I feel so lucky my kids’ school is my own place of work.
I’ve been able to stop by for a birthday celebration, reading to a class, or within seconds if someone is sick. Never for a second do I take this set-up for granted. It has made this year a pretty easy transition, all things considered.
Yesterday was their annual Easter Egg Hunt, and it was such a treat to watch. Georgia weather has been weirdly cold this week, but the sun showed up for Wednesday afternoon. (Plus I got to dress Norah in a hand-knit!)
This weekend is busy with another egg hunt and spring block party in the neighborhood and two family celebrations. So much happening this time of year. We seem to race from one event to another – reunions, Easter, end of the school year, Norah’s birthday. All with summer around the bend.
We are really enjoying the spiralizer I posted about earlier. I am not completely on board with Paleo diets considering my whole grain obsession, but I do love that this little gadget gets some extra vegetables in our diet. The kids love slurping the “noodles,” and Jude especially loves when I leave the pieces super long after running the zucchini through the spiralizer.
This recipe is loosely inspired by one I found here. I just changed it a bit to suit our preferences, and I simplified the prep a little.
Before you begin, mix the sauce:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Now get out your other ingredients:
- 2-3 smallish salmon fillets (Our kids usually split one.)
- 1 cup broccoli (fresh or frozen is fine, just cook longer if frozen)
- 1 sliced red onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2-3 spiralized zucchini
Next I added a little oil to a large skillet and threw in my frozen broccoli. Cook until the broccoli is warm (5-8 minutes or so) and add your sliced red onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Continue stirring and cook until the onion is soft (another 5 minutes or so).
While all of that is getting started, place your salmon fillets in a separate lightly oiled skillet. Spoon out about a tablespoon of your sauce on each salmon fillet. Cook a few minutes, flip, and repeat the spoonful of sauce on the second side. I do about 4 minutes per side to get mine pretty fully cooked. But you could do 2-3 minutes for something a little closer to rare or seared salmon.
Once the salmon is cooked, I turn off the stove and let it sit in the pan. Next add your zucchini “noodles” to the other veggies and stir it all up to mix it together and get the zucchini warm. Pour what is left of the sauce onto the veggies and noodles. It only takes about 3-4 minutes to cook the zucchini because it is so thin.
That’s it! Plate it up and you’re done. I snapped the photo above very quickly with my iPhone because it was a Monday and I had tired and hungry kids at the table. The whole meal is done in 20 minutes or so – perfect for a weeknight!
What a week. I am not sure how it is only Wednesday or how everything seems to go wrong at the same time and create a perfect storm of inconvenience. But seriously, how does that always seem to happen?
Scott had only about 32 hours of travel time this week when he’d be gone. One night. It happened to coincide with a big reception event I was coordinating at work and a million student appointments for research papers. And then I get phone call Tuesday at 1:30 that poor Jude started crying at school with an aching ear. I rush across campus (which means I walked one block at my tiny university) to get him and brought him back to hang in my office while I finished up some tasks and student meetings. Then I dragged him back to get Norah and hauled them both in the grocery store to get a large sheet cake and a million other items for this work shindig. It was less than ideal, and I feel certain the cashiers at Publix felt so sorry for me as it was obvious I needed more hands and arms than I had. The bagging lady offered to help me and we ended up forming a caravan to the car with two carts and two exhausted children in the fiercest March wind I can remember. (Where is spring, by the way?)
So this morning was that should I take my kid to school or should I not? dance that every parent knows. Made all the more difficult by the fact that I truly had to be present for this reception and Scott was out-of-town. So not bringing him would have been a difficult feat to orchestrate. And did I mention I slept from 10-1 last night and then Jude’s cough woke up Norah and it was 4am when I got her back to sleep? And then Jude busted in my room at 5am. So I got 4 very broken-up hours of sleep and put on a happy face for a work event today.
And I survived.
The event went well with a large crowd. Jude feels alright and his teacher reports a good day. I came home to this delicious dish on the table because Sunday Me had the forethought to plan for Wednesday-Late-Work-Event Me and prep it to wait on us in the fridge. Scott made it home safely and baked it for us, and Norah was asleep by 7:45, Jude soon thereafter. It’s a fact of life that when it rains it pours. But it’s also a fact of life that the vast majority of the time, that thing I stress about and wonder how it will get done gets done after all. We survive and move on, and I fully intend to turn in early with my latest reading in just a few minutes. Tomorrow is a new day.
