouncing back appropriately from the flu four weeks ago and turns out I have pneumonia -- and I certainly don't feel that sick, until I tried to pick up a case of water then OH MY HELL] and then they played in the yard and got hella dirty. Dirty enough to change clothes. In the middle of the day. Like girls. Here sweetie, let me make you a skirt, mkay?

And this afternoon we sat down and did academics. Each boy has a bridge book to work on to reiterate last year's lessons and to prepare them for next year (good nerds, good nerds).

They both are also keeping a summer journal with spaces for the journaling and photos. I also have some side projects planned because OH MY HELL, today was day one of 80 and I'm already eyeing that corner a little too much.

We also have pool passes (too cool for today though), two weeks of swimming lessons, a week of Harry Potter Camp, a trip to Colorado for a huge family reunion (and someone hold me because supposedly? NO INTERNET CONNECTION THERE, DEAR GOD LET THAT BE A LIE), and my trip to Chicago (which? squee! no kids!).

So here's to a summer that hopefully won't mentally damage me nor my kids too much.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All You Do to Me is Talk, Talk

There's nothing like a very full, very fun long weekend to make someone go wow, that's awesome and oh my, that's exhausting all in the same breath.

My friend Amy traveled down from Wisconsin with her two boys in tow (four years and eight months, and lordy she did it alone) for an awesome visit this weekend.

I got the house cleaned up (and I swear I'm gonna maintain it this time!) and we spent two days hanging out, shopping, watching our boys play and eating (of course). When she left, Griff asked if we could have a baby just like hers.

No, honey. That's why we got a dog. To get rid of the baby fever.

My boys also gardened a ton...

... while I helped another friend get more settled into her house. Side note: do not buy a new house. Blinds are spendy. Even when you shop with a thrifter like me. Keep note.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Say Something Once, Why Say it Again?

I've been eating Greek pasta salad for three days now and you know what? I want more.

On Saturday I made a huge-ass batch of it for Sunday Plus Lunch at "church."

Which? I'm sorry. I still can't call "church" church-without-the-quotation-marks even though we've been going there nearly two years. I mean, really. They don't shove religion down your throat. They encourage questions. And where else, other than a Unitarian Universalist "church," can you go to the director of Children's Ministries and say, "Hey! Have you seen the graffiti on the playground? It's kick-ass. Can we keep it?"

And she walks out there and says, "Oh, that is cool. I like it too!"

COME ON, seriously. It's awesome.

Anyway, so I made this ginormous batch of gluten-dairy-soy-egg-nut-corn-free Greek pasta salad so we can start being even more all inclusive than we already are and offer options for those of us with crazy-ass food allergies. However, not many of us came and Laura's been known to go a little crazy in the kitchen so we had lots of leftovers.

I used the base of my Greek salad and instead of lettuce, added pasta. And I tripled the recipe. But the basic recipe goes like this...

For the dressing:
1 lemon, zested & juiced
oregano leaves, from 5 or 6 sprigs, chopped/minced
a couple of tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt & pepper
olive oil (some people use a lot, I like it just enough to bring it together, a few tablespoons)

... combine in a salad bowl and whisk.

I make the exact same in a second bowl (and add three or four minced garlic cloves) and use it as a marinade for chicken to throw on the grill.

Now back to the salad, add whatever you like - for us it's usually half a cucumber (seeded & sliced), a quarter red onion (thinly sliced), a sliced red pepper, a handful of grape tomatos and some kalmato olives. Throw in a head of romaine or pound of cooked & chilled pasta, toss and hello, lovah. (We serve the feta on the side. You need feta. Unless you're allergic.)

I'm writing this all because lately I'm completely focused on what I'm not accomplishing. I'm not accomplishing quilting, crafting, dusting, vacuuming and hell, I can't even appropriately stay on top of the damn dishes. But I do cook and quite a bit. I just need to get my head out of my ass and focus on the accomplishments and not the failures.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sometimes I Catch Myself Staring into Space, Counting Down the Hours 'Til I Get to See Your Face

Apparently people name their homes. Like "Serenity" (dude, I WISH) to something-or-another manor.

We name our yard.

The meadow.

I know! Behold our super-awesome-nerdy-smarts! The meadow! Squee!

Actually, it is a meadow back there. The perimeter of the yard is wooded and there's a grassy knoll (spelled.right.on.the.first.time.I.rock.thanks) and it gets very meadow-y back there.

Especially when it's the middle of May and SOMEONE hasn't mowed yet.

(Aaron, I'm looking at you here.)

(And no, I don't care that you're on a business trip. Magically mow it, damn it.)

This is also the part of the year where we transition from clean, tidy garden to holyfuckignshitexplosion. It's quite a sight.

Makes me want to picnic in my backyard.

Monday, May 11, 2009

One by One I Counted on Those Happy Days

Oh, hi.

Yes, I'm alive.

After running a 103 fever for five days.

Three trips to doctors.

One IV bag.

Four prescriptions.

Countless answers of "no" when asked have you been to Mexico recently?

And one big-ass paranoia episode of needing to write letters beyond my grave thanks to the "high likelihood of depression and anxiety" thanks the flu medicine.

::cough, cough::

And one new love affair with cough syrup spiked with codeine.

Seriously. That stuff rocks.

Monday, May 04, 2009

But it's You That Makes Me Lose My Head

I only half accomplished what my friends did this weekend, but what a lovely accomplishment it was.

We had a huge trip (unintentional, of course) to the farmers market and returned with a vanload of plants.

Our yard was still too sopping wet to get them in the ground, and I'll be damned if I don't have to go to the garden center for soil, mulch and a few new pots.

Because a girl needs new pots for new herbs, yes? Yes, of course you should say. OF COURSE.

p.s. Dogs like cocoa mulch a lot, idiot me didn't think of chocolate factor when putting that down.

p.p.s Yes, I learned my lesson.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Do You Have Any Other Skills? Like Typing?

My house smells like sick kid and wet dog.

I suppose this should make sense, as all I've done this week is take temperatures, wipe paws, make snotty noses blow, dispense medicine and run for cover when someone shakes.

But still?




At least there's an upside...

... it's becoming my mantra. Find the good, find the good, find the good...