Monday, August 15, 2011

It's! Almost! Fall! Mode

We have now reached the point in the summer where there are no more scheduled events for the girls - no camps, no sleepovers, no tennis lessons - except for Annie's thirty-minute-a-week piano lesson.  The weather's been cool lately, and we've been sleeping with the windows gloriously open, and I heard a goose honking overhead the minute I woke up yesterday morning.

All this to say that I've gone fully into my It's! Almost! Fall! mode, which annually involves:

1.  Me, getting all seize-the-day about taking the girls to the beach, or on a spontaneous outing, or doing a million picnics, or making it to just one more park concert, or letting them get ice cream almost any time they ask.

2.  Me, getting all inspired to cook and bake up a storm with the last of summer's goodness and the early tastes of fall.

Related to item the first, I am planning to take the girls on a mystery trip tomorrow to pick peaches at Crane's and then on to play at the South Haven beach, where they love the play equipment almost as much as the beach itself.  I might sneak in a stop at Salt of the Earth just for their seedy salt bread, too.

Related to item the second, I made chicken stew and biscuits for dinner last night, and right this minute I have blueberry muffins in the oven with five minutes to go.  Last night, Jason nicely took the girls to the park while I made dinner and drank a Founder's porter in peace, but the blueberry muffins, I made this morning with absolutely zero interruptions from my children.  They have been playing/setting up a tea party/having and feeding babies/cleaning up Jemma's room/getting each other dressed/brushing their teeth this whole time.

It still sort of shocks me when this happens, when I am able to accomplish something like a normal person without an infant around my neck or a toddler running in to attach to my leg every seven seconds.  Yesterday, I was noticing that when the three of us run an errand and go to get back in the car, everyone just goes to their own separate door, opens it, gets in, shuts the door, and buckles themselves in.  I remember so clearly when it was "Go to Annie's side while lugging the infant car seat and holding Annie's hand, open her door, get her into her seat, shut the door, go to Jemma's side, put the infant carrier in its base, shut the door, go back around to Annie's door, open it, buckle her in, shut her door, get in the car and heft the diaper bag into the passenger seat."  Sometimes I am still surprised at what my life looks like right now.

Also related to item the second, am I the only one who finds herself at the grocery store or the farmers' market, tossing things in the cart, all inspired and full of plans for specific meals and getting certain items specifically for those meals, and then gets home and makes maybe one of those meals the very same day and maybe one more the next day, and then finds herself looking at, say, a carton of buttermilk or a bunch of parsley and thinking, what is this for?  And crapping out on the meals for the rest of the week and just ordering Rose's Express pizza family meal?

Maybe this is just my problem.  I attempted to combat it yesterday.  When I got in the car in the grocery store parking lot after paying for my $87 worth of groceries, I wrote out all my meal ideas for said groceries on the back of the shopping list I had just taken into the store.  Smart, right?

Then I came home, unloaded the groceries, and threw the list away, forgetting only fifteen minutes later that I had written on the back of it.  So!  At least there was chicken stew with biscuits!

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