Sweet moments shine through a bit if I look for them.
I found Norah helping Margo this morning. Her arthritis flares in the morning, and when Norah saw her having trouble, she decided to bring the food bowl straight to her.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with working mom guilt and question every decision you make, wondering if you’re doing it right. But sometimes you see your kids make small choices that tell you something must be going well after all. The more experience I get in this motherhood job, the more I cling to those moments as comfort. And the less I beat myself up. Tomorrow is a new day.
It was such a good weekend, one that balanced productive and relaxing which is a rarity. Saturday’s forecast was pretty bleak, but she surprised us with some good weather anyway. Georgia is doing that typical March pattern where we will enjoy 70 degrees and sunshine for days at a time, and then we are caught off guard with rain and temperatures back in the 50s again. We just take it for what it is though and enjoy it for the little while it lasts.
We got some odds and ends done around the house and did some boring tasks that you avoid but feel good when you complete them – dogs to the vet, taxes retrieved from the accountant, fridge cleaned out. Then Scott’s parents wanted to watch the kids for a while because they haven’t in a long time. So we enjoyed a dinner out without kids for two (!!) weekends in a row. I am pretty sure 2009 was the last time that happened. There are so many things I will miss about having a baby in the house, but as they grow a little older, there are definitely a number of things that get easier. Leaving them with someone else is one of those things. For both kids lately, I see so much new independence. It is amazing to watch. And to be honest, it is very welcome for me. I’ve loved having babies, but I love the kid years that lie ahead, too.
Yesterday’s weather was awful with constant rain and cooler temps outside. We did head over to the new library near our house though, and we followed up with frozen yogurt. Dinner was SkinnyTaste’s Spinach Rolls, and I managed to freeze two more for later this spring.
It was hard to get up this morning. It’s chilly, and I could hear rain outside. I also had a sleeping Norah cuddled up on me because she woke up for a midnight diaper change and requested a bed move. Lately, we begin the night with only two in the bed, but usually by morning, all four of us are piled in – or at least three. I don’t mind it all that much knowing seasons change and kids grow up. For now, I can deal with the occasional elbow in my face and wayward knee in my back. For now, we are watching the yard slowly change from brown to green and looking forward to the weeks ahead.
I didn’t mean for a whole month to pass before posting again. We’ve been so busy this past few weeks, and I’m excited to say spring is around the corner. I celebrated my birthday on Sunday with dinner outside and strawberry shortcake Jude helped me make. It was a perfect way to begin my year and inaugurate the spring and summer. Longer days and more time outside lie ahead.
I’ve seen goal lists for new year’s posts and birthdays, and I love the idea, so I decided to do one for myself. As always, accountability is a reason to post it here, and I figure it will be fun to post a little every now and then on my progress. Some of these are a little embarrassing in that they are things I should be doing already, but I am putting it all out here anyway. Some are just for fun. I hope to come back to this post and cross them off as I get them done. I love fresh slates and new beginnings, and I have a good feeling about 33.
1. Go to the dentist. (Recently neglected for me. I think it’s been about two years!)
2. Get an actual physical. (So embarrassing to admit this, but 2007 was the last time I had a physical. Seven years ago!)
3. Establish somewhat regular exercise. Emphasis being on somewhat – I’d be happy with 1-2 times a week if it really happens.)
4. Start submitting some freelance writing pieces for publication.
5. Travel somewhere I’ve never been before.
6. Start using my camera again – not just my iPhone.
7. Get at least three facials before I turn 34. (My friend’s skincare clinic is AMAZING, and I’m old enough to take care of my skin a little better. I love visiting her for treatments when I can.)
8. Discover a new musician or two.
9. See three movies in the theater. ( I never do this anymore!)
10. Go on a few real dates.
11. Blog more often, at least 24 more entries before I turn 34.
12.Pack some good food for a real picnic once this spring.
13. Have some fun new experiences with the kids – maybe a day trip, a new museum, festivals, etc.
14. Get to know our library. It is walking distance from our home and just opened this year.
15. Get to know our new farmer’s market this summer. It’s busy and thriving and one mile down the street. So much better than the supermarket!
16. See a concert.
17. Focus on taking a true sabbath every week. No plans, at least a few hours of no housework and phones and computers.
18. Master steak in a cast iron skillet. (Some claim it’s the best way to cook them.)
19. Make homemade gnocchi.
20. Complete 5 knitting projects.
21. Create more time for reading, and finish more books. (I’m leaving them unfinished so shamefully often lately.)
22. Establish some flowers and vegetables in our back yard.
23. Create a reading nook in our master bedroom.
24. Finish the family recipe book I began last year.
25. Complete Norah’s second year album.
26. Finish our 2014 family album.
27. Finish the guest bedroom in our house.
28. Get a better understanding of retirement savings and save more in general. (I know we put money away, but at this age, you don’t question or worry too much. I could examine it a lot more carefully.)
29. Continue to invest more time in my close friendships. Maybe even a brief girls’ trip this year.
30. Streamline my closet a bit, throw out old clothing and be ruthless about it this time.
31. Share 6 recipes here.
32. Go strawberry picking with the kids and enjoy the apple orchards again as we did last year.
33. Make use of our screened porch and outside space this summer. (I have big plans for ferns, rugs, extra seating, and a sandbox for the kids.)
Thanks for reading if you’ve made it this far. What about you? Any goals for the upcoming year or the season ahead? Spring is a great time to make big plans.
Snow is more exciting the first time around. Added to the frustration of having to pretty much rewrite my syllabi. Added to Scott being stuck in Ohio all week. Added to the threat of power outages. We are pretty much over it, but we’re making the best of it as well we know how.
When this happened a couple of weeks ago, we saw so many neighborhood kids out playing in it. This time, I’ve hardly seen anyone at all. It was mostly ice the first two days, and then the snow finally came.
For the most part, we are hunkering down and waiting for it to pass. We’ve colored and played a lot of hide and seek and baked cookies. They’ve watched a lot of television (or kind of in ten minute increments for Norah who won’t really watch much) and I’ve caught up on a bit on Downton Abbey. The latest Norah has slept all week is 5:15. All I want for Valentine’s Day is a shut bathroom door and a lonely, quiet bath.
I’m achy from the laziness. C’mon, spring!
Sometimes the passage of time makes me sad, but this time of year, I love flipping the calendar to see a new month.One step closer to spring.
For the most part, I did pretty well on my January goals. The laundry routine sis not happen on some days, but when it did, it greatly helped my stress in that area. So now I know what I need to do there, but I need to be sure I remember to do it each day when I get home. In general, I made time in the evenings to relax if at all possible, and it helped my stress load. I managed to stay sane even though we were crazy busy, and that was in part due to my evening recharging, I think.
January was a somewhat stressful month, and February is pretty full, too. It seems like all of my important or really demanding work deadlines fall in this first half of the semester. I had to teach a workshop to a cohort of MBA students at one of our additional campuses in January. It was completely out of my element – a 90 minute drive, teaching at night when I am normally at home in pajamas, talking to adult learners who were mostly older than me and have spent years in the corporate world. But at the end of the day, I think it felt good to mark that one off the calendar and I did fairly well. The feedback was positive which made me feel good.
And now I am gearing up for an out-of-town conference next weekend – the first time I’ve left the kids for something like this. Scott and I have traveled away before, and I went away a couple of times for girls’ nights. But it is really strange to have a professional commitment like this that has me away. Such a role reversal over here because Scott is usually the one gone for work! I’m looking forward to learning more about Writing Center instruction and listening to my group of student presenters who I know will do great on their portion. And I will sleep! Alone! In a huge hotel bed! I am admittedly a little excited about that part. Half the time here, I am in an out of sleep with kids climbing on me when they wake up and want to sleep next to me.
In the meantime, between that travel, a really heavy travel month for Scott, and a couple of kid birthday parties, February is shaping up to be madness. My one and only goal for this month? I need to finish Norah’s room. We slapped a few things on the wall when we moved in, but it still doesn’t look like what I want it to, and her closet is a disaster organizationally speaking. I am saying it aloud here so that I will be held accountable and get it done. I’ll try to post pictures of the finished product in a few weeks, too.
So that is how my February is shaping up, and I hope yours is off to a good start. Thanks for reading!